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Lords of the Underworld Series by Gena Showalter (Books 1-7)

by on February 10, 2012

They opened Pandora’s Box and now they ARE:

Violence, Pain, Death, Disease, Disaster, Misery, Doubt, Promiscuity, Defeat, Lies, Secrets, and Wrath

Gena Showalter’s Lords of the Underworld (LOTU) are big names in paranormal romance and urban fantasy. The series takes place in Budapest and is based on the myth of Pandora’s Box. A long time ago, twelve immortal warriors opened Pandora’s Box and released all of the evils within. In order to stop them from destroying the world and contain them, each warrior had to become a demon’s keeper.

So, I have this love/hate relationship with LOTU because half of the time I think what I’m reading is a bunch of crap. Gena Showalter is akin to Charlaine Harris (author of the Sookie Stackhouse series) for me because she’s mega popular but I have no idea why. Ms. Showalter and Ms. Harris can do cheesy like it’s nobody’s business. Seriously. While I am impervious to Sookie’s southern belle charms, there is something about a group of bad boy, immortal warriors with butterfly tattoos living on top of a mountain in Budapest that just tickles my fancy. Oh, and yeah, the naked male torso cover pictures are way better than those weird glittery cartoon covers that are just the icing on the Sookie Stackhouse cake. 

The following are short reviews of books 1-7 with a few novellas thrown in for good measure. I’m just about to start reading book 8, The Darkest Surrender, but thought I’d recap for myself how bad some of the books were and also the good parts of the books that have kept me going past all of the WTF moments.

The Darkest Fire (Prequel)

Intense dislike. If you read this as your first introduction to LOTU, you will be blasted with cheeziness and once you manage to finish you will sit there for a moment, perplexed, and then wrinkle your nose as you say, “What the EFF was that?”. But take heart, it’s only 70 pages of yuckiness that follows the guardian of hell and the Goddess of Oppression as they… do something?

The Darkest Night (Book 1)

A lacklustre start to this series for me that follows Maddox, who is controlled by the demon of Violence, and his lady-love, Ashlyn, who has mysterious powers of her own. My first impression of the book was that Sherrilyn Kenyon does a better modern-day urban fantasy combined with Greek mythology series and J. R. Ward does a better warrior series. So, yeah.

The Darkest Kiss (Book 2)

Lucien is the keeper of Death in this one and he plays Grim Reaper 24/7. Anya, the Goddess of Anarchy, is his counterpart because, you know, she’s got attitude. My biggest complaint is the fact that they chose an unrelated cover model that has no relation to the novel other than to be eye candy. It’s appalling because, obviously, that is not Lucien who is covered in scars and the tattoo placement is all wrong. All wrong.

The Darkest Pleasure (Book 3)

All right, so with book 2 and 3 I felt like Gena and I were heading in the right direction. A little more development of the plot, better dialogue and more interesting characters are showing up. Reyes is the keeper of Pain meaning to pacify his demon he must either inflict pain on others or on himself. Seeing as he’s an immortal warrior, there’s a lot of pain he can handle without actually dying. Final verdict: not bad at all.

The Darkest Prison (Novella, Book 3.5)

This novella should be read after The Darkest Pleasure and features Nike and Atlas. I enjoyed this book because we get to see a glimpse of what’s happening away from the Lords and how there’s more to the story than what we’ve been seeing in Budapest. Reading this story actually made me interested in Gena’s version of Greek myth and not just interested in general. Don’t skip this one!

The Darkest Whisper (Book 4)

Hmmm… Best cover model and book so far? I think so! Sabin is the keeper of Doubt and can shred the confidence of anyone. Is it any coincidence that he meets a woman named Gwendolyn the Timid? It’s a good thing she’s also immortal and just so happens to be Sabin’s perfect match. A lot more plot development and I loved the secondary characters in this book more so than in previous ones.

The Darkest Angel (Novella, Book 4.5)

Another novella in the series that should be read after the Darkest Whisper. I would say it’s essential to the series as Lysander and Bianka, an unlikely duo of an angel and a harpy, are prominent secondary characters throughout the books. The book is contained in an anthology titled Hearts of Darkness and is a case of authors trying to ride the success of other authors. Oh, and the story was just okay for me.

The Darkest Passion (Book 5)

Okay, now this was the defining book in the series for me. There was actually a story here and I quite enjoyed reading about Aeron and Olivia. Aeron is the keeper of the demon of Wrath and has major anger management issues. Olivia is literally a fallen angel who has had her wings clipped after she refuses to kill him. Because, you know, there are assassin angels living up there in the heavens. Best book so far.

The Darkest Lie (Book 6)

My confidence in Gena Showalter and the LOTU series started to grow as I read this book because I couldn’t remember the last time I wanted to throw the book I was reading away. And, hello cutie on the front cover. I thought this book was a lot of fun as we follow Gideon (great name BTW) who is the keeper of the demon of Lies. It makes his demon purr when he tells lies and any truths that leave his lips has him hunched over in crippling pain.

The Darkest Secret (Book 7)

Oh, dear, we’ve relapsed. Over 400 pages of nonsense. Amun is the keeper of the demon of Secrets and the sad thing is that I was actually anticipating this book. Amun can divulge your deepest, darkest, ugliest secrets and he rarely speaks a word as secrets tend to come flooding out of his mouth when he does. This book is not how Amun’s story was supposed to go and needs to be erased from my memory immediately!

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One Comment
  1. Rebecca permalink

    Go write your own best selling book and leave the pro’s alone. Nobody likes a hater!!!

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