Customer Reviews


170 Reviews
5 star:
 (118)
4 star:
 (27)
3 star:
 (13)
2 star:
 (10)
1 star:
 (2)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who knew I'd love Strider so much?
I didn't care much for Strider early on in this series. It wasn't until The Darkest Secret that I ever really gave him much thought at all. Here, he charms me utterly with his over-inflated ego and inner dialogue. And while that may not sound all that attractive, I found him more endearing that I ever expected that I could.

As the story begins, Strider is...
Published on September 27, 2011 by Jen

versus
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Better than the last few
Loved Stridor. His sense of humor is warped and I like that in an H. I definitely think The Darkest Surrender was better than the last books (they have gone downhill since Sabin's). I have never liked Kaia but this book brings out a little more personality to her. It showed a side of her that had some vulnerability to it which made her more well-rounded than just a...
Published on September 30, 2011 by Amazon Customer


‹ Previous | 1 217 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who knew I'd love Strider so much?, September 27, 2011
By 
This review is from: The Darkest Surrender (Lords of the Underworld) (Mass Market Paperback)
I didn't care much for Strider early on in this series. It wasn't until The Darkest Secret that I ever really gave him much thought at all. Here, he charms me utterly with his over-inflated ego and inner dialogue. And while that may not sound all that attractive, I found him more endearing that I ever expected that I could.

As the story begins, Strider is working hard to resist his attraction to Kaia. At the end of the last book, she revealed that he is her consort, but he rejected her outright. After all, he thought he had feelings for Haidee and on top of that, Kaia once slept with Paris. What if Strider couldn't measure up to the Lord of Promiscuity? It would cause him immeasurable pain. But Kaia refuses to give up, and she forces herself back into his orbit.

In the meantime, Kaia and her sisters are summoned to participate in the Harpy Games. The last time they took part was over a thousand years ago, when Kaia made a terrible mistake that resulted in the deaths of many of her kind. Now, it's clear that the Skyhawks are targets; their lives are in danger. So Strider comes along, knowing his blood could help Kaia in the event she is injured.

The story surrounding the Harpy games is really quite good. The backstory allows you to see vulnerability in Kaia, who is overwhelmingly strong. We learn alot about the Harpy culture and the bonds Kaia shares with her sisters. At the same time, a real relationship begins to develop between Kaia and Strider. It's fun watching them challenge themselves and each other, yet somehow they each manage to put the other person first. Like in all of the Lord books, the sexual tension is uber-hot and the payoff is sooo satisfying. Win!

We're also treated to a side story with William and Kane which shines some light on Willy's background and Kane's possible future. And additional cut scenes feature Paris and his search for Sienna. Hallelujah -- Paris' story is finally up next. That poor guy really needs a happy ending. He has been miserable forever. Almost 5 stars.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Better than the last few, September 30, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Loved Stridor. His sense of humor is warped and I like that in an H. I definitely think The Darkest Surrender was better than the last books (they have gone downhill since Sabin's). I have never liked Kaia but this book brings out a little more personality to her. It showed a side of her that had some vulnerability to it which made her more well-rounded than just a killer party girl.

Don't get me wrong...I am a HUGE LOTU fan and love the concept and the beginning of the series (Maddox, Lucian, Reyes), but I am finding it a little too close to a take off of the IAD series from Kresley Cole.

The LOTU series started with "not quite" human women who I could relate to but there was still a sense of paranormal to the books. Placing them in a situation like they were in with the immortals and having them fall in love made for very interesting reading. It was masterful how she somehow found a way for them to help the Lords and become "more than" human so they can stay with the immortals. And I even loved Anya, she was hilarious. A perfect foil to Lucian. She complemented calm, sweet Ashlyn and strong but not over the top Danika.)

But somewhere it veered off towards a copycat of the IAD series. The harpies were added (instead of Valkyries)but they attempt to act the same, the Harpy games (a few of the books in IAD had an immortal contest), etc.. There are enough similiarities to make me stop and have to remember which series I'm reading. But the harpies are more annoying and ridiculous than the Valkyries, who are amusing and entertaining. And while I like the comedy, it seems to be more of a college frat party at the fortress with hunting/fighting the hunters a secondary concern. Even with all this, I will continue to read for Paris' story and am patiently waiting for my fav, Torin. What I did like about the book was that it brought more of Kane in since he had basically just been a by-stander who has had to stay at the fortress with Torin and Cameo. And who doesn't love to see more William?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite enough inner conflict..., October 12, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
First, full disclosure: I am a Lords of the Underworld fan. Of course I'll keep buying the series, and the 3 stars reflects on this book's place in the series as a whole. Gena Showalter does a much better job than most when it comes to paranormal authors.

