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The Darkest Craing (Lords of the Underworld #10) [Kane & Josephina] - Gena Showalter

The Darkest Craving - Gena Showalter

I can't believe I'm "here", finally finished all 10 books published in the series (including 3 short novellas). It certainly been a hell of a ride, a ride I loved, I admit I'm a bit overdosed with the Lords at the moment but I'm also really happy I was recommended to read this excellent series! 

I admit my "go to" Paranormal Romance includes Vampires as the main, well, paranormal :) this one has probably been the first long series that has nothing to do with vampires (besides the fact that William screwed a few of those ;))

 

This one has been quite different from the previous ones in a two main issues:

 

The first one - Kane Keeper of Disaster, poor thing, has the meanest demon of all the guys and unlike his brothers he wants out, he wants to get rid of the demon even if it means killing himself. This is the most important thing for him in the book. No matter how pissed off at their demons the others were, it was never like that, which makes this book quite sad. You feel sorry for Kane for so many things, for how he had to live his life until now, how his friends had to treat him during their time together considering he is just an accident waiting to happen. Though they love him and trust him, the demon seems always in the way, never really succumbing to Kane.

 

The second thing that is different in this book is the fact that most of it takes place in the land of the Fae  which have different kind of rules and behaviors.

Ever wished to go to a ball in the land of the Fae keep this in mind-

"The atmosphere was very... Victorian era meets The Hunger Games in Wonderland, with an R rating." (when you'll read the exact details of what they were wearing you'll get it..)

 

Similar to the last books, the plot is mainly of Kane and his HEA and far less about the other Lords though they all make an appearance at least once / twice). Besides Kane and Josephina we also have a "leading role" of William which is always great to have. I really can't wait for his book to arrive! In a way "he is what he is" but he is so much more layered than that. He is careless and free, does whatever he wants unless it has something to do with his friends - then he will do ANYTHING to help while acting nonchalance about it, or behaving as though he hasn't a care in the world, mostly not a care for them. We saw it pretty clearly in Paris's book but here as well it was pretty obvious. 

 

I feel like I'm all over the place with this review, don't know why I'm writing this review backwards.. lets get back to the main plot. 

 

In the two previous books we had a little about Kane - He heard he probably / might cause the Apocalypse and also he probably / might marry this woman or the other. This he heard from the (notorious) Moirai - 3 women who is said to be able to foretold the future. Kane doesn't know how to react to what they tell him but he feels sort of trapped by the fate they predict. and lets just say it doesn't work well with what happened to him on the previous book - He was tortured and molested in Hell by demons who worship his demon Disaster.

 

He comes back damaged, unable to erase the memories of what has been done to him, but even in this state he decided that even if he seeks his and his demon's death he would help the woman who saved him from Hell and brought him back to the human world - Josephina - the same woman who made a deal with him before she rescued him - his life for hers - if she saves him - he must kill her and end her suffering. Kane doesn't remember agreeing and even if he did he wouldn't carry such a penalty to this woman, he wants to save her from her torments even if she doesn't think it's possible. 

 

That's what happens when the Lords find Kane and thinks his wounds are the courtesy of our girl Josephina-

 "Yes, and I'm also your doom," Sabin snapped. 

[...]

"Please don't take this the wrong way," said the girl, "but that's got to be the lamest thing anyone's ever said to me, and Kane here has said some doozies. You're a magnificent warrior known throughout all the land for your strength and cunning. I know you can issue a better threat than that..

[...]

"There's a right way to take that?" Sabin snapped. "Guard the door", he said to Strider, "I'm going to tear her from limb to limb."

"No can do, boss. I'm calling dibs."

"Does that mean we're battling to the death?" she asked casually.

"Yes", both men replied in unison.

"Oh, well. Okay, then. Let's get started, shall we?"

Kane stiffened.

"Is she serious?" Sabin.

"No way." Strider.

"I am," she said. "I really am.

