Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Gena Showalter - The Darkest Night

Lords of the Underworld Series:

The Darkest Night – Maddox/Violence and Ashlyn Darrow

Maddox has died every night at exactly midnight and his soul escorted by Death to the depths of hell only to be resurrected each morning for thousands of years. He is cursed, not only with the demon Violence which is bad enough but Zeus also cursed him to die each night stabbed 6 times in the torso.  Ashlyn hears things she shouldn’t. She hears every conversation that has ever happened in that spot no matter how long ago or language. Tormented by her “gift” she is sent to World Institute of Parapsychology by her parents.  As a child in the institute she leads an isolated existence until they figure out how they can use her. Ashlyn is sent around the world to “listen” for clues for paranormal activities, which is how she ends up in Budapest and the Lords fortress, she is convinced one of them can help her learn to control her abilities.  

Maddox is sent outside the fortress just before midnight, there are people trespassing on their land, Hunters and a women probably Bait (A female Hunters used to lure the Lords to be captured). Maddox kills the male hunters and as midnight gets closer he doesn’t know what to do with a frightened Ashlyn who claims not to be Bait and doesn’t even know what it is, so he just grabs her and takes her with him to the fortress.  Ashlyn is sobbing with relief for the first time the voices are gone, she doesn’t know how the enraged man was able to do it but she doesn’t care and she isn’t leaving him! Hauled over the man’s shoulder he takes her into the fortress and when they get there he is promptly stabbed to death by his “friends”, she is then thrown in the dungeon and to top it off the voices are back!  When Maddox comes to fetch her in the morning e is furious the woman is in the dungeon even though she is probably Bait. The more time Maddox spends with Ashlyn the more he is unwilling to let her go even if she does turn out to be Bait, she calms not only him but his inner demon, when she is around Violence isn’t spewing to get out.  Ashlyn does not want to leave this man, for the first time in her life the voices stop whenever he is around and it doesn’t hurt that he is gorgeous.  While Ashlyn stays at the fortress the war between the Lords and Hunters escalates to a new high, is it merely a coincidence that with Ashlyn’s arrival the Hunters arrive in mass as well?

You really feel for these two, both Her childhood is heartbreaking in its loneliness, her parents gave her away, the institute basically left her alone until they found a use for her, she can’t have friends, she can’t date, until she meet Maddox who for some reason when he is around she doesn’t hear any voices! When she is sobbing on the hill you really feel for her and realize some of the things you take for granted.  Maddox has rarely left the fortress in hundreds of years he has isolated himself because he fears what his demon will do, he has control but barely. The slightest thing can set him off and then people die, and then there is his curse every night he dies and that doesn’t do much for a social life.  Ashlyn seems to calm his inner demon but he is still frightened of what Violence is capable of and there is always the possibility that she is bait. With the escalating war, Maddox’s curses, the Lords and Ashlyn’s mortality can these two possibly make things work or will one of them end up dead?

4 moons out of 5

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