As Keeper of Lies, Gideon can recognize when he's being lied to, but when he meets Scarlet, the Keeper of Nightmares, and she tells him that she's his wife, Gideon can't tell if she speaks true or false. I won't say much on the truth of the matter, but I will pose these questions: What if someone caused you to believe something so completely that there is no room for doubt? What would you do if it all turned out to be false? Where Scarlet remembers a whole life with Gideon before their possession, Gideon only remembers snippets, and none of it is what Scarlet remembers. So who's memory is correct? Even with this possible falsehood between them, Gideon and Scarlet still manage to love each other. It's a painful road they take to get to that point, but it's also beautiful. We also find out an interesting tidbit about their demons, Lies and Nightmares.
While Gideon and Scarlet's story is the main one in The Darkest Lie, there are three smaller plotlines that set up the stories for future books. One is about Amun and how he was overrun by demons while helping Aeron free Legion from Hell. The next is about Sienna and how she feels used and betrayed by Paris, but her rage at Cronus for making her the new Keeper of Wrath has her trying to escape and find Paris for help. And the final one is about Strider and how he finds Haidee, who is actually Hadiee, the woman responsible for Baden's death, and captures her to bring back to the fortress. Like I said earlier, these three plotlines will set up the next three books in the Lords of the Underworld series, so they're kinda important to pay attention to.
Some observations I noticed in The Darkest Lie are that Cronus, as his age regresses, seems more friendly than when he was first released from Tartarus. This really shows that age does make your more cranky, LOL! And another that should be watched for is that William may or may not be Lucifer's brother. He also may or may not have a connection to the Four Horsemen. Nothing about William is made clear, but we are given small nuggets to keep us guessing.
The Darkest Lie is about uncovering what is true and false. It's about finding what's worth risking everything for. It's about knowing when it's time to let go and when it's time to keep holding on. And it's about realizing that though your mind may not know the truth, your heart will always lead you true. Truth and lies were the foundation for Gideon and Scarlet's relationship, but their hearts never lead them astray. While the lies caused them untold pain and sorrow, the truth gave them unknown joy and happiness.
I can't wait to read Amun's story in The Darkest Secret. How will he rid himself of the demons overrunning his body? How can one female, hated by the Lords for centuries, save Amun in his darkest hour?(less)
Aeron, Keeper of Wrath, has been freed from his blood lust curse thanks to the sacrifice his friend Paris, Keeper of Promiscuity, made by giving up the one woman he can't forget. Aeron has taken it upon himself to care for Paris, who has fallen into a dangerous depression, as a way to repay his friend for saving him. But Aeron can't understand Paris's draw to a human, with their short lifespans and weaknesses. And he feels that he has no need for such things.
"One day, someone's going to fascinate you, draw and ensnare you, and you'll crave her with every cell in your body. I hope she drives you insane. I hope, for a little while at least, she denies you, leading you on a merry chase. Perhaps then you'll understand a glimmer of my pain."
These men are more honorable and unselfish than their counterparts, the Hunters. Would a Hunter give up his own happiness to save another Hunter, like Paris did for Aeron? From what I've seen of them so far in the series, I think not. The Lords are far from the evil the Hunters accuse them of being.
After Aeron pretty much dares Cronus to bring him a woman who will "torment and deny" him, he meets Olivia. Only thing is, Cronus didn't send her and it's Aeron who torments and denies her. Olivia is the angelic presence that Aeron had felt watching him. But unable to fulfill her orders to kill him, she fell from the heavens. "So here I am. Yours." She fought her way out of hell to be with Aeron. The Problem? Legion hates Olivia and wants to kill her. But because of the sacrifice Olivia made to save Aeron's life, he won't allow it. Thus begins the catfight to end them all. Legion won't let Olivia have Aeron without a fight.
This leads Legion to literally make a deal with the devil. Lucifer offers Legion a human body more beautiful than Olivia's, and she'll be able to keep it as long as she can seduce Aeron into sleeping with her. But such deals are never that easy. Let's just say that if Legion fails, Lucifer's revenge against the One True Deity will be way easier to achieve. And he wants his High Lords to make it possible.
We meet a new Lordess in The Darkest Passion. Her name is Scarlet, she's Rhea's daughter, and the Keeper of Nightmares. Scarlet seems familiar to Gideon, Keeper of Lies, but he can't remember from where. "Well, well, well. Lies. It really is you. We're together again at last." Scarlet apparently knows Gideon very well, she even claims to be his wife. TO PART IS TO DIE. This line will be very important in the future.