 

Josephina is the daughter to the leader of the land of the Fae. Unfortunately though she is Immortal she is only half Fae, her mother was Human. After her mother's death, her father decided to make her a "blood slave" meaning every time her sister - full Fae -makes an offence she bears the punishment for her. That without mentioning she lives like a servant directed to clean and serve like the other servants.  She also have half a brother (full Fae) who desires her, while she would have loved to have him as a close friend when they were younger his desires for her and his stubbornness to have her (implied against her will) makes him another enemy / someone she cannot trust. Basically she had enough, after been thrown to Hell she decided to end her life but since she can't do it on her own (her father projected his special Fae power making sure she cannot commit suicide) Kane was exactly the perfect guy to meet while escaping Hell.

 

When she sees Kane in Hell she feels like all her problems are solved and not just by any man, but by a celebrity since as it seems the Lords of the Underworld are famous in the land of the Fai - spies all around the world collect knowledge about them, writing them in books, meeting in special clubs each one dedicated to one of the warriors. How unfortunate for her Kane would not kill her, he brings her back to the land of the Fae to make sure she is safe and no one even harm her. 

In the land of the Fae it's quite obvious her father wouldn't be letting her go, but he IS willing to marry his other daughter to Kane - a daughter possessed by a demon and not just any demon - the demon of Irresponsibility - same one that the Moirai prophesied he would marry..

 

Josephina doesn't know how to handle her growing attraction and chemistry to Kane while knowing he is going to marry her sister, and he wants her, but unwilling to abandon his personal quest to vanquish the demon (and probably himself too). So how can Kane make sure Josephina is save for the rest of her life when he isn't there to protect her? good question.. 

 

Josephina to Kane-

"Well, you're definitely not the sweetest man."

"I never claimed to be."

"Because no one would have believed you!"

what a sweetheart, ha?

Their romance throughout the book is simply hear breaking, they are sweet, adorable, infuriating and willing to risk anything and everything for one another. 

 

Besides all these fun and games we have William with his kiddies - 4 horsemen of the Apocalypse (white being the other one the Moirai prophesied he'll marry). it's unknown if they are there to help William and Kane or trip them (Hell, even William isn't sure if he wants them alive or dead). But wherever William is it's hard to keep a straight face :)

 

Kane to William-

"How many women have you been with?"

"Countless. You?"

"Not so many I can't count them."

"That's because you lack skill."

"Maybe, but at least I can control my desires. Your lust is too strong and your willpower too weak to allow you to resist anyone with a pulse."

"Don't be ridiculous, I've been with plenty of people without a pulse. More than that, I say no to Gilly every day."

 

Josephina to Kane while William is enjoying himself as usual-  

"I refuse to answer any more of your questions. Let me go or I'll make you regret it before I slay you!"

"Did someone mention a lay? For the right price, I'm willing to make myself available."

 

"Lord Kane," the king acknowledged. "Before the proceedings begin, we must say how thrilled we were to meet your PMS."

Uh... "My what?"

"Your Personal Male Secretary" (yeah.. that's William all right! hehe)

 

Another gem is the fact that every Immortal Fae has a special power (or two), Josephina's powers are AWESOME! 

 

I felt so sorry for Kane for all that he's been through before he went to Hell and especially after it. There is a heart breaking moment when he goes to Legion and tells her he understands and if she wished to ever talk about what happened to her - he is available. On top of that to have Josephina and know what they have is temporary pending his probable death was a torture. I think this was the "heaviest" book emotionally, the most difficult coupling. Both don't think there is a place in the world for them that they could actually have or deserve a Happily Ever After. 

 

The little of sub-plot that we has is of Torin getting what Cronus promised him (sort of, you already know Cronus is an ass...) he gets a girl for 24 hours in turn of keeping the All-Key. As it seems Cronus might be dead but his promise/agreement still stands. 