That being said, this story seemed to lack the deep inner conflict of most of the LotU characters.

This is because, in part, both Strider and Kaia are more laid-back, sarcastic, mostly easy going characters. Sure, they each have a few problems, but their emotional struggle wasn't that great. There were two major points that could've been developed further:

1) Strider's demon, Defeat, barely played a role in this book. It almost makes it seem as if he got off easy compared to, say, Torin (keeper of Disease) or Amun (keeper of Secrets). The one time Defeat had any real impact at all, and Strider felt pain, it really didn't seem that debilitating compared to the descriptions we've been given in earlier books. The Lords' demons have played a much bigger role in the past, and Defeat could've been used a lot more to strengthen the relationship and story.

2) Kaia's confidence about her abilities seemed to disappear and reappear at will. If pretty much every harpy refers to you as the Disappointment, I think it would affect your confidence more often than just whenever your mother shows up, even if she did disown you. And when Kaia's uneasiness did show, it was not always consistent.

So yes, I still love the LofU, and I have high hopes for Kane (keeper of Disaster) based on the beginnings of his tale scattered throughout this book, but I hope more of the angstiness (not a real word, but it fits) returns in future books.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Like Reading the Rough Draft, November 6, 2011
This review is from: The Darkest Surrender (Lords of the Underworld) (Mass Market Paperback)
I love this whole series. But. I can honestly say that this is a book you could skip. Move on to the rest of the series without reading this one. Its contribution to the overall story arc is minimal. The characters are sucked away from the fortress for events that basically take place in a vacuum, and the three sentences it would take to summarize the important plot points that you'll need to know in the future are undoubtedly going to be in the next novel anyway. The only reason to read this book would be to savor the experience and the particular details of how things unfolded, and you can't do that with this book because if you try to savor the details you'll be disappointed. The plot is there, but the details are lacking. I would suggest NOT buying this book. Wait for the next one, and buy that one instead. Just skip this one.

I think G. Showalter is a fantastic writer. But. Reading this novel was like reading the rough draft of what was going to be a spectacular novel, after the editors had helped her clean it up. Only, nobody ever cleaned it up. I say that because there were a lot of ideas just thrown onto the page (especially in the last 1/3 of the book) without being really incorporated into the story. The old rule of writing: "Show us, don't tell us," was being violated left and right. There was a lot of summary, a lot of shorthand, a lot of interactions that were cut really, really short; almost like a topic sentence for a scene was just included in the book AS the scene. Instead of seeing things happen, we 'saw' a character summarize what happened, after the fact. This distanced the reader from the tension, action, and passion, and made the novel seem... halfhearted. Unfinished. Pale. Lacking.

I was intrigued by Kaia in the previous books, and wanted to read her story. The heroine's pain over being rejected resonated with me (haven't we all had our hearts broken once?) and I wanted to stick it out for her, but the writing deteriorated as the story went on. The passion and romantic tension and fear of rejection and everything that would have made this story exciting, and touching, and emotionally alive, was so washed out and dead that it wasn't satisfying to read her story after all. I would have been better off just imagining how they got together, and skipping this book.

The thing that really bugged me the most - the thing that crossed the line between 'Not the best' and 'Have to warn other people to skip it' - was that a bunch of new things were just thrown into the story at the end without any warning. Events that we hadn't 'seen' in the story were thrown in afterwards as a really cheesy, clumsy way to resolve issues that had come up. Like: "Oh, I forgot to tell you about this inheriting magical abilities thing that never came up before... Oh, I forgot to tell you about my dad, it's actually really important... Oh, I forgot to tell you, that guy who tried to kill you is actually a really nice guy... Oh, I forgot to tell you, I knew that these bad guys were following you, so I took care of it already.... Oh, I forgot to tell you, we got married, a few pages ago, while you were unconscious... Oh, I forgot to tell you before, but I already figured that out before now, because I didn't tell you about it, but I felt this memory... Oh, I forgot to mention, but I knew all along that they would kidnap me.... Oh, I forgot to tell you, you were given a magical potion when you were a baby that somehow solves about five issues you were having with your dad, so, don't worry about being kidnapped! This magic potion also solves the magic abilities issues people were asking about! Great potion! No idea what it was ...Oh, I forgot to tell you, this was really all part of my plan all along, and I arranged everything... Oh, I forgot to tell you, there are magical guards stationed all the way around us, at a distance of several miles, so we are both utterly isolated and utterly safe... Oh, I forgot to tell you, I'm fireproof... Oh, I forgot to tell you, you were actually so badly wounded you were dying, back there.... Oh I forgot to tell you, I was on fire a few pages ago, but I didn't give up, because I love you enough to burn for you... Oh, I forgot to tell you, I took control over the Hunters, for no good reason, at the beginning of the book." These are people who have been hanging out together, without full time jobs, for hundreds of years. And apparently, in all that free time, they never mentioned a LOT of stuff.