A few other tidbits we learn in this book are that The Unspoken Ones will give the Lords the Paring Rod for Cronus's head; Olivia reveals some details about Ashlyn and Maddox's babies (yes, I said babies); and Cronus and Rhea are more like the Lords than they ever thought. Quite a lot happens in this book.
**SPOILERS** Finally, Danika finishes a new painting that fortells Aeron's death. According to Lysander, the only way to protect those he loves is for Aeron to die. Let me tell you, it broke my heart when Wrath said goodbye to Aeron, then my heart was shattered when the other Lords came out and saw what happened to Aeron. Their grief was palpable and I get teary just thinking about these strong warriors weeping for the death of their friend.
Something good did come of Aeron's death. There may be a way to free Baden, the former Keeper of Distrust and Aeron's best friend, from the afterlife realm Zeus created for the Lords. Aeron swears to Baden that he will find that way to release him.
The Darkest Passion, I feel, is the most emotional book in the series so far. My favorite book in the Lords of the Underworld series was Maddox's story, that is until I read Aeron's in The Darkest Passion. The next Lord to have his story told is Gideon in The Darkest Lie. Is Scarlet really his wife, or have they both been lead to believe in a lie?(less)
The tension really is at a breaking point in Hidden. Neferet has been outed and shunned by the High Council. Friends and enemies are changing sides. And Darkness is coming out of hiding.
When I read Lenobia's Vow, I wondered whether Travis could be Martin reborn. It was when Lenobia described the color of their eyes that left me thinking that Martin has kept his promise and come back to her as Travis. When the stables caught fire, shortly after Lenobia had awakened from dreaming of that long ago night when Martin saved Lenobia and died in a similar stable fire, I feared they were going to repeat history. Lenobia's strength in the face of a possible repeat of the worst night in her life was amazing, and that strength and determination saved Travis. This moment in the very beginning of the book not only bridges Lenobia's Vow and Hidden, but it also sets the stage for this tension filled continuation of the House of Night series.
I was very moved by Aurox and his struggle to be on the side of Light, even though he was created of Darkness. I think one of the most powerful moments was between Aurox and Grandma Redbird. She showed him kindness and forgiveness when he felt hopelessness and loneliness in the aftermath of Dragon's death and the reveal ritual on the lavender farm. We know that Zoey saw Heath when she looked at Aurox through the Seer Stone, so the question is: Does Aurox have genuine good within him, or is it only Heath's influence? I think Heath helped it along, but that Aurox is genuine about wanting to be on the side of Light. But because he was made of Darkness, he will have a near constant struggle to remain on the side of Light.
With Thanatos taking over the role of High Priestess of the Tulsa House of Night, Zoey kind of takes a step back from the leadership role. When Neferet goes to the City Council and involves humans in vampyre affairs, even slandering members of Zoey's group, a sort of war of wits, battle of wills, takes place between Neferet and Thanatos. While it's a well-deserved break for Zoey, I loved watching Neferet and Thanatos trying to one-up each other at every turn.
There were so many unexpected occurrences that kept me on my toes. Some weren't that surprising, and some were completely shocking. One of the shocking events was the appearance of Kalona's brother and Nyx's Consort, Erebus. He tries to get Kalona to leave the Tulsa House of Night and to stay away from vampyre society. Kalona refuses, stating that he will not be an oath breaker again. Supposedly Nyx knew nothing of Erebus's actions, but I found that hard to believe. Being a goddess, Nyx would know everything happening with her people.
And something I'm sure everyone will be happy about is that Damien may have found someone, not to replace Jack, but the space left behind by him, when he met the human reporter, Adam Paluka. It'll be interesting to see where that will go.
A lot of changes, good and bad, happened in Hidden, and I can't wait to see what impact they have in the next book.(less)
When Copper Suns Fall takes place in a world that was destroyed when two groups of angels waged war against each other. 55 years after the Tidal Years, in the year 2067, humans have rebuilt, but the angel-bloods, descendants of the angels, have to hide who they are, because any angel-blood and those associated with them are immediately executed.
Although believed to have been extinct since the end of the war, the Caduceans and the Tainteds still war against each other, and one sixteen-year-old girl, Chela Prizeon, is caught in the middle. What is her role in this battle? And will she be able to realize her true power and strength to save those she loves?
This dystopian tale isn't like the rest I've read. I'm used to zombies, demons, and vampires causing the mayhem, not angels. So I really liked this new take on the end of the world as we know it.
