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That's What I'm Talking About

I generally review romance, paranormal and urban fantasy. I tend to pick review books that I want to read, so generally my reviews will be positive. I always give my honest opinion: good, bad, and indifferent. 


Note: on my blog I use a letter grading system. I've listed the ratings below. For sites with stars, I have listed the equivalent rating. If I didn't finish the book, I will not rate it with stars.


A+  Personal Favorite (5 stars)
A    Loved It (4.5 or 5 stars)
A-   Enjoyed A Lot (4 or 4.5 stars)
B+  Liked It A Lot (4 stars)
B    Liked It -- Recommend (4 stars)
B-   Liked It -- But I had a few small issues (3 or 3.5 stars)
C+  Liked It -- But I had issues (3 or 3.5 stars)
C    Finished It -- Liked some, didn't like some (3 stars)
C-   Finished It -- Liked a little, didn't like a lot (2 or 2.5 stars)
D    Not A Big Fan (2 stars)
E    Don’t Waste Your Time (1 star)
TW: Reading this book was like watching a Train Wreck
DNF: Did Not Finish


updated July 9, 2015

Currently reading

Operation: Endgame (Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Book 6) (English Edition)
Philippa Ballantine, Jeanne H. Ballantine, William Morris
Just You and Me (A Contemporary Romance Collection)
Fiona Miers, Caitlyn Lynch, Liz Durano, Deelylah Mullin, Cate Farren, Jacquie Biggar, Vicki Batman, Kate Richards, Brenna Zinn, Dalton Diaz, Tierney O'Malley, Desiree Holt, Nicole Morgan, Ashlyn Chase
Bitter Bite: Elemental Assassin, Book 14
Audible Studios, Jennifer Estep, Lauren Fortgang
Progress: 27 %

Review: The Darkest Torment by Gena Showalter

The Darkest Torment (Lords of the Underworld) - Gena Showalter

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.


My Rating:  B- Liked It, but I had a few small issues

Review copy provided by publisher