Note: The Lords of the Underworld series is an adult book series. It contains elements of violence, language, gore, sex, and whathaveyou that YA readers may or may not be comfortable with. Please keep this in mind, should you decide to read this review and/or the books.
Romance novels are my dirty little secret, as you may or may not know. That being said, I recently got the urge to read Gena Showalter's Lords of the Underworld series, a series from which I vaguely remember reading one of the books when I was younger, but can't remember much about. Being as Showalter is a favorite author of mine, when I can get a hold of her books--and a really nice person, for that matter, as I met her at BEA this year--I was pretty hyped to start. This review of the first book in the series, The Darkest Night, begins a series of reviews I will be posting as I do a full series read through.
The Darkest Night is the first book in the Lords of the Underworld, and it introduced the world of the series. In this world, Pandora was not only a real person, but she was a female guard of the gods chosen from a number of other guards to guard a box that contained a multitude of demons. Pandora, however, was not the one to open the box. Rather, her fellow guards became enraged with jealousy that Pandora, a woman, had been selected instead of them to guard the box. They released the demons, intending to show the gods that they had been wrong in choosing Pandora. Instead, however, the gods took these guards who had betrayed the cause and bound them to the demons that escaped, so that each being was mix of immortal guard and demon.
In The Darkest Night, Maddox is the guard who is bound to the demon of Violence. Having been taken over by his demon after they were bound together, Maddox was the one who killed Pandora after the demon release and because of this has been cursed by the gods to be killed in the same manner she was, every night, to spend the night in hell, and to be reborn every morning. Ashlyn is a woman seeking the help of the 'angels' that she's heard the town people talking about. She is gifted, or perhaps cursed, with the ability to hear every conversation that has ever taken place where ever she stands. However, upon meeting Maddox, Ashlyn realizes that the voices are quiet so long as she is around him, and she's willing to do anything in her power to keep the voices quiet.
To put it simply, I liked this book. It wasn't exactly what I'd call 'cute', but it was cool and I simply enjoyed it. That's not to say that I omgloveadored this book, because I didn't. It's not exactly the next big thing, but it's definitely something I consider worth reading, if you like paranormal romance. It's a good first book, and as far as being an introduction to a new series, The Darkest Night did its job: it made me want to read the second book in the series.
I love books with mythology heavily influencing the settings and story, and if you're a mythology nut too, you're probably going to like The Darkest Night. If you like adult paranormal romance, you should at least look at The Darkest Night. And if you liked Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark-Hunter series, or any of Showalter's other books, you've probably already read this book. But if you haven't, it's available at most book stores, and I'd definitely suggest you pick it up.