Chela reminded me a lot of Dawn in the Darkness Before Dawn series. She's really quite mature for a sixteen-year-old. I loved how even when something completely terrified her, she faced it head on. Chela has a pretty huge responsibility she needs to shoulder as the Epiclesium, a descendant of the First Order of Seraphim. I also loved how determined Chela was to helping her twin brother, Micah. Her love and devotion are admirable.
This world and Chela's life is built on a mountain of secrets. All of the secrets floating around and half-truths really annoy Chela to no end. She doesn't know who she can really trust. These secrets and revelations are what keep readers on their toes. There will be something hinted at earlier in the book and then the revelation, whether true or not, jumps out at you unexpectedly. These secrets were one of my favorite things about this book. I was kept intrigued and wanting more.
There is quite a bit that happens in When Copper Suns Fall and it would be impossible to talk about them all without giving something away, but one thing I can't leave out is the love triangle. Or maybe I should call it the love/hate triangle. And of course Chela is caught in the middle of this too. Guy #1 is Faris, a Caducean demon slayer and Chela's Protector. Guy #2 is Seth, a Tainted masquerading as a Thoughtmaster. Now this is where the love/hate part comes in. I'm not sure I can say that Seth loves Chela, what they have is a little unclear. But Chela definitely loves Faris and he seems so be returning the love, although he hesitates. I'd definitely pick Faris over Seth, but there is something about Seth that is very intriguing. It'll be interesting to see where this triangle ends up.
With everything that happened in When Copper Suns Fall, all the secrets revealed and the ones still in the shadows, I'm really excited to see what happens next.(less)
Noel Kennedy's life changed once she began dreaming of a blond-haired, gray-eyed stranger who seemed familiar to her somehow. Things took a stranger turn when Noel saw the stranger in real life. But the stranger, Jared Townsend, wasn't the only one who found Noel. A danger very real and very unbelievable has found her too. With surprise revelations and long-lost memories surfacing, Noel must come to terms with not only her new reality, but also who she really is and a very uncertain future.
I didn't know what to expect from Dreamwalker, and I'm glad that I was pleasantly surprised by what I found. In Dreamwalker, Persephone is portrayed as the villain and not the victim, which is how she's usually described in stories featuring her. Persephone's League of Immortals is a group of slaves to those immortals that serve Persephone in exchange for that immortality. Then there is the rogue group that fights against PLI to keep their freedom and mortality, and protects others from being victimized and enslaved by PLI. It's all kind of confusing at first, but as Noel learns about this world, we learn along with her. So it gets better as the story progresses.
Noel's power is that of a dream walker, a clairvoyant who can enter dreams, have visions, and even see the future with training. She shares this power with Jared and Samara. The only reason her powers awoke was because Jared was sent to awaken them and performed a ritual to do so. For Noel, who is untrained, this ability can be very inconvenient--when a vision is coming upon her she suddenly nods off. I would have to say that the dreams that Noel has and enters are the most descriptive parts of Dreamwalker, besides the Underworld, though that is more like a nicely wrapped nightmare.
Noel and Samara have the ability to magnify each others powers. This would make them the most powerful clairvoyants in the world. They would be able to manipulate their visions and see the future in its entirety. This is the power of the Maristolla family. Members of the Maristolla family are highly sought after because of their extremely powerful abilities. Noel and Samara's power is what makes Persephone want them as her new initiates. Like they say, with great power comes great responsibility. But it also comes with great sacrifice, as Noel and Samara know very well.
Now if you were caught between having to choose Jared or Boone, who would it be? Noel finds herself in this very situation. Her soul says Jared, but her heart and mind tell her Boone. At the beginning, I was all for Jared. He was the mysterious dream guy. But then Noel met Boone, who is very much in the now. He was there for her whenever she needed him, and because of his abilities as an empath, he really seemed to understand her. So by the time she had to choose one or the other, I was hoping that she would choose Boone. As for who she chose, you'll just have to read Dreamwalker to find out. And believe me, it's worth it. There are some really steamy scenes!
With the conclusion of Dreamwalker, I am extremely excited for the sequel, which comes out sometime in 2013. With all the uncertainties and questions left up in the air, I can't wait to find out what happens next.(less)
When Holly's father loses his job, her and her family move to her parent's hometown. Now Holly is starting at a new school and dreading every minute of it. But when she enters the theater for her drama class, she sees a boy sitting on the stage who no one else seems to notice. Thus begins Holly's emotional journey of self-discovery and finding a love that just may break her heart.
