The Darkest Torment by Gena Showalter
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Baden, former Keeper of Distrust, has something new living inside him, something darker than any mere demon. Bound to the King of the Underworld, he struggles to fit into his new role of assassin, however his biggest challenge comes in the form of Katarina - a dog trainer that happens to be the wife of a very troublesome man.
(WARNING: This review contains spoilers.)
Let me start by saying that this instalment's number twelve in an ongoing series (Lords of the Underworld), and at the beginning - it's been seven years since I picked up the first book - I absolutely adored Showalter's steamy and mythological world. My very first reviews are of this series, where I found the characters, the stories, and the sexual heat all new and captivating. I even gave five star ratings to a couple, The Darkest Pleasure and The Darkest Passion. I had nothing but praise.
That time has unfortunately passed.
Whilst these books will always have a place in my heart, and I'll probably, against my better judgement, continue on until they come to a final conclusion, I'm truthful to myself in that I'm not enjoying them as I once did. At this point I'm just regurgitating my complaints, and it feels more like a chore to get down my thoughts. I'll however try and be coherent about my reasoning - why do I now largely dislike what was once beloved?
- The characters tend to fuse together, becoming indistinguishable. They're too similar, often having the same mental outlook, the same behaviour and even the same dialogue. Say a bunch of them were in the same scene and it wasn't directly stated who was speaking, well, I honestly wouldn't be able to tell them apart.
- The sex has become stale and it fails to thrill me anymore. What was once downright dirty has turned tame. I don't need an excuse to prefer the eroticism that once dominated the romance.
- Plot inconsistencies are plentiful. I'm not even going to go into detail, but it's clear that Showalter made a decision to change already established storylines. Baden's past in particular completely confused me.
- The writing's declined on a monumental level. Full sentences are a thing of the past. Example:
Heart pounding, she jerked her hands away from him. “Sex...from me?”
“Yesss.” A hiss. “Only from you.”
Only. Amazing how one little word could send pleasure soaring through her, warming her. “You told me never to touch you.” Which she’d just done, she realized. My bad.
Which brings me to the dynamic of Baden and Katarina, and how she ultimately considered him an animal in need of training. When someone doesn't even think of their significant other as an actual person, then there's undoubtedly something wrong with the relationship. I liked the hellhounds, though, but that's the only thing, and it's not enough to justify a higher rating.
As for the whole William and Gillian debacle - I just didn't care.
In conclusion: I initially rated this two stars, however I believe one to be more appropriate in regards to how I feel. I'm not into this series anymore, but I feel an obligation to trudge onward. If only I could walk away.
© Red Lace 2018
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Showalter's Lords of the Underworld hasn't lost its appeal, even at book 12. You would think that it would get tiring or tedious but every book is fresh in the long term plot of the series. The war between Lucifer and Hades is building, and William and Gilly's whole relationship-nonrelationship came to a head in this one. I really hope Gilly didn't screw up everything, though I truly can't see how she and William will get together with what she did in this one. (Sorry, no spoilers, you've got to read). Pandora's role is changing. Galen, who was the villain for some time, is now looking like a straight up good guy. Baden definitely deserved a happy ending after all of the hell he suffered so I was so happy to witness his redemption and release from the guilt and demons that were plaguing him for so long. Katarina was a strong female character with her own dynamic personality and she certainly didn't take any crap. Their story was entertaining and enjoyable from beginning to end. I'm looking forward to Cameo's story with Lazarus next and I really hope William and Gilly get their book soon.
This is a sampler of author Gena Showalter’s Lords of the Underworld series.
I read the first few books in this series years ago when they first were released. Even after reading hundreds of books since then, I can remember how much I loved the series. This sampler makes me want to start reading them all over again. They grabbed me right from the beginning. I highly recommend.
**I voluntarily read and reviewed this book