3 stars: Liked it, but I had some issues (B-)
Review originally posted at That's What I'm Talking About
Review copy provided by the publisher.
After being captured and tortured in hell, warrior Kane, keeper of the demon Disaster, was rescued by Josephina, member of the Fae. (Much of this was outlined in the previous book, The Darkest Seduction.) In order to drag his body out from the netherworld, Josephina (aka Tink or Tinker Bell) used her fae talent to temporarily drain the power and strength from her fellow captive, Petra, a banished Phoenix. Josephina saved Kane only so that he would end her life - something she cannot do to herself.
Josephina's sister Princess Synda (much loved) carries the demon of Irresponsibility, and for every bad thing Synda does, Josephina gets punished. She made Kane promise to kill her if she helped him escape; a promise he will not keep as his mind and heart scream "Mine," whenever he thinks of Josephina. When he won't help her die, she escapes the Lords knowing that she is being hunted by her father (King of the Fae) and Petra, who wants to enslave her for temporality disabling her.
As I look over my notes for this review, I ask myself: where do I start? A LOT happens in this 466-pages-of-text story. So much so, that I felt the entire book would have benefitted from some paring down. The primary story follows Kane, Disaster and Josephina. However, there is some substantial face time for William and his four Horsemen of the Apocalypse children, Torin and his possible mate, and Cameo - who is looking for Pandora’s Box and what appears to be her possible mate.
While I enjoyed Kane the hero, I found myself not a fan of his demon, Disaster. Unlike most of the demon/Lord combinations in previous books, Disaster is at odds with Kane THE ENTIRE TIME. In fact, Disaster cannot stand Josephina and desires to kill her. Kudos to the author for mixing it up on this, the tenth book in the series, but personally, I got frustrated by Disaster’s continual attempts to destroy Kane and Josephina. Kane and Disaster’s constant warring became draining after a while.
However, when Kane and Josephina were on - I adored them. Unfortunately, since there is so much going on in this book, I felt that their relationship didn’t get the attention I wanted. The side-stories had me distracted and unable to connect with the pair for chucks at a time. But there were parts that consisted of touching moments and smexy scenes, which were well-done.
Individually, both Kane and Josephina were hot and cold. I liked that Josephina was feisty and determined - even after centuries of physical, emotional and psychological abuse by her family. However, at times she came across too naive and childlike, and I felt that she was out of sync with Kane.
On the other hand, Kane seemed too weak at times - giving into Disaster in order to keep him “content.” The fact that he would go out and do something “wrong,” or let Disaster commit atrocities rather than fight his inner-demon rubbed me the wrong way. But there were times when he would woo Josephina or kick some bad-guy butt, and I felt we were seeing Kane as he should be seen.
As I mentioned, there is much more to The Darkest Craving than Kane and Josephina’s love story, and if I tried to capture all of the side-stories, this review would be way too long. While some of the stories, like Cameo’s quest for the Box, fit the overall story arc, others, like The Four Horsemen, felt forced, and perhaps they would have been better left out. With that said, I trust Ms. Showalter and her ability to weave a wonderful story, so I’ll wait to see what comes down the pike before ruling the scenes out completely. There are also direct tie-ins to the Angels of the Dark spin-off series, and I would suggest reading both series is best for overall continuity.
As the book drew to a conclusion, I felt that the overall story picked up pace and direction. I was really pleased with how the final battle scenes played out and wanted more of this in the story itself.
In conclusion, I really wanted to love The Darkest Craving, but I just didn't connect with the hero/heroine for more than select moments. I felt that there were too many side stories that detracted from the central characters; some of which I enjoyed, others felt forced. I wasn’t a big fan of how Disaster and Kane coexisted and Kane’s behavior resulting from his need to satisfy his demon. I did enjoy seeing several of my favorite characters, and the ending was excellent. And even with that all said, I couldn’t put down this behemoth title. I definitely recommend to fans of the series, and for those new to the series - you really need to start at the beginning.