The Earth Painter is like an artistic version of the creation myth. There is the Sculptor (the Creator, God) who created a giant sphere, bit it was devoid of life or color. So he created three beings known as Painters. Each Painter had an assigned area--Walden paints the sky, Fritz paints the water, and Theo paints the earth (these are reminiscent of the Greek gods Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades). The Painters gave the world for and the Sciences--Physics, Astronomy, Biology, Geology, and Chemistry--gave the world function. But no Painter is to paint humans, that is strictly left to the Sculptor. Painters are not invisible, but they are to remain unnoticeable and not draw attention to themselves.
Now since Painters are basically unnoticeable, it brings about the question of why Holly noticed Theo without him drawing her attention to him. Only the Painters, Sciences, and their creations can notice each other without trying--and since human creation is only by the Sculptor's hand--what could possibly cause Holly to notice Theo? She can't see the other Painters or any of the Sciences without notice being brought to them. I had an inkling about the cause of this once a certain lost painting was mentioned, and I was right when it was revealed at the end.
Holly's mother is a character that annoyed my so much that, if I could have jumped into the pages of the book myself, I would have slapped her while yelling, "Grow up, woman!" I can't stand adults who behave like children in the sense of causing low self-esteem in their kids through verbal abuse and bullying--not to mention throwing tantrums when they don't get what they want. I really enjoyed seeing Holly grow out of her self-esteem issues and stand up to her mother, instead of allowing her mother to continue walking all over her.
Holly still retains some of those issues, though, when it comes to Theo. She develops feelings for Theo, but being a Painter, Theo can't feel human emotion. This leaves Holly confused, heartbroken, but still curious. There is a kiss that occurs that resulted in something so unexpected and surprising that the cliffhanger is going to leave me really curious about what will happen next. I can't wait to read the sequel to The Earth Painter! (less)
The Darkest Whisper shows us that even the strongest and most confident individual has doubts. Sabin, leader of the Greece Lords and Gwen, the timid and youngest daughter of the Skyhawk harpy clan, have to overcome their doubts and insecurities to find the truth.
Sabin's demon is Doubt. His demon targets an enemy's insecurities and makes them doubt themselves. This is a great weapon against the Hunters. Sabin is the most driven Lord in the war with the Hunters, a drive that is fueled by the murder of his best friend, Baden, keeper of Distrust. Though Doubt is beneficial to battle it's not beneficial to an intimate relationship. All the women Sabin has been involved with have doubted themselves so much that they eventually met an unfortunate end. This has lead Sabin to forsake romance and commit himself further to the war with the Hunters. That is until he met Gwen.
Gwen has her own share of doubts--in fact, she steeped in doubts, and was named Gwendolyn the Timid because of them. She doubts her own strength and ability to control her darker side. But Sabin knows her true strength and knows that she would be a lethal addition to his battle with the Hunters, if he can only get her to stop doubting herself (which is a feat in itself for someone possessed by the Doubt himself). What he doesn't expect is for Doubt to fear Gwen's harpy...
The Darkest Whisper is the most action-packed book in the Lords of the Underworld series so far. It starts off right away with the Lords searching the pyramids of Egypt for the Cloak of Invisibility and coming upon a facility breeding immortal Hunter children. The Hunters kidnap immortal women, rape them, and then take the children away from the mothers after they are born to train them as Hunters to fight against the Lords. Sabin and the other Lords take out the Hunters in the facility and free the women--some of whom are already pregnant. Gwen is one of the women the Hunters kidnapped, but she was left physically untouched thanks to the power of her harpy. The Hunters were too terrified of her and kept her locked up, forced to watch the other women being abused and not being able to do anything to help them. The attack on the breeding facility was a huge blow to the Hunters and they keep trying to get Gwen and the other women back by launching attack after attack. The chemistry between Gwen and Sabin at that first meeting was instantaneous, but each has doubts and worries that keep them from moving toward anything romantic.
I thought that the harpy consort concept was interesting. I was wondering about Sabin's ability to calm Gwen when she's going harpy. Consorts are forever, and it's very rare that a harpy finds her consort. A harpy is an independent free spirit, but every so often she will find a male that pleases her. His touch and smell become like a drug to her, and his voice soothes her fury. So it's like no matter how much Gwen and Sabin fight against it, they will keep coming back to each other because they will want no one else.
