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Book pick: Gena Showalter’s INTO THE DARK fun companion book to her series April 19, 2010

Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors, Reviews/summaries.
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I still can’t believe I’m reading stories about guys who opened Pandora’s box and who are cursed. But that Gena Showalter has made me feel kind of sorry for the doomed Alpha dudes and the women who give ’em grief. After I did a series of interviews with Showalter, author of the LORDS OF THE UNDERWORLD series as well as ALIEN HUNTRESS and ATLANTIS, she sent me an advance copy of INTO THE DARK, which contains two Lords of the Underworld stories previously published as ebooks. THE DARKEST FIRE and THE DARKEST PRISON, combined with the Atlantis ebook the AMAZON’S CURSE. She offers up some bonus info on the Lords of the Underworld and other cool stuff at the end. (Release date is April 27.)

I did like most of this book as short stories go.

The Darkest Fire: A Lords of the Underworld prequel. Tells the story of Geryon, guardian of the gates of hell and, Kadence, the Goddess of Oppression. Geryon makes sure that no soul tries to escape hell.  Kadence is connected to the wall that keeps these souls in. When demons (Pain, Lies, Doubt, Violence, etc.) start slamming into the wall, creating a crack, it is up to Kadence and Geryon to travel to hell and stop them from doing further damage. If they fail, the demons escape and Kadence, who is bonded to the wall, will die. Another reviewer wrote that this story has a Beauty and the Beast feel to it and I gotta agree.  Geryon, cursed by Lucifer,  is one ugly beast, but Kadence  sees him as a beautiful being.

The Amazon’s Curse: This is the sequel to THE VAMPIRE’S BRIDE, which I’ve not read so I’m jumping into a story that is supposed to start right after The Vampire’s Bride. Zane is a vampire being held against his will as a slave in the Amazon. And — ummm — the women are fighting over him because they all want him as their mate.  And then we meet Nola, who has been cursed by the Gods and is invisible. She knows Zane (from Vamp Bride) and tries to help him, but she’s completely invisible. Lots of snarling and smackdowns ensue. But once Nola accepts her love for Zane, watch out. This story seemed a little abrupt to me. Maybe I needed to read the first story. Or maybe there was more to the story?

The Darkest Prison: Your classic Alpha male vs Alpha female love story. Atlas the God of Strength and, Nike, the Goddess of Strength are enemies. Atlas was held in Tartarus during the ruling of the Greek gods and while there he tried to seduce Nike (one of the prison’s guards) to escape. His plan almost worked but Nike heard another female guard talking about Atlas’ attentions. And so Nike — who thought Atlas was the real deal — got royally ticked off. He didn’t escape. Instead, she tattooed her name on his chest so he never forgot “who owned him.” But of course the tables have turned. Now that the Titans have overthrown the Greeks, it is Nike who is being held prisoner by Atlas. But Atlas realizes that his feelings for Nike were more real than he’d previously cared to admit. And so we get a love/hate relationship for the rest of the story that’s fairly predictable but fun!

After the stories there are a ton of goodies. In 20 questions with author Kresley Cole, we find out that Gena wishes she were dating Bowen MacRieve (who doesn’t) and that she really wishes she’d thought of the name Mariketa (the heroine in Kresley Cole’s WICKED DEEDS ON A WINTER’S NIGHT. You also get everything from classified files on the lords to the gossip session by the lords’ women to the question session with the lords. I even got a kick out of the FAQ. If Showalter could cast the characters of her books in a movie who would she pick? She can’t figure out the dudes, but here’s who she picked for the women:

Ashlyn — Jessica Alba
Anya — Charlize Theron
Danika — Sienna Miller
Gwen — Isla Fisher
Bianka — Rachael Bilson
Olivia– Scarlett Johansson
Scarlet–Kate Beckinsale

And finally, you’ll get a sneak peak of THE DARKEST PASSION, due out May 25.

INTO THE DARK is more a companion book to Showalter’s series. The stories are fun but not as intense as her full-length novels. But it was light enough that I could read it quickly and get my Lords fix. Plus, there’s a ton of interesting and funny info packed into the back end of the volume.

Miss it? Check out my interview earlier this year with Gena Showalter HERE!

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