Review: The Darkest Promise by Gena Showalter

The Darkest Promise by Gena Showalter
Series: Lords of the Underworld (# 13)
Release Date: June 13, 2017
Publisher: HQN
Pages: 432
Source: book provided by the publisher for review



Possessed by the demon of Misery, Cameo isn’t allowed to experience joy. If she dares, her memory is wiped clean. With no other recourse, she sneaks into a land more fantastical than any fairy tale, determined to find the one man with the key to her redemption.

Lazarus the Cruel and Unusual rules his kingdom with a single unwavering focus: to build his army and annihilate his enemies. Nothing distracts him—until Cameo. He is relentless in his quest to make her smile…and seduce her into his bed.

As dark forces conspire against them, threatening to destroy the fragile bond they’ve forged, the once-calm Lazarus grows crazed. Every heart-stopping kiss and wicked touch causes Cameo to teeter on the brink of happiness. But if she falls, she risks forgetting him forever…


Review:  I’ve been a fan of the Lord of the Underworld series for years.  And then I hit a wall.  It was around book 7 when the book verged too close to the edge of horror for my tastes and then I just couldn’t bring myself to read more.  When I was asked to review The Darkest Promise, I decided to go back and re-read the earlier books in the series and finally catch up on the ones I hadn’t read yet.  See, I just couldn’t jump over 5 or so books to read this newest release because I knew I’d be missing something.  And boy was I right.  There are some overarcing themes in this series that means you just have to read them in order or you’ll be missing some important information.  Sure, Ms Showalter does a little recapping, but it isn’t the same.

So, The Darkest Promise finally gives us the story of the only female “Lord”, Cameo, keeper of Misery.  Throughout the series, much is made out of our how Misery affects Cameo and those around her.  Very often, it’s mentioned how much the sound of her voice makes people want to weep or folks around her cringe… even the best of her friends aren’t immune.  Then enter Lazarus, who doesn’t seem to be affected.

I enjoyed most of the interaction between these two.  There were a few times I got tired of Lazarus’s alpha male overbearingness and Cameo can be a bit of a downer.  But these two worked together, but no so much apart.  Lazarus is on a revenge mission and believes he is running out of time.  I admit that this wasn’t my favorite storyline. I much preferred when the story focused on the Lords continued search for Pandora’s box and the war between Hades and Lucifer.  Both of those lines moved forward, but not as much as I’d would have liked.

Having read all the books in the series, back-to-back, I walked away from The Darkest Promise a little disappointed.  I was left wanting more.  I’m not sure if it was just the abrupt ending or the feeling of the continued storyline didn’t advance very far.  I’m not sure how many more books are in this series, but I’m feeling that this series needs to wrap up soon.  The stories are getting rather formulaic and in truth, it’s getting harder and harder to keep up with all the characters.  So much time is spent each book catching up on all the couples and now there are some offspring thrown into the mix…

All in all, it wasn’t a bad book.  But it most definitely does not stand alone.  It could have used a little tightening up of the storylines as it seemed rather scattered and at the same time there was too much going on.  In the end, I’ll mostly likely continue on with this series since I am curious as to how everything is going to turn out.  I just hope that some new life is breathed into the series and some loose ends tied up sooner rather than later.