Another small sub-plot is of Cameo - AT LAST her POV. It was nice hearing her out. She goes on her own adventure and I loved who she was accompanied with. BTW I'd love it if those two got together in her book :)

 

I find it hard to say goodbye to this series until November when Torin's book - The Darkest Touch - will be out! but well, I have SO MANY books to read I won't have time to wallow in tears ;)

 

  

*   *   *

 

As promised in my previous reviews here are the "Classified Files" containing all the details on all the guys! YAY! :)

 

They can be found on the "Into the Dark" Novel - containing the pre-novella "The Darkest Fire" (LotU #0.5) and "The Darkest Prison" (LotU #3.5) novella but also more cool staff like Q&A, behind the scenes etc. Later on Gena published just the Companion part (without the novellas) in a book called "Darkest Facts" (so you don't need this one if you have the other..).

 

Just to let you know the data on the Warriors was published just before this book (the 5th one) so if you're up-to-date till the previous book there aren't spoilers ahead for you. I'm concealing all the data about the warriors just so the post wouldn't look that long. 

 

I'll be adding this data to all my further reviews of this series.

 

ENJOY !

 

BUDAPEST CONTINGENT

 

Maddox / Violence (Book #1)

Height: 6'4'' 
Hair: Black 
Eyes: Violet (Note: eyes glow red when angry) 
Butterfly tattoo: Upper left shoulder, wrapping around to his back 
Other distinguishing marks: Demon’s skeletal face becomes visible through subject’s skin when subject is angered. 
Preferred weapon: Fists

Demon culpability: The stabbing death of Pandora, and thereby the disappearance of her box, can be traced directly to Violence. In modern society Violence is deemed responsible for street-gang warfare, rape, murder and terrorism.

Notable background: Curse resulting from Pandora’s slaying caused the subject to be killed each night and resurrected each day for centuries. Curse has now been broken—methods unclear. Subject still erupts into fits of violence and should be presumed volatile and highly dangerous.
Achilles heel: Recent emotional attachment to human female Ashlyn Darrow, former para-audiologist for the World Institute of Parapsychology who now resides at Budapest fortress. I cannot help but believe that if her mentor, the late Dr. Frederick McIntosh, hadn’t hidden from her the true purpose of her work at the Institute, Darrow would not have defected to the Lords’ camp. Note: Darrow is believed pregnant with subject’s child. Due date to be determined. 
Objectives: Capture Ashlyn Darrow if possible, use her as bait for subject to rescue, capture subject and imprison him until such time as Pandora’s box is found. Note: Beware Darrow’s ability to stand in one place and hear every conversation that ever took place there. Utter silence will be needed for any recon or capture missions. The element of surprise is crucial.

(show spoiler)

 

Lucien / Death (Leader of Budapest Contingent) (Book 2)

Height: 6'6'' 

Hair: Black, shoulder-length
Eyes: Mismatched—one brown (normal eye) and one blue (believed to allow subject to see into the spiritual world) 
Butterfly tattoo: Upper left shoulder, front of chest 
Other distinguishing marks: Face and body are covered in scars. Subject emits an odor of roses presumed to be linked to his demon. 
Preferred weapon: Knives. Beware poisoned tips.

Demon culpability: Death is ultimately responsible for deciding which souls ascend to heaven and which are ushered to Hell. It’s believed that the subject uses his bias against the Hunters not only to kill their bodies, but to unfairly ensure that their souls never make it to heaven. 

Notable background: Subject is believed to have disfigured his own face and body centuries ago in a fit of rage, indicating an unstable temperament and a harmful nature. Subject can travel outside his body and has been known to transport himself from one location to the next faster than the eye can see, making him a unique threat. 
Achilles heel: Two of note. The first, when subject’s…soul, if that’s what it is, leaves his body, that body is left vulnerable. That might be the perfect time to strike. Second, subject seems to have grown attached to Anya, minor Greek goddess of Anarchy. Also noteworthy: Anya is believed to have been bound by a curse herself, possibly hampering her powers. Recon team to investigate further in the hopes of exploiting the knowledge for the greater good. 
Objectives: Take a divide-and-conquer approach by separating subject from the minor goddess of Anarchy so subject will suffer. If we can kill the goddess, forcing Death to separate soul from body, he will be most vulnerable. Note: The minor goddess has a penchant for petty theft, incendiary behavior and general insubordination. Following a recent confrontation in Chicago, she has been deemed a nemesis of the angel Galen and thus her permanent capture is of particular interest to the Hunters.

