The Darkest Torment
Author: Gena Showalter
Reviewer: Jen Twimom
Long, long ago, Baden was once a Lord of the Underworld and keeper of the demon, Distrust. But when he was betrayed and beheaded, the demon inside was set free and he died, destined to spend eternity in a special Purgatory. Eventually, Hades found him and gave him a way to leave, recruiting him for his war against Lucifer; however Baden didn’t understand the true price of his freedom.
The book opens with Baden residing in Budapest with his fellow Lords. He is angry and prone to violence and doesn’t like to be touched. He has a new, more powerful demon, named Destruction, and in order to rid himself of Hades, Baden must complete a number of tasks for him, including retrieving a coin from drug lord Aleksander Ciernik.
Katarina Joelle was forced to marry Aleksander Ciernik, the evil man who has Hades’ coin. He is brutal and plans to bend Katarina until she breaks. He killed her childhood sweetheart, hooked her brother on drugs, and has threaten to kill all of Katarina’s beloved dogs. Not knowing the situation, Baden kidnaps Katarina, hoping to force Alek to turn over the coin.
To be honest, I started The Darkest Torment, unsure if I wanted to continue with this series. I went back and read my notes from the previous books and remembered how confused I was and how I felt things were growing overly complex and the mythology was meandering a bit too much for my liking. However, once I started the book, I was pleased with the overall direction and tone. Baden’s struggles with his inner demon and the romance between Baden and Katarina shared many of the qualities that first drew me to The Lords of the Underworld series. There was humor and passion, with gripping storylines. Additionally, the author does a great job recalling previous important facts and storylines, keeping readers in the loop.
Overall, I enjoyed Baden’s inner battle with his demons (both literal and figurative). Katarina is a great fit for Baden (and visa versa), and I found her transformation from victim to heroine entertaining. Their story tied strongly to a larger story arc involving Hades, and although I didn’t quite recall or understand how this particular story began, it didn’t really matter as I read it.
Additionally, there are two side stories setting up future books: William and Gillian’s potential romance, as well as Cameo’s search for Lazarus. I understand the need to set up these stories now, and I didn’t mind the inclusion in The Darkest Torment. However, I wasn’t happy with Gillian’s storyline. I felt that it’s too “been there done that,” as William struggles with his emotions and Gillian grasps at straws to save herself, creating even bigger problems. *eyeroll* Cameo’s story fits with previous books, and I look forward to finding out more.
I was really into The Darkest Torment for most of the book, but at 448 pages, the book is too long, and I started to lose interest. I felt the ending came a bit too easy, but was happy with the direction. I didn’t much enjoy the Gillian/William storyline, and hope it doesn’t stagnate for long. Additionally, there is an updated Insider’s Guide at the end of the book. Although a guide was previously released, this one has new material and is much updated. It includes The Darkest Day, a short bridging The Darkest Touch to Baden’s book.
Driven to his death by the demon of Distrust, Baden spent centuries in purgatory. Now he’s back, but at what cost? Bound to the king of the underworld, an even darker force, he’s unable to withstand the touch of another…and he’s quickly devolving into a heartless assassin with an uncontrollable temper. Things only get worse when a mission goes awry and he finds himself saddled with a bride—just not his own.
Famed dog trainer Katarina Joelle is forced to marry a monster to protect her loved ones. When she’s taken hostage by the ruthless, beautiful Baden immediately after the ceremony, she’s plunged into a war between two evils—with a protector more dangerous than the monsters he hunts. They are meant to be enemies, but neither can resist the passion burning between them…and all too soon the biggest threat is to her heart.
But as Baden slips deeper into the abyss, she’ll have to teach him to love…or lose him forever.
Release Date: May 31, 2016
Publisher: HQN Books
Series: Lords of the Underworld #12
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Format(s): hardcover (512 pages), e-book, audiobook
Book Source: Publisher
Reviews in the Series:
After Dark Anthology by Gena Showalter & Kait Ballenger (Lords of the Underworld #4.5)
The Darkest Passion by Gena Showalter (Lords of the Underworld #5)
The Darkest Lie by Gena Showalter (Lords of the Underworld #6)
The Darkest Secret by Gena Showalter (Lords of the Underworld #7)
The Darkest Surrender by Gena Showalter (Lords of the Underworld #8)
The Darkest Seduction by Gena Showalter (Lords of the Underworld #9)
The Darkest Craving by Gena Showalter (Lords of the Underworld #10)
The Darkest Touch by Gena Showalter (Lords of the Underworld #11)