We get to see more of Paris, Aeron, and Torin's POVs. Paris is still lamenting Sienna's death and is now drowning himself in ambrosia-laced alcohol to relieve the pain. Aeron leans of Paris' sacrifice and tries everything in his power to help Paris, all the while feeling invisible eyes watching his every move. And Torin contemplates his relationship with Cameo while he watches a pointy-eared brunette walk the streets of Buda on his computer screens.
A new POV we get to see is from Gideon. He is the most misunderstood Lord because he can't say what he really means to say, being possessed by Lies. But in his POV we get to see his true thoughts since he "never lies to himself." I thought it was interesting that while Gideon was thinking about the other demons and what they could do compare to him, that he felt a longing when thinking of Nightmares that he couldn't explain. It'll be interesting to see what happens with that.
I enjoyed the guest appearance from Nix of the Immortal After Dark series by Kresley Cole. Her appearance is small and she doesn't say anything, but there are hints that Nix might be Torin's special lady. I don't know how that would work out, but Torin is the next Lord on my "Most Intriguing" list--I mean, he can't touch anyone at all--so I'd love to read his story.
There is a surprise revelation about Galen, keeper of Hope, toward the end that really threw the Lord for a loop. This series just keeps getting better and better with each new installment. I can't wait to read Aeron's story in The Darkest Passion.(less)
Tempted is the third book in Elisabeth Naughton's Eternal Guardians series. We get to see behind the masks of Isadora and Demetrius, two of the most complicated characters in this series. Isadora finally comes into her own, and we learn why Demetrius is the way he is.
In Marked, Isadora was a shy princess who was easily pushed around. In Entwined, she realized that is she wants to change her world for the better, she needs to become stronger and grow a backbone. And finally in Tempted, we see Isadora become who she was always meant to be. She has found an inner strength that just shines though. She's not going to let anyone use her--especially not the Council.
I never really liked Isadora until I read Tempted. I don't like weak heroines, and that's exactly what she was until this book. But in Tempted, Isadora becomes stronger physically, mentally, and emotionally. She's going to make a great queen.
*Sigh* Demetrius. There is just something about a guy who has that tough, hard exterior, but the soft, caring center, that's irresistible. Like candy with a yummy, gooey center. Demetrius has a really dark past that has left it's scars. He's more than just the typical Argonaut, and the secrets of the past have come back to haunt him. He knows that Isadora is his soul mate and he will do anything to protect her. But before he can give himself completely to Isadora, Demetrius has to overcome the darkness inside himself and step back into the light.
I loved Demetrius from the very beginning of this series. But seeing his strength, his determination, his restraint, and his deep love for Isadora, made me love him even more.
On a side note from the main story, I was pleasantly surprised by Orpheus. His love and concern for both Isadora and his brother, Gryphon, was really touching. And I felt really bad for Nick, Demetrius's brother and the leader of the Misos, by the end of the book. I can't say much because of spoilers, but you'll know what I mean once you read it for yourself.
I loved this books and I can't wait to read Orpheus's story in Enraptured.(less)
In The Darkest Pleasure, unlike in the first two books in the Lords of the Underworld series, we get to read the story from, not only the main characters Danika and Reyes's POV, but also the POVs of Paris, Sabin, and Aeron. Each has their own pain to work through. Some are able to overcome that pain and find happiness and some aren't.
Reyes's demon is Pain. His demon urges him to cause pain. When Reyes came out of his demon haze all those years ago, he discovered that he could satisfy the demon's need for pain by inflicting it upon himself. A life ruled by pain rarely, if ever, offers a chance for pleasure. But when Reyes meets Danika, she enhances his pain but also gives him the greatest pleasure. All Reyes needs to worry about is not whether she'll accept him as who ans what he is, but what will happen to her once she does. Pain has changed all of the women Reyes has ever been with and he doesn't wish that upon Danika.
(SPOILERS) And Danika has her own problems to deal with. It is discovered that she is the All-Seeing Eye, one of the artifacts the Lords are searching for. It runs through her family bloodline, and that is the reason Cronus ordered the death of her and her family. That way no one would be able to use her against him. When Aeron asked her what she sees of the heavens and the underworld, this is how she described it:
"I see great evil and unerring goodness. I see death and life. Darkness and rainbow colors. Demonlike creatures who destroy, screams all around them. Angels who repair the damage, songs of glory humming from their wings."
It's hard to imagine dreaming of these things; whether terrifying or peaceful, it's got to be a huge burden to carry. I can understand why she would work through it by painting what she has seen, to "purge" it from herself.