(show spoiler)

 

Reyes / Pain (Book #3)

Height: 6'5'' 
Hair: Dark brown
Eyes: Brown Butterfly tattoo: Chest and neck 
Other distinguishing marks: Deeply tanned skin; frequently sports scars caused by self-mutilation Preferred 
weapon: Daggers; sword; guns

Demon culpability: Physical pain and suffering throughout the ages are attributed to this demon’s acts of random cruelty. 

Notable background: Subject has been witnessed going to excruciating lengths to cause himself pain. Jumping off rooftops and cutting his flesh are among his pastimes.
Achilles heel: Subject formed an attachment to human female Danika Ford following her kidnapping at the hands of fellow Lord Aeron. I personally did my utmost to recruit Danika to our cause, even convincing her to stage her own (second) kidnapping so the demons would rescue her and unwittingly bring a spy into their midst. The woman showed tremendous potential but was ultimately seduced by the dark side and aligned her loyalties with the Lords. I count her defection as a personal failure. 
Objectives: Separate subject from Danika. Imprison him until Pandora’s box can be found. Demonstrate to Danika the consequences of choosing the wrong allegiance in battle.

(show spoiler)

 

Paris / Promiscuity (Book #9)

Height: 6'8'' 
Hair: Varying shades of brown and black 
Eyes: Blue 
Butterfly tattoo: Lower back 
Other distinguishing marks: Subject is widely regarded as the most physically appealing of all the Lords. 
Preferred weapon: Sword

Demon culpability: Out-of-wedlock pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and infidelity all can be laid at Promiscuity’s doorstep. 

Notable background: Subject weakens without frequent physical release and cannot have sexual relations with the same woman twice. Subject has been known to seek out male partners as a last resort if no women are available, though he does not appear to enjoy such forays.
Achilles heel: While imprisoned in Hunters’ research facility in Athens, subject formed a fascinating bond with the late female Hunter Sienna Blackstone (R.I.P.) and managed to overcome his demon’s aversion to repeated sexual contact with the same woman. Since his untimely escape to Budapest, he has been reported to be relying heavily on ambrosia to regulate his moods and get him through the day.
Objectives: Exploit subject’s dependence on ambrosia if possible. Perhaps even arrange for him to receive a tainted batch. Dangle the promise of information about Sienna in order to lure him back to Athens facility for further testing.

(show spoiler)

 

Aeron / Wrath (Book #5)

Height: 6'6'' 
Hair: Military-cropped, brown
Eyes: Violet 
Butterfly tattoo: Middle of back 
Other distinguishing marks: A pair of black gossamer wings hidden by slits in his back when not in use. Face and body are covered with tattoos of war scenes, weaponry and the demon’s victims. Two eyebrow rings. 
Preferred weapon: Subject does not discriminate and embraces any weapon at his disposal.

Demon culpability: Wrath ostensibly preys only on victims it considers deserving of punishment. However, this pretense of meting out “justice” is clearly the demon’s twisted attempt to rationalize its killing sprees and evil deeds so it can continue to cause harm without consequences.

Notable background: Subject was taken over by bloodlust due to a curse of unknown origins and nearly killed human female Danika Ford in addition to her maternal grandmother, mother and older sister. Though the bloodlust seems to have passed, subject continues to be considered a menace to society.
Achilles heel: Subject views himself as godlike and humans as fragile and beneath him; however, his current determination to repay his fellow demon Paris for deeds unknown might prove a weak spot to be exploited. Subject is also devoted to the female demon minion Legion and has sworn to protect her from harm. Additionally, subject appears to be having apparent hallucinations that an invisible presence is spying on him. 
Objective: Use subject’s devotion to fellow Lords and the minion Legion against him. Recon team is also determining ways to turn his hallucinations to the Hunters’ advantage.

