Today, I’m sharing my thoughts about 1001 Dark Nights: The Darkest Assassin (Lords of the Underworld #14.6) by Gena Showalter.
Read: 30th November – 4th December 2019
Publication Date: 10th December 2019
My Overall Rating: 5/5
Plot: 5/5 – Flow: 4/5 – Character Development: 5/5 – World Building: 4/5
Quote from The Darkest Assassin:
“‘What’s nerdy about loving fun things?’ she [Fox] asked as Legion patted her knee. ‘Trolling internet trolls. Playing Dungeons and Dragons, with actual dungeons and dragons. Bingeing reality TV shows. And, yeah, okay, I know a lot of my favorite shows have sucked this season, letting people break rules while pretending viewers are too stupid to notice.’”
The Darkest Assassin is a novella (approx 211 pages) from Gena Showalter’s Lords of the Underworld paranormal romance series. It’s also the latest book to feature in the 1001 Dark Nights collection. You don’t have to read any of the previous books in the author’s series to enjoy this one. It’s one of the many pluses about the novellas in the 1001 Dark Nights collections.
I focus my reviews on how the story was told rather than the plot itself. I’m looking at the author’s writing style, how they paced their plots and how well they constructed their characters and setting. Therefore, my reviews don’t contain spoilers or reveal plot twists.
Here’s what the official blurb has to say about the story.
From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Gena Showalter comes a new story in her Lords of the Underworld series…
Fox is a demon-possessed immortal with many talents.
Ability to open portals—check
Power to kill the most dangerous Sent Ones—check
Scare away any man who might want to date her—mate
Now, the keeper of Distrust has been marked for death, a winged assassin with rainbow-colored eyes tracking her every move, determined to avenge the males she accidentally decimated. If only she could control the desire to rip off his clothes…
Bjorn is a fierce warrior with many complications.
Tragic, torture-filled past—check
A wife he was forced to wed, who is draining his life force—check
Ever-intensifying desire for the enigmatic Fox—mate
Never has he hesitated to exterminate an evil being. Until now. The sharp-tongued female with a shockingly vulnerable heart tempts him in ways no one else ever has, threatening his iron control.
But, as Fate itself seems to conspire against the unlikely pair, both old and new enemies emerge. And Fox and Bjorn must fight to survive.
And learn to love…
Before we get into what I thought about this book, I want you to know that I was given an unedited digital version of this book for free from InkSlinger PR. They’ve organised the book’s blog tour that my review is a part of.
However, this doesn’t affect my review or influence my thoughts. I’m giving you my candid opinion about this book.
I must confess, I have read the first few books in the Lords of the Underworld series. However, I’d given them a break as they began to feel flat. But. Reading this novella had reignited my interest in this series. Ms Showalter’s writing style is very easy to read. She captivated my imagination with her world building. The complexity of her characters engaged my emotions. Plus the balance of violence, humour, passion and romance in the plot kept me hooked.
As you can tell by my 5 star rating, I really enjoyed this book. I’m looking forward to getting back into this series.
I enjoy stories more when they are populated with complex, multifaceted characters. Characters tend to feel more realistic when, like us, they live in the grey area between evil and goodness. When they’re shown to be flawed and capable of both. The role of the Sent Ones definitely felt very grey to my sensibilities!
While I’m on the subject of characters…
If you’ve read my reviews before, you’ll know that need the female protagonist to exhibit certain traits. She’s got to be intelligent, resilient, resourceful and have plenty of gumption. Fox ticked all of my boxes. She also came with a wonderful sense of humour as the quote I chose demonstrates. Bjorn was powerful, deadly and driven but with an air of old knight gallantry lurking underneath his robes that satisfied all of my cravings. Although his single-mindedness drove me mad at times. As the male protagonist in this tale, he ended up being perfect for Fox.
As expected, this story had me blubbering like a baby more than usual. However, it also got my blood boiling with rage, frustration and indignation. I’ve got to be honest and say that I found certain scenes disturbing and hard to read. However, The Darkest Assassin also had lighter moments too. I found myself laughing my socks off. Had tingles of titillation going to all the right spots *blush*. And my old heart was warmed by the touching romance.
The Darkest Assassin is a self-contained paranormal romance story within an existing world. I loved that there isn’t a cliff-hanger where Bjorn and Fox are concerned. However, I was left with questions about the threads running in the background. I’m hopeful that Ms Showalter addresses these in subsequent books. I’m going to have to keep reading! 😉
There is plenty of brutal torture in this world.
I also need to be honest and confess that I found some of the more violent scenes hard to read. However, I feel this juxtaposition is needed to highlight the need for hope, love and the importance of gumption! 😉
The Darkest Assassin has got every aspect that I look for in a great story; action, romance, humour, a gripping plot-line and well written, erotic sex scenes.
There are scenes of explicit sexual content and graphic violence in this book. Therefore, I’d only recommend it to adults who aren’t offended by scenes of this sort.
I’d recommend The Darkest Assassin to adults who love relationship and romance tales. Especially those with gritty storylines and lots of passion.
So, has my review of THE DARKEST ASSASSIN encouraged you to find out more? I do hope so. Click on any of the links below to check out the book yourself. Keep reading to find out more about the author.
Buy THE DARKEST ASSASSIN or catch up with the whole series in print, eBook and audio formats through the usual sources, including:
Amazon UK ; Amazon US ; The Book Depository ; Audible ; Foyles ; Waterstones.
I’m part of various affiliate programmes to help with the costs of running a self-hosted bog. Consequently, when you use my links to buy a book, I’ll get a (very) small % from the sale.
Click HERE to read my full disclosure statement.
Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY best-selling author of over fifty books, including the acclaimed Lords of the Underworld and Angels of the Dark series, and the White Rabbit Chronicles.
She writes sizzling paranormal romance, heart-warming contemporary romance, and unputdownable young adult novels, and lives in Oklahoma City with her family and menagerie of dogs.
Visit her at GenaShowalter.com.
Thank you for stopping by and for taking the time to read my review. I hope that it has tempted you to add this book to your ever growing TBR pile. 😉
2020 Update: The Lords of the Underworld series is one of the many that I’ve started but still haven’t finished. Those new releases keep tempting me away. Click HERE to find out how I’m tackling the unfinished series in my wake.