Another revelation is actually discovered through one of Danika's dream-vision paintings. Galen, keeper of Hope, is leading the Hunters! Who would have thought that Hope was a demon? And it turns out that he's probably the worst demon out of all the Lords. Hope is a demon who purposely raises expectations, only to crush them, leaving nothing but despair in it's wake. And the man is no better. Galen is two-faced and a master of deception. He will easily pretend to be a friend to your face, but once your back is turned he has no problem stabbing it. Where Aeron's demon, Wrath, has black wings; Galen's demon, Hope, has snow-white wings like those of an angel. This helps Galen deceive the Hunters into believing that he's been sent from Heaven to help them rid the world of the Lords, and in turn use the Hunters for his own devices without them even realizing. He was also the one to convince the warriors to go after Pandora's Box in the first place. He is the ultimate cause of all the Lord's torment. To think that the greatest evil in the world is actually Hope. It's mind-boggling.
Lastly, I just wanted to say that Paris's POV was really moving. He's lamenting Sienna's death. He doesn't know whether to blame himself, the Hunters, or the gods, but he wants someone to pay for him losing her. He ultimately chooses to beseech the gods, Cronus to be exact, to bring her back to him. But like all deals with the gods, there's always a catch. Cronus, in the end, makes Paris choose between Sienna and Aeron. If he chooses Sienna, Cronus will give her to Paris just as she was before her death. If he chooses Aeron, Cronus will relieve Aeron of the blood lust curse. I'll leave you to find out who Paris chose, but I'll say that the choice is one that completely tore Paris apart. When I first started the Lords of the Underworld series, I was most intrigued by Lucien and Reyes and was dying to know more about them, but after reading The Darkest Pleasure Paris has become the most intriguing character and I desperately want to know if he'll ever be rid of the torment he went through in this book and find happiness.(less)
The Darkest Kiss is a real beauty and the beast tale. There's Lucien, the keeper of Death--scarred and tormented--and Anya, the goddess of anarchy--gorgeous and strong--who loves him. She sees past his scars and is able to love Lucien, as well as his demon. And Lucien is able to find comfort and happiness with Anya.
Lucien's demon is Death. He's tasked with escorting the souls of the dead to their final resting place, whether that's Heaven or Hell. This is an emotionally stressful job because he sees what Heaven and Hell are like, and he's left yearning for the peace Heaven offers but knows he'll never have. And because Lucien can see a soul's last few moments of life, the knowledge he's left with becomes a burden he doesn't want. Lucien has a very intimate view of life and death; he's even had to escort the soul of the woman he had loved, and that has left its mark on him. To make sure that no other woman could ever love him again, he scarred his own face and burned part of his body to keep them away. But when he finally meets Anya, the goddess of anarchy, in person, he meets the one woman who sees his scars as beautiful and can see past them to the man he is underneath.
When I read the first book in the Lords of the Underworld series, The Darkest Night, Lucien was one of two warriors that really intrigued me. He's the scarred leader of the warriors and the incarnation of Death, so he was shrouded in mystery and I was dying to know more about him. We also meet Anya toward the end of The Darkest Night, but she was just the disembodied voice of a goddess and we only got a glimpse of her when she appeared to Ashlyn. So she was just as much of a mystery as Lucien. But we get the full scoop on them in The Darkest Kiss. And apparently the kiss of death is irresistible.
In The Darkest Kiss, we learn that Lucien is just a man scarred, literally and figuratively, by his past. By lost love, his job of escorting souls, and just wants peace and happiness for himself and his friends. Anya want to be able to find a man that she can finally trust to love and give all of herself to. She wants people to see that she is important and not minor in any way. Both want acceptance, peace, happiness, and love--and they find all of that in each other.
The search for Pandora's Box is in full swing, and they find out that they need four artifacts, guarded by Hydra, to locate the box--the All-Seeing Eye, the Cloak of Invisibility, the Cage of Compulsion, and the Paring Rod. The four artifacts are spread out all over the world and can be found somewhere in these four locations: South Africa, the Arctic, the States, and Egypt. While all of this is going on, Lucien is ordered by Cronus to kill Anya, Paris finds and loses a woman who stirs him like no other, and Aeron escapes the dungeon leaving death in his wake.
With Aeron's escape in The Darkest Kiss, Reyes and Danika's story is set up further for The Darkest Pleasure. And Paris and Sienna's story is also set up and introduced when he was captured by Hunters in this book. The Lords of the Underworld series just keep getting more exciting with each new addition.(less)
This first book in the Lords of the Underworld series, The Darkest Night, is full of mythology and steamy romance. But the story is kind of slow and doesn't really pick up until the end. With many books that start a series, the first book sets up the world and the characters, and that's usually what makes it seem slow. Many readers don't like books like this, but I really enjoy them because these books are the introduction to the series.
