This is the 5th book in the Lords of the Underworld series this one telling the story of the tattooed Aeron keeper of Wrath and Olivia the [Fallen] Angel.
Aeron has always been the guy who saves others, taking care of others, he was never one to show his feelings or his weaknesses. So when Olivia first "appears" meaning, when her presence is known to him he does his best to threaten her since her presence inflict pain upon Legion the she-demon who followed him when he was chained near hell and has become not only his comfort but he also considers her family, like the daughter he never had (and will never have).
Olivia was a Joy Bringing Angel, she loved her job and wasn't that excited to find out that she was "upgraded" to a Warrior Angel (by the request of her mentor Lasyter whom we met on the previous Novella - The Darkest Angel). Her first mission as a Warrior Angel is to kill Aeron who broke the law by freeing Legion from hell. he didn't know he did that but as it seems they formed a bond between them enabling her to free hell and be wherever he is. Olivia has been intrigued by the Lords of the Underworld which is why she was given this task, but she cannot do it since ever since she started following Aeron she felt connected to him and didn't want to do him any harm (translation - she fell deeply in love with him but at that point she wouldn't have admited it).
Since she refused to kill him she was cast down from heaven into hell, her wings got torn by demons (who also tortured her for a while) until she dug herself out and presented herself to Aeron who didn't know what to do with her - besides telling her (again and again and again) GO. He can't bring himself to getting attached to her. what more Lasyter (which turns out to be the biggest jerk on the series - yes, including Galen - at least he is true to himself, who he is, what he wants for himself and for others) makes a deal with him that he will show Olivia that being mortal is not worth it so she will return to Heaven and for that "help" he would petition the council to bargain for his live. Not that I believed one word that ass of Lasyter told Aeron..
Little by little Aeron falls for Olivia and she is lost in her obsession to have him which at times I found pathetic.. there is a thin line between being a strong woman who knows what or who she wants and willing to do what needs to be done to get him and a pathetic woman who embarrasses herself so the guy will notice her.. in my mind Olivia crossed that line.. I really didn't see what he found in her.. and what she found for him might have been worth it.. but that's no excuse because by then he already fell in love with her (I'm not writing what it is since it will be a HUGE spoiler, just saying she does him and the guys a bit "favor").
To top all this mess Legion does a REALLY stupid pact with the devil which shows two things: (1) she is dumb. SO unbelievably dumb! (2) She doesn't care about anyone except for herself (yes, that means she cares little for Aeron, at least that's how I see it). The whole deal is SO off I don't know what she thought and she behave litteraly like a child - like Aeron sees her. It's amazing she doesn't give a shit about his friends which he valued highly - he would gladly die for them and she would gladly kill them if they got in her way. I used to like her, I did, but in this book every scene she was on I just wishes someone would take her head off.. that not to mention the stupid thing she did near the end when she decided to help Aeron (for ONCE in her miserable life) and what she did was.. I have no words. NO WORDS.
This book gets 4 stars because I LOVE AERON and just feel sorry for him the women he is surrounded by. It was really sweet the meeting he had in the last chapter of the book. It brought a sort of sad smile to my face and I was sorry there wasn't another chapter (or an epilogue) showing what happens next. I have the next book waiting for me but if I wouldn't have I think I would have been a bit bummed that this is the way it ends.
We have a sub plot with Strider who I think we haven't had as a POV before and if we did it was a small part, here we see him a bit more and have a really nice story of him and a guy named Dominic. I loved how it ended.
We get a "reunion" between Scarlet the keeper of Nightmare and Gideon. In the previous book he wishes he would have meet someone possessed by Nightmares and here we are - he actually meets her! But the little she agrees to tell him drops him from his feet. Next book will be his so I'm really looking forward to learning about the two of them.
In the end of the book there is a reference to Sienna, the woman Paris is obsessed about. I wonder if we'll get to meet her again before his book or not. It was kinda strange actually. wasn't sure if I got why what happened needed to happen that way...
Also we get another artifact.Bringing us closer to finding the box and we also learned more about what can be done with it (for the better and for worse).
All in all it was an OK book in the series. I already love the warriors and their women and love the setting. I think we had the action we needed and more about the stupid obsessive hunters, more about the Titan and Galen, but the main romance between Aeron and Olivia, paired with Legion? so and so.
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As promised in my previous reviews here are the "Classified Files" containing all the details on all the guys! YAY! :)
They can be found on the "Into the Dark" Novel - containing the pre-novella "The Darkest Fire" (LotU #0.5) and "The Darkest Prison" (LotU #3.5) novella but also more cool staff like Q&A, behind the scenes etc. Later on Gena published just the Companion part (without the novellas) in a book called "Darkest Facts" (so you don't need this one if you have the other..).