(show spoiler)

 

Torin / Disease (Book #11)

Height: 6'5'' 
Hair: White, shoulder-length
Eyes: Green 
Butterfly tattoo: Stomach 
Other distinguishing marks: Always wears long black gloves Preferred weapon: As subject is confined to the Budapest fortress he has dubbed “the House of the Damned,” he does not generally use weapons but is believed to have gun and sword training.

Demon culpability: Disease is responsible for at least two known plagues that resulted in thousands of casualties. This demon is also at the root of cancer deaths and all additional pestilence, most recently the dreaded Swine Flu pandemic. Notable background: Subject is unable to touch another living being skin-to-skin without infecting it with disease; subject wears protective clothing at all times and maintains his distance from others to prevent such an occurrence. Subject chooses to hide in the Lords’ fortress rather than accept the public blame he deserves for the illnesses he continues to cause, despite his “attempts” to keep the world “safe.”

Achilles heel: Subject’s battle skills have likely diminished due to his confinement. He could be the weak link of the Lords and vulnerable to capture. A suspected relationship with female Lord Cameo has distracted the subject, and could also be used to Hunters’ advantage. 
Objectives: Exploit the subject’s unique vulnerabilities and use this weakest link to take down the rest of the Lords. If we could somehow arrange for subject to touch the other Lords, they would not be killed, but they would never again be able to touch their loved ones without killing them. Such a realization might just cause them to turn themselves in.

(show spoiler)

 

GREECE CONTINGENT

 

Sabin / Doubt (Leader of Greece Contingent) (Book #4) 

Height: 6'7'' 
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Gold-brown 
Butterfly tattoo: Right ribcage and waist 
Other distinguishing marks: Wears a necklace believed to be a gift to him from his deceased friend, Baden, demon of Distrust, the Hunters’ first victim. 
Preferred weapon: Subject used to rely on knives, guns, throwing stars et al, but now, like the coward he is, he prefers to hide behind his Harpy bride for protection.

Demon culpability: The vilest of all demons whispers insecurities into the ears of anyone within reach and causes crippling, at times life-threatening self-doubt. This demon and the despicable creature who houses it are directly responsible for the suicide of my beloved wife, Darla, eleven years ago. 

Notable background: I find it impossible to write objectively about my most deeply hated foe. This monster who calls himself a man seduced my faithful wife away from me with false promises and dirty lies and coaxed her to betray my secrets. When he’d gotten what he needed from her, he let his demon go to work, and the next thing I knew, my wife had slashed her wrists.
Achilles Heel: His single-minded devotion to Gwendolyn the Timid, his Harpy wife. Due to recent complications at our Chicago training facility, we are uncertain as to the extent to which we might be able to use her against him. But sometimes it is better to ask for forgiveness than permission. 
Objectives: Secretly, without Galen’s knowledge, separate subject from his wife. Seduce her, as subject likes to seduce other men’s wives, and arrange for subject to find her dead, bleeding body.

(show spoiler)

 

Gideon / Lies (Book #6)

Height: 6'3'' 
Hair: Dyed Blue 
Eyes: Blue, kohl-rimmed 
Butterfly tattoo: Right thigh 
Other distinguishing marks: Multiple piercings and general Goth appearance Preferred weapon: All of them. Subject seems to have no specific preference, using whatever is nearby.

Demon culpability: Lies has infiltrated politics worldwide, resulting in false promises from world leaders and the disintegration of modern society. 