One or two revelations would have been fine, but it was like every issue that they had in the last 100 pages was being resolved in this really lazy, clumsy, repetitive way: "Oh, I took care of that a while ago..." It wasn't even exciting. Some of it didn't even make sense. Reading the last 1/3 of the book was like reading the SUMMARY of the book. It was driving me NUTS! Especially since some of the scenes that were skipped over would have been really great emotional romantic scenes if they had been written out and included in the storyline at the time they happened. Like when he was burning, but loved her enough to endure it? Why couldn't we see that happen? It would have taken three sentences at the end of the scene we already had in the book. Instead, it is tacked on 20 pages later as a 'by the way, back when that happened? I was burning.' Compare "She was badly wounded, she fell asleep." And then later "By the way, I saw that you were dying, so I married you to save your life," with what we COULD have had, if the author had pulled out all the stops and written the scene as it happened, with the girl passing out, and the guy realizing that she's dying, and despite his earlier hesitations about an immortal commitment he can't live without her, and he slashes himself open and holds her to him, and it's not about sex, it's about love, and he has to give her some of his strength and tie them together forever. I know this author could write a blockbuster scene, because she's done it before, so why didn't she do it? And it would have been so much better than surprising the reader later with a quick throw-away line "By the way, back when you were injured? You were actually dying, so, we're married now." What was that?! Give us the goods!

The other thing that bugged me - and this was also a 'rough draft' issue - was that sometimes the heroine or her narration would say things about harpies in general that are not consistent with what we know about harpies from previous books. Like "Harpies couldn't fly, they could only glide, so she would have to climb the cliff hand over hand, exhausting herself," or "The men were on the other side of the room, whispering, so she couldn't hear what they were saying," or something like that - where a limitation on her abilities advanced the plot - but from previous books we know that harpies CAN fly several miles, up a mountain, while carrying two people at at time, and harpies CAN hear your heartbeat from outside your house if they listen for it. I know LOTU is a big universe and sometimes details get lost, but this is annoying because several times these mistakes about harpy abilities are a central part of a necessary plot device, so the plot ONLY works because of this mistake on the author's part.

Everything taken together makes this feel like an unfinished novel, or a rough draft. Don't bother reading it for the plot - because what little you need to know will be in the next book anyway - and don't bother reading it to experience a richly drawn story, because the details aren't there. This is the only LOTU book you can skip, and I suggest skipping this book to save yourself the frustration and disappointment.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved It! Pure reading fun, October 6, 2011
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Loved this book. Enough reviewers will give you the details on the plot so I'll just state my reactions. It made me laugh out loud while reading most of it on the bus on my way to work so I got a few stares but I couldn't help myself. Some of the sex scenes were so hot that I had to make myself stop reading them in public LOL.

I don't know how anyone can be negative about this book. It has my renewed my interest in this series after I lost it about 5 books before this one. This was pure reading fun for me.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Darkest Surrender, October 1, 2011
By 
Future Slayer Girl (aka: kitten) (The Hellmouth (aka: Sunnydale)) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I would have to say that to date, this is my favorite Lords book. I think the Harpies remind me so much of Kresley Cole's Valkyrie that it sort of appeases my miss of that series. I have a sneaky feeling these women work together on that level. I can't help but anticipate the next book in the series. I found that in previous books when they would sort of divert to go show what some of the other Lords are doing like Willam and Kane, and Paris I would get distracted and sometimes just glance through it to make sure I pick up the story. With this I was to totally consumed. I'm slightly worried that Gena might try to force Willam into another love interest pairing and try to pull him away from Gilly, if that happens I might have a huge beef with Showalter lol. I think its fate to the tenth degree but I think that as much as Gilly will appreciate what Willam has done, if she finds out, I have a sinking feeling it will cause a momentary rift between them.