Just to let you know the data on the Warriors was published just before this book (the 5th one) so actually there are no spoilers ahead if you read up until this book (not including it) I'm concealing all the data about the warriors just so the post wouldn't look that long.
I'll be adding this data to all my further reviews of this series.
Maddox / Violence (Book #1)
Eyes: Violet (Note: eyes glow red when angry)
Butterfly tattoo: Upper left shoulder, wrapping around to his back
Other distinguishing marks: Demon’s skeletal face becomes visible through subject’s skin when subject is angered.
Preferred weapon: Fists
Demon culpability: The stabbing death of Pandora, and thereby the disappearance of her box, can be traced directly to Violence. In modern society Violence is deemed responsible for street-gang warfare, rape, murder and terrorism.
Notable background: Curse resulting from Pandora’s slaying caused the subject to be killed each night and resurrected each day for centuries. Curse has now been broken—methods unclear. Subject still erupts into fits of violence and should be presumed volatile and highly dangerous.
Achilles heel: Recent emotional attachment to human female Ashlyn Darrow, former para-audiologist for the World Institute of Parapsychology who now resides at Budapest fortress. I cannot help but believe that if her mentor, the late Dr. Frederick McIntosh, hadn’t hidden from her the true purpose of her work at the Institute, Darrow would not have defected to the Lords’ camp. Note: Darrow is believed pregnant with subject’s child. Due date to be determined.
Objectives: Capture Ashlyn Darrow if possible, use her as bait for subject to rescue, capture subject and imprison him until such time as Pandora’s box is found. Note: Beware Darrow’s ability to stand in one place and hear every conversation that ever took place there. Utter silence will be needed for any recon or capture missions. The element of surprise is crucial.
Lucien / Death (Leader of Budapest Contingent) (Book 2)
Hair: Black, shoulder-length
Eyes: Mismatched—one brown (normal eye) and one blue (believed to allow subject to see into the spiritual world)
Butterfly tattoo: Upper left shoulder, front of chest
Other distinguishing marks: Face and body are covered in scars. Subject emits an odor of roses presumed to be linked to his demon.
Preferred weapon: Knives. Beware poisoned tips.
Demon culpability: Death is ultimately responsible for deciding which souls ascend to heaven and which are ushered to Hell. It’s believed that the subject uses his bias against the Hunters not only to kill their bodies, but to unfairly ensure that their souls never make it to heaven.
Notable background: Subject is believed to have disfigured his own face and body centuries ago in a fit of rage, indicating an unstable temperament and a harmful nature. Subject can travel outside his body and has been known to transport himself from one location to the next faster than the eye can see, making him a unique threat.
Achilles heel: Two of note. The first, when subject’s…soul, if that’s what it is, leaves his body, that body is left vulnerable. That might be the perfect time to strike. Second, subject seems to have grown attached to Anya, minor Greek goddess of Anarchy. Also noteworthy: Anya is believed to have been bound by a curse herself, possibly hampering her powers. Recon team to investigate further in the hopes of exploiting the knowledge for the greater good.
Objectives: Take a divide-and-conquer approach by separating subject from the minor goddess of Anarchy so subject will suffer. If we can kill the goddess, forcing Death to separate soul from body, he will be most vulnerable. Note: The minor goddess has a penchant for petty theft, incendiary behavior and general insubordination. Following a recent confrontation in Chicago, she has been deemed a nemesis of the angel Galen and thus her permanent capture is of particular interest to the Hunters.
Reyes / Pain (Book #3)
Hair: Dark brown
Eyes: Brown Butterfly tattoo: Chest and neck
Other distinguishing marks: Deeply tanned skin; frequently sports scars caused by self-mutilation Preferred
weapon: Daggers; sword; guns
Demon culpability: Physical pain and suffering throughout the ages are attributed to this demon’s acts of random cruelty.
Notable background: Subject has been witnessed going to excruciating lengths to cause himself pain. Jumping off rooftops and cutting his flesh are among his pastimes.
Achilles heel: Subject formed an attachment to human female Danika Ford following her kidnapping at the hands of fellow Lord Aeron. I personally did my utmost to recruit Danika to our cause, even convincing her to stage her own (second) kidnapping so the demons would rescue her and unwittingly bring a spy into their midst. The woman showed tremendous potential but was ultimately seduced by the dark side and aligned her loyalties with the Lords. I count her defection as a personal failure.
Objectives: Separate subject from Danika. Imprison him until Pandora’s box can be found. Demonstrate to Danika the consequences of choosing the wrong allegiance in battle.
Paris / Promiscuity (Book #9)
Hair: Varying shades of brown and black
Butterfly tattoo: Lower back
Other distinguishing marks: Subject is widely regarded as the most physically appealing of all the Lords.
