REVIEW: The Darkest Whisper by Gena Showalter

Wednesday, October 28, 2009 1:00
Posted in category Review

Book CoverLiviania’s review of The Darkest Whisper (Lords of the Underworld, Book 4) by Gena Showalter
Paranormal romance released by HQN 25 Aug 09

This was my second Lords of the Underworld novel and third Gena Showalter overall.  Now, she’s no Kresley Cole, but I definitely enjoy her writing.  She pulls you into the story and gets things moving immediately.  Heck, The Darkest Whisper begins mid-battle.  That’s the kind of badass beginning an immortal warrior and his harpy love deserve.

And if you like your romantic leads best when they’re overcoming large obstacles, you’ll love Sabin and Gwen.  Sabin, like all the Lords of the Underworld, contains a demon.  His is Doubt, constantly needling at the psyches of those around him.  His girlfriends have a tendency to kill themselves, which puts a real damper on his love life.  It doesn’t help that he’s totally focused on the leader of the Hunters, Galen, and willing to use anybody if it means reaching his goal.

Gwen, on the other hand, grew up confused by the conflict of her violent harpy nature with her softer, angelic side.  It undermined her confidence and turned her into a meek, scared woman.  Being captured and forced to watch other women tortured didn’t do much to make her feel better about herself.  She’s exactly the sort of woman Sabin should avoid.  Yet Showalter makes it work.  Gwen’s confidence grows quickly, but naturally.  In the end you might wish she decided some things differently, but her decisions were true to her character.  She’s soft-hearted, but knows she can defeat anyone in the room if she needs to.

I find it hard to discuss The Darkest Whisper critically.  Showalter made that part of my brain click off.  She made me sit back and relax, and I let her since I needed it.  I must say I admire how she handles her massive cast.  The others aren’t enigmas waiting for their own books, but receive a decent amount of character development and have adventures unrelated to the main couple.

I particularly enjoyed the interaction between Torin and Cameo.  Theirs is an unusual relationship for a romance, including the fact they have to stick to sex acts like mutual masturbation due to Torin’s condition and don’t intend to ever love each other.  (Also, Torin was attracted to Nïx’s ears, which makes me long for an even fuller crossover between the Lords of the Underworld and the Immortals After Dark.)

I also enjoyed the development of Gideon.  He is hard to understand when outside his POV, since he can’t say what he means.  But inside he’s extremely interesting – devoted to Paris and enjoying his demon, since it comes with a nice set of benefits.  The others tend to angst about it at least a little more, so it’s a nice change of pace.

I do enjoy how the series arc is developing.  Searches for artifacts can be annoying, but Showalter downplays that aspect of it.  She focuses more on what the enemy is doing to defeat the Lords, what Cronus is up to in his position of power over the Lords, and what might happen to them once they do manage to gather the artifacts and restore Pandora’s Box.

It makes it worth coming back for the story, not just for seeing a favorite character pair off happily ever after.

Livianias iconGrade: B+

Read other reviews on this series by following its tag here.

Summary:

New York Times bestselling sensation Gena Showalter returns with her long-awaited next installment of the Lords of the Underworld series…

He is the keeper of Doubt and his entire world’s about to be rocked.

Bound by the demon of doubt, Sabin unintentionally destroys even the most confident of lovers. So the immortal warrior spends his time on the battlefield instead of the bedroom, victory his only concern…until he meets Gwendolyn the Timid. One taste of the beautiful redhead, and he craves more.

Gwen, an immortal herself, always thought she’d fall for a kind human who wouldn’t rouse her darker side. But when Sabin frees her from prison, battling their enemies for the claim to Pandora’s box turns out to be nothing compared to the battle Sabin and Gwen will wage against love…

Read an excerpt here.

Other books in the series:

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