Notable background: Subject is unable to tell the truth without experiencing terrible pain. My forefathers were able to capture and contain subject for a prolonged period of time and, in the course of limb-regeneration experiments, removed subject’s feet. Unfortunately, subject ultimately escaped with the aid of his demon cohorts and both his feet have since grown back. The feet we removed, however, we are still in possession of. We exacted revenge in Chicago recently with the removal of both subject’s hands, but again were unable to contain him for long. We now have the removed hands, as well.
Achilles heel: Unknown. It is impossible to learn anything of use from this disgusting liar. 
Objective: Capture this demon once and for all and rid the world of his offensive presence. Also, continue with experiments of the removed limbs, using them to hopefully create our own immortal warrior.

(show spoiler)

 

Cameo / Misery (Last but not least..)

Height: 5'7'' 
Hair: Long, black 
Eyes: Silver 
Butterfly tattoo: Lower back, wings spreading around to both hips 
Other distinguishing marks: Her voice is enough to make you want to kill yourself. Earplugs are needed when around her. 
Preferred weapon: Semi-automatic, long-range rifles

Demon culpability: Misery is responsible for mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. The fact that both are reported at higher rates today than ever before suggests that the demon’s reach is increasing.

Notable background: Subject causes profound emotional anguish in everyone around her. Additionally, subject was, until recently, believed to be the lone female Lord of the Underworld. New events suggest that additional female Lords might in fact exist.
Achilles heel: Subject is believed to have a relationship with Torin, keeper of Disease. Subject will be closely observed for any physical or emotional vulnerability that might pave the way for an opportunity to capture her. But because of the supposed relationship with Disease, protective gear will be needed when apprehending her.
Objectives: Recon team is exploring ways to force subject to use her voice to our advantage.

(show spoiler)

 

Amun / Secrets (Book #7)

Height: 6'6'' 
Hair: Brown 
Eyes: Brown 
Butterfly tattoo: Right calf 
Other distinguishing marks: Dark skin 
Preferred weapon: Things of an exotic nature.

Demon culpability: The demon of Secrets fosters a lack of communication that contributes to individual issues such as the breakdown of marriages and global problems such as breaches of national security and the inability to achieve world peace. 

Notable background: Subject is unable to speak without the secrets of the world pouring out of his mouth—as I regrettably experienced first-hand at our Chicago facility. Also of note, when he speaks, you hear the voice of the person whose secret he is revealing.
Achilles heel: Subject’s fear of speaking might be utilized to our advantage.
Objectives: Capture and interrogate subject in the hopes of discerning the secrets he keeps and using them against the Lords.

(show spoiler)

 

Strider / Defeat (Book #8)

Height: 6'5'' 
Hair: Blond Eyes: Blue 
Butterfly tattoo: Left hip 
Other distinguishing marks: Subject was created, not born, yet has a birthmark on the right side of his buttocks. Small, brown and jagged at the edges.
Preferred weapon: Subject embraces all weaponry.

Demon culpability: The demon of Defeat is determined to win at all costs and will do whatever it takes to ensure victory. Defeat has brought about the downfall of athletes worldwide due to its encouragement of illegal tactics like steroids to obtain a win. 

Notable background: Subject cannot lose an argument or battle without succumbing to intense physical agony and prolonged sleep.
Achilles heel: Subject’s inability to lose gracefully. 
Objectives: Issue a challenge the demon cannot refuse, one that leads him straight into a trap.

(show spoiler)

 

Kane / Disaster (Book #10) 

Height: 6'4'' 
Hair: Mixture of brown, black and gold 
Eyes: Hazel 
Butterfly tattoo: Right hip 
Other distinguishing marks: We are still searching. 
Preferred weapon: Rifles and other long-range weaponry

Demon culpability: Disaster can be held accountable for everything from traffic accidents to construction site fatalities to plane crashes. It is harmful, often lethal, to anyone and anything it comes into contact with. 

Notable background: Subject is unable to move without causing ceilings to collapse, vehicles to explode and other assorted catastrophes to occur. Miraculously and despicably, subject seems to escape injury from such incidents, but those around him are less fortunate.
Achilles heel: Unknown 
Objectives: Recon team is exploring ways to isolate and capture subject and channel the incidents he causes into a strategy that will be advantageous to us.

(show spoiler)