The Darkest Night is book one of Gena Showalter’s Lords of the Underworld series, and I’ll say that the first thing that grabbed my attention was the cover of the books. I didn’t know much of anything about them, but when I read about the group of immortal warriors who were forever cursed for opening Pandora’s box I knew I had to give it a go.
The Darkest Night is Maddox and Ashlyn’s book. Ashlyn is in Budapest working with a group that searches out paranormal beings to study and help them live among the human world, or so she believes. She was raised by the group and one doctor in particular when her parents gave her up as a child. They couldn’t deal with her, or more precisely her own paranormal abilities. Ashlyn can stand in one spot and hear every conversation that has ever taken place there, time passed and difference in language having no effect on her ability, she hears it all. The only problem for her, Ashlyn never found a way to control her ability, so while in Budapest she hears of a group of men who are believed to be special, who she believes can help her with her ability.
Enter Maddox, brooding hero I suppose he could be called. Maddox is cursed to live with the demon of Violence, his punishment for being involved with opening Pandora’s box. Yet his suffering goes deeper than that, because one night when he lost control and his demon took over he ending up killing Pandora. The gods were not happy and now each night at midnight Maddox is to die the way he killed Pandora then to spend the rest of his time until dawn burning over and over again in hell. Not so much fun.
Anywho, Maddox and Ashlyn meet and from there its an interesting ride.
First, I have two (for lack of a better word) complaints about Ashlyn. One, I wish she were a little more kick ass. I feel like she was a little too, quite and delicate so to speak. Two, she warmed up to Maddox much faster than I would think reasonable given her situation. The way she acted with him made her seem more desperate than I had thought which kinds bothers me. Although, I have to say that at the end she stepped it up, and it made me like her more than I did at the start.
Another quick thing, I found myself with a bit of whiplash when Maddox’s demon warmed up to Ashlyn. It seemed that the two had known each other all of five minutes before Violence is cozying up, settling with Ashlyn. Although, who knows, maybe even a demon needs contentment every now and then.
Aside from that, I really liked this book. My ‘complaints’ did not take away from my enjoyment of the overall story. Regardless of what others have to say about the story behind the warriors I got really into it. Showalter took something that has been around a long while – Greek mythology – and weaved her own web from that. She threw in her own bits and pieces. It’s a really good creation from a basis of the past.
Adding together the unique story, sexy heros, a little action here and there, and lots of romancing – you basically have a win.
All in all, I’m looking forward to the rest of the series.