Maddox is one of twelve immortal warriors who were once protectors to the gods. When those gods chose a woman to guard a box holding the worst demons, pride overtook the twelve and they killed the woman--Pandora-- and opened the box, unleashing all the demons inside upon the world. As punishment, the twelve warriors were to house the demons within themselves and were then banished from the heavens.
Maddox's demon is Violence. This makes him the strongest, most violent, and most lethal of the twelve Lords. For thousands of years he's been tormented. But one day when the hill to their fortress is breached, Maddox goes out expecting to find Hunters invading their home, but instead he finds Ashlyn. Ashlyn went in search of the Lords hoping that they could help her control her ability to hear the voices of the past. Both know their own share of torment, and have only ever found peace and happiness when they are together.
In other reviews I've read for this book, readers found the romance between Maddox and Ashlyn full of drama and the dialogue cheesy. But I really love the relationship Maddox and Ashlyn have. I found it sweet and even fragile at times. Maybe it's the strength of their bond that I loved most. A love that is so strong that absolutely nothing can destroy it is something that we can only wish for in the real world.
We also get to meet to other women who will play major roles in upcoming books, Danika and Anya. They are both left as mysteries at the end of The Darkest Night (which is only right, otherwise there would be nothing to tell in the future). We'll get to learn more about Anya in The Darkest Kiss and Danika in The Darkest Pleasure, books two and three in the Lords of the Underworld series.(less)
(Because there are so many characters to summarize I'm going to try to keep the summaries as short as possible.)
Zoey Redbird and her Circle (in elemental order):
Damien has the affinity for Air. He's usually breezy and upbeat, but Jack's death has brought him down.
Shaunee has the affinity for Fire. She's a very warm and passionate person, but she's feeling a little lost after realizing that she wants to be 'Shaunee' and not 'Twin' anymore.
Erin has the affinity for Water. Erin is usually a calm and refreshing person, but after a fight with Shaunee she wonders if she's really just frozen and cold.
Stevie Rae has the affinity for Earth. She has a strong, nurturing nature. Being the first Red Vampyre and High Priestess has put a lot of pressure on her, and recent events are leaving her shaken.
Zoey has an affinity for all five of the elements, but is most closely linked to Spirit. She is the leader and heart of the group. She can see past a person's outer facade and see them for who they really are. Zoey has been richly blessed by Nyx with great power and responsibility---whether she wants that responsibility or not---for such a young fledgling. This makes her a very special---and sometimes envied and hated---fledgling High Priestess.
Those on the Side of Light and Truth:
Stark is Zoey's Guardian Warrior and boyfriend. He's recently been plagued by bad dreams which have kept him from getting any proper sleep. Zoey helps as much as she can by using Spirit to calm his dreams.
Darius is Aphrodite's Warrior and boyfriend. He's ever vigilant in his duty as protector. Though deadly in his skill with knives, he's gentle and caring with Aphrodite.
Rephaim was recently forgiven by Nyx and gifted with the form of a human boy, though during the day he takes the form of a raven as punishment for his past crimes. He is Stevie Rae's Consort and acts as her protector.
Lenobia is the House of Night's Horse Mistress. She has battled with Darkness in the past and can see how deep in Darkness Neferet is. She provides wise council for Zoey and her circle.
Thanatos is a member of the Vampyre High Council, the governing power of the Vampyre people. She has come to the Tulsa House of Night to be the High Council's eyes and ears. She has an affinity for Death and is a seeker of Truth.
Aphrodite is a Prophetess of Nyx. Her visions have been pivotal in the success of Zoey and her circle. Though the visions are painful and draining, they have prevented many disasters and deaths in the group. Having visions that only portend death and destruction is both physically and emotionally draining, and they have been getting worse, which worries Zoey and Darius.
Kramisha is a Poet Laureate. Her prophetic poems, though most of the time are confusing, have helped Zoey and everyone prepare for their battles with Darkness. Sometimes they are messages for individual people.
Those on the Side of Darkness and Deceit:
Neferet was once the respected High Priestess of the Tulsa House of Night, though certain of those around her suspected something wasn't quite right. Though Zoey and her group know Neferet's true colors, Neferet has still been able to deceive everyone else.
The White Bull is the physical form of Darkness. He enjoys death, destruction, and chaos.