Preferred weapon: Sword
Demon culpability: Out-of-wedlock pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and infidelity all can be laid at Promiscuity’s doorstep.
Notable background: Subject weakens without frequent physical release and cannot have sexual relations with the same woman twice. Subject has been known to seek out male partners as a last resort if no women are available, though he does not appear to enjoy such forays.
Achilles heel: While imprisoned in Hunters’ research facility in Athens, subject formed a fascinating bond with the late female Hunter Sienna Blackstone (R.I.P.) and managed to overcome his demon’s aversion to repeated sexual contact with the same woman. Since his untimely escape to Budapest, he has been reported to be relying heavily on ambrosia to regulate his moods and get him through the day.
Objectives: Exploit subject’s dependence on ambrosia if possible. Perhaps even arrange for him to receive a tainted batch. Dangle the promise of information about Sienna in order to lure him back to Athens facility for further testing.
Aeron / Wrath (Book #5)
Hair: Military-cropped, brown
Butterfly tattoo: Middle of back
Other distinguishing marks: A pair of black gossamer wings hidden by slits in his back when not in use. Face and body are covered with tattoos of war scenes, weaponry and the demon’s victims. Two eyebrow rings.
Preferred weapon: Subject does not discriminate and embraces any weapon at his disposal.
Demon culpability: Wrath ostensibly preys only on victims it considers deserving of punishment. However, this pretense of meting out “justice” is clearly the demon’s twisted attempt to rationalize its killing sprees and evil deeds so it can continue to cause harm without consequences.
Notable background: Subject was taken over by bloodlust due to a curse of unknown origins and nearly killed human female Danika Ford in addition to her maternal grandmother, mother and older sister. Though the bloodlust seems to have passed, subject continues to be considered a menace to society.
Achilles heel: Subject views himself as godlike and humans as fragile and beneath him; however, his current determination to repay his fellow demon Paris for deeds unknown might prove a weak spot to be exploited. Subject is also devoted to the female demon minion Legion and has sworn to protect her from harm. Additionally, subject appears to be having apparent hallucinations that an invisible presence is spying on him.
Objective: Use subject’s devotion to fellow Lords and the minion Legion against him. Recon team is also determining ways to turn his hallucinations to the Hunters’ advantage.
Torin / Disease (Book #11)
Hair: White, shoulder-length
Butterfly tattoo: Stomach
Other distinguishing marks: Always wears long black gloves Preferred weapon: As subject is confined to the Budapest fortress he has dubbed “the House of the Damned,” he does not generally use weapons but is believed to have gun and sword training.
Demon culpability: Disease is responsible for at least two known plagues that resulted in thousands of casualties. This demon is also at the root of cancer deaths and all additional pestilence, most recently the dreaded Swine Flu pandemic. Notable background: Subject is unable to touch another living being skin-to-skin without infecting it with disease; subject wears protective clothing at all times and maintains his distance from others to prevent such an occurrence. Subject chooses to hide in the Lords’ fortress rather than accept the public blame he deserves for the illnesses he continues to cause, despite his “attempts” to keep the world “safe.”
Achilles heel: Subject’s battle skills have likely diminished due to his confinement. He could be the weak link of the Lords and vulnerable to capture. A suspected relationship with female Lord Cameo has distracted the subject, and could also be used to Hunters’ advantage.
Objectives: Exploit the subject’s unique vulnerabilities and use this weakest link to take down the rest of the Lords. If we could somehow arrange for subject to touch the other Lords, they would not be killed, but they would never again be able to touch their loved ones without killing them. Such a realization might just cause them to turn themselves in.
Sabin / Doubt (Leader of Greece Contingent) (Book #4)
Butterfly tattoo: Right ribcage and waist
Other distinguishing marks: Wears a necklace believed to be a gift to him from his deceased friend, Baden, demon of Distrust, the Hunters’ first victim.
Preferred weapon: Subject used to rely on knives, guns, throwing stars et al, but now, like the coward he is, he prefers to hide behind his Harpy bride for protection.
Demon culpability: The vilest of all demons whispers insecurities into the ears of anyone within reach and causes crippling, at times life-threatening self-doubt. This demon and the despicable creature who houses it are directly responsible for the suicide of my beloved wife, Darla, eleven years ago.
Notable background: I find it impossible to write objectively about my most deeply hated foe. This monster who calls himself a man seduced my faithful wife away from me with false promises and dirty lies and coaxed her to betray my secrets. When he’d gotten what he needed from her, he let his demon go to work, and the next thing I knew, my wife had slashed her wrists.