The book from beginning to end made me just know that much more that no matter what the price I will aways preorder a Lords of the Underworld book.

Favorite Quotes

"Well." She kissed his chest, and she sounded self-assured when she added, "That's because I'm made of awesome." "And dipped in awesome." "And sprinkled with awesome." "Gods, I love the taste of awesome." Another chuckle escaped her, warm and rich as wine. "Thank you." "My pleasure. And I mean that. You're a goddess, Kaia." Another kiss, soft and sweet. "Nah. That's just a rumor one of my old boyfriends started."

As she studied him, she lost her breath. His pale hair shagged around his fallen angel face. His lips were red, as if he'd chewed them. A lot. He wore a black T-shirt that read I Heart William.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Better than the last one..., October 5, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I had really been looking forward to this book. And, in some ways, it didn't disappoint. I had liked Strider since the beginning (very intrigued by how the demon Defeat worked) and the set-up with Kaia in "Darkest Secret" left me wanting more.

For fans of Cole's IAD series, you'll see a similar set-up in this book with the Harpies participating in games similar to the Hie that was featured in a couple of the IAD books. (Cole's version and method are better, but it was interesting in this book, as well. In fact, I wish there had been MORE focus on the games and the ways of the Harpies.)

Why did I deduct two stars? This is probably an odd complaint to make about a romance novel, but I deducted 2 stars because it was TOO focused on the romance. To the detriment of main characters. Most of the book is focused on the internal musings of Kaia and Strider and both of them are stuck on the idea that the other person won't love them enough. (In Strider's case, he's worried that Kaia won't be attracted to him enough b/c she's been with Paris.) I have no problem with the hero and heroine having some insecurities, but - after awhile - their repetitive thoughts get old. I was ready for some action and some more Lords interaction.

Another complaint I have is that the Lords are written like women a lot of the time. Or, rather, the way women think men are when they are with each other, but men actually aren't like that. In particular, the conversations between Lysander, Strider, and Sabin... at times, I was shaking my head. I like my heroes in romance novels to act like MEN and these guys... well, they were pansies half the time.

Kaia is a heroine I have conflicted feelings about. On the one hand, she's everything I hate in a heroine. She's insecure and she chases after Strider over and over again (in a very desperate way) and is almost pathetic about it. She's got Mommy Issues, so that is supposed to explain why and make it all OK. It still kind of wasn't OK for me and I felt like the woman needed to grow a backbone. HOWEVER... what made me decide that she was actually the perfect heroine for Strider was those exact same things. Because he houses the demon of Defeat, Strider actually can't be with someone who he has to chase after. That would be torture for him. So... in a weird way... her being pathetic was actually a good thing.

What I did love? The romance between them was sweet and hot. Like I said, I do think that Kaia is the perfect person for Strider, because she didn't play any games. I think Strider is rather funny and he was always one of my favorite Lords. (Although I do think that Gideon and Sabin's books were better.) It took me a few days to finish the book (because I kept getting interrupted), but I was never bored and I always wanted to go back to it. So Showalter DID hook me and she made me want to see their HEA.

The tidbits we got of Paris's book (and Kane's book?) were INCREDIBLY interesting and well written. I cannot wait to see what's in store for them. Especially Kane.

Bottom Line: I would recommend it, but definitely wouldn't say that it's the best in the series or anything.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I wanted to love it, October 10, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Darkest Surrender (Lords of the Underworld) (Mass Market Paperback)
I really wanted to love this story. Strider is one of my favorite Lords, but unfortunately, the story just didn't do him justice. I got tired of the Harpy games, I grew weary of the many characters that came in and out of the story, at one point there were like over 30 people in one scene! I was especially disappointed in the three story lines at once thing, two of which were not resolved. The multiple story lines took away from the two people I wanted to get to know, Kaia and Strider. Hopefully Paris' book will be about him and only him. If not, I'm not sure I will read any more.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book!, October 1, 2011
This review is from: The Darkest Surrender (Lords of the Underworld) (Mass Market Paperback)
The Darkest Secret was somewhat of a disappointed, but she brought it back with The Darkest Surrender. I was sucked in from the very beginning and adored the main characters. The humor in each of their thoughts was fun, but it also set them apart from some previous characters. Even personality wise, they were different. I am happy this book came out so well and can't wait for Paris'.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Will make you fall in love with paranormal romance, September 15, 2013
This review is from: The Darkest Surrender (Lords of the Underworld) (Mass Market Paperback)
Strider just has to win. Whatever the competition--whether it be a friendly bet or a battle that sheds lives--Defeat, the demon he is plagued with, forces him to win, no matter the cost. Everything is a dangerous, vengeful, radiant, and sometimes even erotic game to Strider, which is why, naturally, he is enticed by the idea of the Harpy Games. As he gets to know Kaia and involved in the challenge she sets forth, his screwed-up personal demons will make winning harder than ever before, and they just may lead him to falling for an equally screwed-up girl. After all, she is a Harpy aka a descendant of Lucifer aka the master of all things demonic--no biggie. Yeah. He's got it bad.

