Customer Review

49 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Truth Is..., July 14, 2010
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This review is from: The Darkest Lie (Hqn) (Kindle Edition)
I've been a monster fan of Showalter's LotU series since first spending time with Maddox, but I have to admit, after book six, I'm a little befuddled. In The Darkest Lie we see the development of the relationship between Gideon, keeper of Lies, and Scarlet, keeper of Nightmares, plot threads with Galen (Hope), head of the Hunters, and Mnemosyne, Rhea's sister and Cronus' sister-in-law, not to mention the threads with other Lords, Strider (Defeat) in particular, but also a quest with Amun (Secrets), Aeron (formerly Wrath) and William (not a Lord, but still). I gotta be honest, as much as I totally love the series and commend Showalter on her imagination and originality, I felt there were way too many balls up in the air in The Darkest Lie, to the detriment of the development of Gideon and Scarlet as individual characters and together in their relationship, and this is the first book of the series that, as a whole, didn't quite knock it out of the park for me.

Believe me, I'm hesitant in saying that, because honestly, I liked the book, and there were parts that I enjoyed much better than in the two previous books (the ending in particular). I love Gideon - always have - and I enjoyed Scarlet's character very much (other than having a slight issue with the repetition of her inner dialogue in relation to Gideon). Showalter did an excellent job on her personality and the originality of her demon, though man, Showalter is tough on character backstory! The torment Scarlet has lived with through thousands of years would have demonized a lesser immortal, that's for sure. Still, she is fiery, contradictory, tenacious, stubborn, and strong willed, and I felt she was the perfect match for Gideon, who has always been one of my favorite Lords. I loved their scenes and all of their interactions - the pair were even one of the high points in the last book. The problem is that there weren't enough of their scenes or their development, and that's becoming a familiar issue with the series.

The trend of meeting a Lord's HEA character in books prior to that Lord's actual story is one that's not sitting well with me. I'm not sure what's niggling me about it, but it's making the romance aspect seem almost anticlimactic. It's also at least part of the reason that I haven't felt there's been enough development with the featured couple in their own books lately. It would definitely prevent a new reader from joining the series at this point. These are no longer and in no way stand-alone books, not that the first few would have been completely successful as such. Now, though, there's way too much going on to allow for enough exposition to bring a new reader up to speed. Hell, there's no time for enough exposition to remind readers already familiar with the series about what's going on.

Also, a couple of things started to wear on me while I was reading, most notably, the latter books are virtually unrecognizable from the earlier books. Does anyone remember the war between Hunters and Lords? Lately the series is more about godly politics and machinations - and I don't enjoy that as much. Plus, I'm all for a series growing and developing, but there are so many different characters and plot threads involved in The Darkest Lie that there was more than one point in the book that I had to stop and think about how everything is supposed to connect. And I failed to make some of those connections. Not to mention, while I was originally of the opinion that the addition of the pathos of the Titans and Greeks was interesting, it's starting to weigh down the overall arc.

What did happen to the fight between the Lords and Galen's Hunters? There was a scene or two tossed in here, but it was more a nod given than actual story arc progression. And I think Showalter has started too many threads with too many characters that provide too many teasers without any sort of resolution. What is/was William? What is Ex? How will Gilly's issues with William be resolved? What's Sienna going to do now that she's burdened with Wrath? Will Atlas be joining the fray with his mate now that his name's been brought up, as was alluded to in his short story? What the hell is Strider (Defeat) doing making blanket decisions about the cloak?

Here's my big question: What happened to a paranormal romance book that introduces the romantic lead pair, develops their characters and their relationship, and gives them a hard-earned but deserving HEA in one book, with the overall series arc developing alongside, occasionally overlapping, but never overshadowing that relationship? That question is currently going unanswered in The Darkest Lie and the LotU series. I'm still a fan of the series. I still love Showalter and her stories. The book is well written in technique, with all the aplomb Showalter always exhibits. But if I'm to be completely honest, the non-relationship plot threads are overwhelming the relationships in these books lately, and it's lessening my enjoyment of the stories. 3.5 Stars.