Achilles Heel: His single-minded devotion to Gwendolyn the Timid, his Harpy wife. Due to recent complications at our Chicago training facility, we are uncertain as to the extent to which we might be able to use her against him. But sometimes it is better to ask for forgiveness than permission.
Objectives: Secretly, without Galen’s knowledge, separate subject from his wife. Seduce her, as subject likes to seduce other men’s wives, and arrange for subject to find her dead, bleeding body.
Gideon / Lies (Book #6)
Hair: Dyed Blue
Eyes: Blue, kohl-rimmed
Butterfly tattoo: Right thigh
Other distinguishing marks: Multiple piercings and general Goth appearance Preferred weapon: All of them. Subject seems to have no specific preference, using whatever is nearby.
Demon culpability: Lies has infiltrated politics worldwide, resulting in false promises from world leaders and the disintegration of modern society.
Notable background: Subject is unable to tell the truth without experiencing terrible pain. My forefathers were able to capture and contain subject for a prolonged period of time and, in the course of limb-regeneration experiments, removed subject’s feet. Unfortunately, subject ultimately escaped with the aid of his demon cohorts and both his feet have since grown back. The feet we removed, however, we are still in possession of. We exacted revenge in Chicago recently with the removal of both subject’s hands, but again were unable to contain him for long. We now have the removed hands, as well.
Achilles heel: Unknown. It is impossible to learn anything of use from this disgusting liar.
Objective: Capture this demon once and for all and rid the world of his offensive presence. Also, continue with experiments of the removed limbs, using them to hopefully create our own immortal warrior.
Cameo / Misery (What about her? :( )
Hair: Long, black
Butterfly tattoo: Lower back, wings spreading around to both hips
Other distinguishing marks: Her voice is enough to make you want to kill yourself. Earplugs are needed when around her.
Preferred weapon: Semi-automatic, long-range rifles
Demon culpability: Misery is responsible for mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. The fact that both are reported at higher rates today than ever before suggests that the demon’s reach is increasing.
Notable background: Subject causes profound emotional anguish in everyone around her. Additionally, subject was, until recently, believed to be the lone female Lord of the Underworld. New events suggest that additional female Lords might in fact exist.
Achilles heel: Subject is believed to have a relationship with Torin, keeper of Disease. Subject will be closely observed for any physical or emotional vulnerability that might pave the way for an opportunity to capture her. But because of the supposed relationship with Disease, protective gear will be needed when apprehending her.
Objectives: Recon team is exploring ways to force subject to use her voice to our advantage.
Amun / Secrets (Book #7)
Butterfly tattoo: Right calf
Other distinguishing marks: Dark skin
Preferred weapon: Things of an exotic nature.
Demon culpability: The demon of Secrets fosters a lack of communication that contributes to individual issues such as the breakdown of marriages and global problems such as breaches of national security and the inability to achieve world peace.
Notable background: Subject is unable to speak without the secrets of the world pouring out of his mouth—as I regrettably experienced first-hand at our Chicago facility. Also of note, when he speaks, you hear the voice of the person whose secret he is revealing.
Achilles heel: Subject’s fear of speaking might be utilized to our advantage.
Objectives: Capture and interrogate subject in the hopes of discerning the secrets he keeps and using them against the Lords.
Strider / Defeat (Book #8)
Hair: Blond Eyes: Blue
Butterfly tattoo: Left hip
Other distinguishing marks: Subject was created, not born, yet has a birthmark on the right side of his buttocks. Small, brown and jagged at the edges.
Preferred weapon: Subject embraces all weaponry.
Demon culpability: The demon of Defeat is determined to win at all costs and will do whatever it takes to ensure victory. Defeat has brought about the downfall of athletes worldwide due to its encouragement of illegal tactics like steroids to obtain a win.
Notable background: Subject cannot lose an argument or battle without succumbing to intense physical agony and prolonged sleep.
Achilles heel: Subject’s inability to lose gracefully.
Objectives: Issue a challenge the demon cannot refuse, one that leads him straight into a trap.
Kane / Disaster (Book #10)
Hair: Mixture of brown, black and gold
Butterfly tattoo: Right hip
Other distinguishing marks: We are still searching.
Preferred weapon: Rifles and other long-range weaponry
Demon culpability: Disaster can be held accountable for everything from traffic accidents to construction site fatalities to plane crashes. It is harmful, often lethal, to anyone and anything it comes into contact with.
Notable background: Subject is unable to move without causing ceilings to collapse, vehicles to explode and other assorted catastrophes to occur. Miraculously and despicably, subject seems to escape injury from such incidents, but those around him are less fortunate.
Achilles heel: Unknown
Objectives: Recon team is exploring ways to isolate and capture subject and channel the incidents he causes into a strategy that will be advantageous to us.