The Darkest Surrender is testament to the fact that Gena Showalter is one of the leading ladies of paranormal fiction. EVERYTHING about this book is so well done--the plot, characters, romance, tone, transitional flow--all of it.

The gradual love is at once tender and entertaining; to me, it was the perfect romance because it's realistic, well interlaced with the actual story, and of course, sizzling hot. The way Strider and Kaia clash is so funny because it couldn't be more obvious how similar they are, and thus in his opinion, all the more wrong for each other. As for the relationship, it is deliciously, wonderfully bad. The thick sexual tension, amusing banter, and explosive chemistry and feuding portray their attraction flawlessly, which impressed me greatly. The fact that this book isn't just a romance definitely earns it brownie points.

Kaia's unabashed (and publicly declared) crush on Strider demonstrates the kind of girl she is: an unstoppable force, a fiery temper, passion incarnate. Strider, who's way more reserved and tormented--swoon!--wants to deny his lethal attraction for Kaia but can't seem to control himself around her--and that isn't his demon talking. His desire to dominate the one girl no one else can control, the one girl who scratches everyone else, but treats him to the tenderest of caresses, is both his sickness and cure. The way he slowly discovers how much he really needs her, and not just sexually, is heart-melting and exactly the kind of love us romance readers live to read about.

I love how Lords of the Underworld takes place in a world of various species; typically, paranormal romance series involve one type of being (vampires, zombies, etc.), but nope, here, we have Harpies, demons, Fae, Phoenixes, gods, and other creatures of Greek mythology, so in and of itself, this series is the motherlode of the supernatural. So fascinating and creative--props to Gena Showalter for developing such an elaborate, magical, livable world. How I'd love to just climb into one of her books and be one of the characters.

Not having read previous installments in the series, I was a bit confused by the Realm of Blood and Shadows and the worlds in which the book takes place, but the plot and characters are so original and intricate, that I feel The Darkest Surrender works fine as a standalone novel. That being said, the perfectly entwined storylines of the various other Lords--Promiscuity, Doubt, and Disaster, to name a few--leave room and anticipation for the next books; I'm definitely eager to keep with with and try the series from the beginning now.

I'll end on a note praising the snarky and hilarious tone, which is applicable for pretty much of Gena Showalter's novels. Her style is genius, in both the way she personalizes her characters, and the witty one-liners that deserve gold medals. Even if you don't like the story, you will fall in love with the way Showalter writes, which is why you should at least give this series a chance.

Pros: Amazing characters // Humorous, with plenty of wit and sass to go around // Complex, prolonged plot that completely absorbed me // Secondary characters' stories are just as intriguing, making me want to read the previous and next books in the series // Can be read as a standalone, although having a grasp of what the series is about may be helpful in understanding setting

Cons: Some scenes are unnecessarily drawn out // The constantly shifting stories get a little confusing at times

Verdict: This is the kind of book that will make you become obsessed with paranormal romance. From the entirely consuming fictional world constructed, to the lovable, flawed, and vibrant characters, to the unconventional romance with a sigh-worthy "ever after," The Darkest Surrender is a book will preoccupy you in the most frustrating and fulfilling way. Definitely give these sexy and tragically dark Lords of the Underworld a try; Gena Showalter does not disappoint!

Rating: 8 out of 10 hearts (4 stars): An engaging read; highly recommended.

Source: Complimentary copy provided by Romance Novel News in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you, Carolyn!).
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 217 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

The Darkest Surrender (Lords of the Underworld)
The Darkest Surrender (Lords of the Underworld) by Gena Showalter (Mass Market Paperback - September 27, 2011)
$7.99 $7.19
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.