Aurox is the vessel Darkness created for Neferet with the sacrifice of Zoey's mother, Linda, who Neferet murdered. Because the sacrifice was imperfect, Nyx was able to interfere by asking Heath if he'd rather be reborn or help Zoey by having is soul put into the vessel. With the imperfect sacrifice and Heath's soul in Aurox, he's beginning to think and feel, which he was never meant to do. Though he was made by Darkness to serve Darkness, he is leaning toward Light, if not a middle ground.
Those in the Middle:
Dragon is the Sword Master of the Tulsa House of Night. With the loss of his mate, Anastasia, Dragon has decided to be on the side of neither Nyx or Darkness, only himself. Having lost himself with the death of Anastasia, he claims he only has the dragon to be, and a dragon shows no mercy.
Erik Night is Zoey's ex-boyfriend and the Tulsa House of Night's new Tracker. He Marks his first assignment, Shaylin, in red instead of blue. She was blind, but after being Marked, can see and has the gift of True Sight. This definitely frazzles him. He hasn't made it clear where he stands in the fight between Light and Darkness, but remains in the middle.
During the ritual on Grandma Redbird's lavender farm, each of the circle members bring an object that represents a truth about them that no one else knows. Each of these truths are things that people go through everyday.
Feeling the weight of a loved one's death; loneliness and wanting to rise above the fear of being alone; feeling empty and frozen to everything; fear of the unknown; and feeling like your going to break and fearing you'll never be the same again.
The overall theme of the book, as well as the series as a whole, is the battle between good and evil. We see this in many stories so it's nothing new. Zoey says that she feels as though she'll shatter all over again from the pressure of her role as the leader of her group. What I think she needs to do is when the pressure is too much, step back and let her friends help her. She's not alone in this battle.
The plot of Destined is written in the alternating POV's of Zoey, Aurox, Kalona, Rephaim, Erik, Stevie Rae, Lenobia, Stark, Shaunee , Neferet, and Dragon.
This gives readers more insight into the characters and their parts in the story. We see a lot of character development, especially with Kalona and Shaunee. We see a more human side to Kalona and a more independent side to Shaunee.
It was great seeing more of Dragons after having rad Dragon's Oath. The conclusion to Dragon's story is bittersweet, but I think the sweet outweighs the bitter.
Lenobia's point of view in Destined is a great introduction to her novella, Lenobia's Vow.
In regards to the fight between Shaunee and Erin, it would have been nice to see Erin's side and what was going through her head. But we only see one side of the Twin split in Shaunee's POV.
*ATTENTION!!* *THERE ARE SPOILERS AFTER THIS POINT!!*
(For the setting I'm only going to mention Grandma Redbird's lavender farm.)
The lavender farm is the setting for the reveal ritual Thanatos casts invoking Death to reveal the truth of Zoey's mother's murder. This is not the only thing that happens at the farm while the ritual is happening, though.
Through the ritual the truth of Linda's murder is revealed, as well as the truth of Neferet's true allegiances. Dragons shows up and protects Rephaim from Aurox's attacks, but is ultimately killed. But in protecting Rephaim, Dragon is able to show mercy and ultimately Anastasia and Nyx. Zoey looks through her seer stone after prompting from Nyx and sees that Aurox has Heath's soul, and protects him using Earth from Stark and Darius' attack. Kalona arrives after receiving a call from Stevie Rae to help Rephaim. Kalona shows his love for his son and asks Nyx not to take him. After Rephaim is healed, Thanatos declares herself the Tulsa House of Night's new High Priestess and Kalona gives her his Warrior's Oath, which she accepts. And as they are leaving to return to the House of Night, Nyx leaves them with a warning.
As you can see, a lot happens in this short amount of time. So much is learned and so much is felt; it's like emotional overload.
My Final Thoughts:
I love all the revelations and character development that happens in Destined. With Neferet finally outed, it's going to be interesting to see what happens next. I'm really curious about what's going to happen between Zoey and Aurox now that she knows the truth about him, or at least part of the truth. I have a feeling things are really going to heat up with all that's been revealed in this book. I can't wait to read Book 10.(less)
Dragon's story is so heartbreaking and tragic. I was crying so hard by the end. Even just seeing the illustration to the epilogue brings a tear to my...moreDragon's story is so heartbreaking and tragic. I was crying so hard by the end. Even just seeing the illustration to the epilogue brings a tear to my eye, because it sums up the epilogue so well. You can tell what happens just by looking at it.(less)