Originally reviewed for One Good Book Deserves Another.
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Comments

Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 21, 2010 2:22:15 PM PDT
Glee says:
totally agree with you. I felt this way with the last LOtU book so was up in the air about this one. Thank you for making the decision for me, won't buy until on sale. Last book was exhausting and gave me a headache.

Posted on Aug 23, 2010 8:51:04 AM PDT
E.Capri says:
Tracy,

Thanks again for another objective review. I started out reading the Lords of the Underworld series a few months ago because I had joined the Vine Voice here on amazon, little did I know at the time the book I had selected to review "The Darkest Whisper" was part of a series and well into it at that. However, I did read it and review it, but then I felt obligated to go back and read the first couple of books in the series, because I can't stand feeling left in the dark where a series is concerned. Unfortunately my interest in continuing the series never took off.

By the way I started reading the 5th installment of the Lords of Satyr- Dane's book. Its to early for me give an opinion on it, but there is something right now going on that I'm not sure will make or break the book as a whole...I'll keep you posted.

C.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 23, 2010 9:26:05 AM PDT
Tracy says:
Thanks for the comment, Glee. When you get a chance to read it, stop by and let me know if you felt as I did. Way too much non-relationship stuff going on and while some of it's interesting, together it overwhelms the book.
~Tracy

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 23, 2010 9:31:41 AM PDT
Tracy says:
Hey, C!
Glad to hear you started Dane. Let me know how it goes.

The Darkest Whisper was one of my favorites in the LotU series (except for the ending, which ticked me off), but I can't imagine starting the series there. I'm gonna have a look-see at your review when I get a chance. I'm curious about your impressions, as my review of The Darkest Lie mentions that I don't believe these latter books in the series to be easy to jump into for new readers. Did you actually go back and read a few books from the start of the series? I wasn't sure where your interest in continuing the series started to wane from your post.

Great talking to you again!
~Tracy

Posted on Aug 26, 2010 10:20:22 AM PDT
Rania Melhem says:
Tracy,
I totally agree with you about the way too many balls in the air in this book. This however doesn't mean that I wont be reading the series and waiting impatiently for the next book to come out (next Amun and Stryder).
What really bugged me, and only because it made things almost too easy to resolve, is the introduction of Lysander and the rest of the angels. Now whenever anything starts to go seriously wrong for the Lords, all Gena has to do is send Lysander to the rescue .

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 26, 2010 10:25:20 AM PDT
Tracy says:
Rania,
Thanks for reading and commenting on my review! I hadn't thought of the Lysander angle, but you're right - that could be a potential catastrophe, not only if Lysander's sent in on a rescue, but if he ISN'T, then you have to start wondering why not.

I'm still a huge fan of this series and am also anxiously awaiting Amun's story. We've had one book with a guy who can only lie - what's going to happen when a guy can't speak at all?? I can't wait to find out.

Thanks again for commenting!
~Tracy
One Good Book Deserves Another

Posted on Jan 30, 2011 4:11:04 PM PST
Excellent review, I agree 100%, lately with some paranormal romances, I have been wondering the same thing, and feeling a bit frustrated, what happened to lead character stories and focusing on their relationship. Sometimes I feel there is too much taking place, too many sub-plots.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 31, 2011 8:39:23 AM PST
Tracy says:
Thank you for your comment, Sweetamory. I'm happy to hear you liked the review. I, too, have noticed a disturbing trend towards the excessive sub-plots and a lessening of romantic development in several long-standing and at once favorite paranormal romance series I read. It's a trend I hope turns around, because I find myself drawing further and further away from a genre that I really enjoy.

And that's a shame.

Thanks again!
~Tracy
OGBDA
http://one-good-book.blogspot.com
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