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Monday, October 10, 2011

Review: The Darkest Surrender by Gena Showalter

Title: The Darkest Surrender
Author: Gena Showalter
Series: Lords of the Underworld, book 8
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Harlequin
Format: E-book
“Possessed by the demon of Defeat, Strider cannot lose a challenge without suffering unimaginable pain. For him, nothing stands in the way of victory. Until Kaia, an enchanting Harpy, tempts him to the razor's edge of surrender.Known among her people as The Disappointment, Kaia must bring home the gold in the Harpy Games or die. Strider is a distraction she can't afford because he has an agenda of his own—steal first prize, an ancient godly artifact, before the winner can be named. But as the competition heats up, only one prize will matter—the love neither had thought possible.…”
The Darkest Surrender is book eighth in the Lord of the Underworld series by Gena Showalter.

Sometime in their lifes all Harpies find their destined mate or as they call it, Consort. Kaia is sure Strider is her Consort but Strider doesn’t want anything to do with her, no just because she slept with Paris but because Kaia is always challenging him. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t want her, he does and a lot, but he doesn’t want to be challenge by her all the time and lose, because he is possessed by the demon of Defeat every time he loses a challenge he suffers extreme debilitating pain. For that reason Strider is trying to keep his distance and hands from Kaia.
If she wanted Kaia could take Strider against his own will but that will cause him a defeat, therefore unimaginable pain. She doesn’t want to hurt him, so she is waiting for him to come willingly to her.
When Kaia was a very young Harpy she made a terrible mistake during the Harpy Games, a mistake that ended with the deaths of half of the Harpy population. Since that day Kaia has been known as Kaia the Disappointment and her and her clan, the Skyhaws, have been excluded of all Harpy events including the famous Harpy Games. But now, after over thousand years, they are called to participate in the Games again.
Kaia needs to do her best at these games to redeem her name. Kaia’s sisters Gwen and Bianka are afraid for Kaia’s life, they know the Harpies hate Kaia for what happened centuries ago and they want Kaia dead and what better opportunity to kill her than during the ruleless Games.
Gwen and Bianka are safe, not only they are not targeted, they will have their consorts with them, if they are injure their consort’s blood will heal them really fast.
Gwen and her consort Sabin the keeper of Doubt, convince Strider to accompany them to the games and act as Kaia’s consort. The angel Lisander, Bianka’s consort will also come with them.
This year the prize at the games is one of the artifacts the Lords have been looking for. Strider wants to steal it but Kaia doesn’t let him. Kaia needs to do this the right way to atone for her offense and redeem her and her clan’s name. But when all the harpies are coming from Kaia’s blood in and out of the games, they realize they may need to change their strategy.

I have always liked Strider and had been looking forward to his story in The Darkest Surrender. Strider is still the same egocentric man with a weird sense of humor as in previous books, but now he is also caring and a protector of his Harpy.

Harpies, what is not too like? They are hilarious and Kaia is not the exception. What I really liked about Kaia is that she is a kick ass heroine but deep inside because of her past she is also insecure and afraid of not being the best she can be. Even though she shows a tough woman façade we know she is a marshmallow in her heart, a marshmallow that could rip you to pieces with her bare hands.

At least Bianka and Gwen would be well-guarded, and that eased her stress somewhat. But if anyone so much as threatened them because of what Kaia had once done, she would turn the Slumber Party Massacre into Blood, Bath and Beyond, a documentary by Kaia Skyhawk.

Strider and Kaia attraction and chemistry is off the charts. It’s funny seeing Strider trying to swim against the current and knowing there is no other option than to accept his feelings. I loved how Kaia doesn’t want to hurt Strider and does her best to protect him even at very painful cost.
Kaia and her “I’m fantastic” and Strider and his “ego checks” show us that these two are not just great together they are perfect for each other.

I really loved Kaia’s sisters Gwen, Bianka and Taliyah. You can see the love they have for each other and how they are willing to go to extremes to protect one and other. We also learned about Kaia’s father and see more of her mother.

We see a LOT of Paris in The Darkest Surrender and here it is where I have a complaint. This book felt as much as a Strider and Kaia’s book as Paris search for Sienna’s book. We see as much as Strider as of Paris, the only difference was that in everyone of Paris scenes he was whoring himself for information regarding Sienna whereabouts. 
We also see a LOT of Kane and William, making The Darkest Surrender almost a prequel book for Paris and Kane’s books.

Don’t take me wrong I love to learn about the other Lords and what is going on with their lives. I was happy with the time Sabin and Lysander had in the book and I loved to see them interact with Gwen and Bianka respectively, so I don’t have a problem with that, I have a problem when secondary characters start to steal the focus from the main characters; and in my opinion this happened with Paris in this book.

The Darkest Surrender has humor, action, love, intrigues, deceptions and redemptions. In general The Darkest Surrender was a good book and a nice addition to a great series. I recommend you to read this books in order.
The following installment of this series will be Paris’s book (finally) The Darkest Seduction and its release date is February 21st 2012.

My Verdict: 4 Paws

Other books in the series
The Darkest Fire - 0.5 novella
The Darkest Night
The Darkest Kiss
The Darkest Pleasure
The Darkest Prison - 3.5 novella
The Darkest Whisper
The Darkest Angel - 4.5 novella
The Darkest Passion
The Darkest Lie
The Darkest Secret
The Darkest Surrender
The Darkest Seduction (02/21/2012)

Other reviews Goodreads


  1. Great review!!lol..I was just publishing my review when I saw your feed update.. so I came to check it out.. I love it!
    Do you think Paris is going to be the tortured hero of Lotu?

  2. I will be posting a link to your review, this is best I've read so far.

  3. Lupdilup, We were in each other's blogs at the same time :)
    The poor Paris has been tortured enough, I really hope he finds he Sienna soon.
    Thank you for sharing my review. :)

  4. Great review! Agreed with everything you said!
    I felt the same about Paris. In one way I can't wait for Paris' book just to shut him up because he's doing my head in a bit now and another because how long have we been waiting for his book?!

  5. Fantastic review Marcela! I'm so happy that you enjoyed this installment. I loved Kaia and Strider and I respected Kaia for not wanting to pressure Strider into being with her. I guess I didn't really think about Paris' section in the book taking away from the main focus (Strider and Kaia) but I can see how some people would feel that way. I just think there is so much stuff going on in the book with the Harpy Games, The Rod, and the other side characters that it did detract from them having more alone get-to-know you time like Julie said. But overall I'm glad you enjoyed the book! :-)

  6. I loved seeing Strider (with BLOND hair) and his sweet and caring side! *swoon sigh*. I also agree that they are a perfect match. And you know, I agree with you about wanting more of the couple of the page, but what can you do? Great review Marcela!

  7. Ally, Exactly, I couldn't have said it better.

    Deanna, Thank you. Yes, this book had too many things going at the same time.

    Julie, No, my Strider has dark hair, same as my Bones. :)


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