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Wednesday, April 07, 2010:
The Darkest Fire by Gena Showalter (2008) quickie review
Geryon is the guardian of hell, more monster than man. Kadence is the goddess of Oppression, more angel than woman. Together they will enter the flames to battle a dangerous horde of demon lords -- and discover a passion unlike any other.

This ebook kicks off the Lords of the Underworld series by Gena Showalter, and because I am anal and knew this story existed before I started reading the series, I just knew I had to buy it. Now I still am not a big fan of ebooks, but I will read them from time to time. And I really appreciate getting this backstory to the series.

Geryon is responsible for guarding Hell's gate, never leaving his post, always making sure nothing evil gets out, only in. Everyday for centuries he sees the beautiful goddess of Oppression - Kadence - and he desires her from afar. One day during her visit she discovers that the wall into Hell is cracked, and she must figure out a way to fix it, or she will die. So she asks Geryon for assistance.

Geryon cannot leave his post a guardian, otherwise bad things will happen to innocent souls, but he vows to help and protect Kadence any way possible. When he's released from his responsibility, he both rejoices and curses this chain of events. How can anyone as lovely and divine as Kadence ever see him as anything more than a monster who sold his soul?

My thoughts:

This is a short story, only 71 pages, so there's not a whole lot to share without giving too much away, but I will say that even in this brief episode we get a feel for Gena's strong world-building skills and ability to immediately pull the reader in with just the power of a few words. I was instantly hooked right from the time we meet Geryon and definitely had to know more.

This is in a sense a beauty and the beast type of story, but here Gena does what Disney dare not to; she lets the beast remain. I always hated the ending of B&TB that he turned into an insipid, perfect Ken doll of a prince. He was much more interesting - and excitingly dangerous - as a beast. And I have no complaints as to the path this story took with that concept.

I liked both characters very much. Geryon is fiercely protective of Kadence, yet admires her greatly for risking the dangers of Hell. Kadence sees beyond Geryon's appearance to the honorable man he is and grows to love him because of it. Their situation seems hopeless but I like how Gena managed to find a way to make it work.

Now I can start "The Darkest Night" in peace *g*

Rating: **** out of *****

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  1. I've been wanting to read this book forever..I started the Darkest Night without knowing it was out there.

  2. How on earth did I miss this one...

    Do you know if this is available on Kindle?

  3. I've read this story too, before reading The Darkest Night (I'm that anal as well ;)). And the two are rather different. I didn't care much for this short intro, because I thought the writing was a bit stiff or formal. Don't know. It gets much better in The Darkest Night, plus you'll get introduced to all the half demons that are featuring in the rest of the books. And they are hawt! :)
    Nice review and enjoy Maddox's story!

  4. I read The Darkest Night without knowing about this one too. I'm really anal about reading books in order, so don't know how I missed this. Must go buy it now.

  5. I haven't started this series. I'm tempted...and yes hesitant (if that's possible). Oh, decisions, decisions...

  6. Stacy, I am anal about reading prequel stories like this one before the whole series, too. In fact, I bought this ebook way back when it was first released and had all kinds of problems being able to read it. At the time, (which still may be the case, I don't really know)... there were incompatibilities with Adobe digital reader and the latest version of OS X on my mac. So annoying. For all I know they remedied that, but I still haven't read this story! I should look into that.

    Great to know you enjoyed the story!

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