The Darkest Touch – Lords of the Underworld – Gena Showalter

The Darkest Touch (Lords of the Underworld)

Who wrote this? Gena Showalter or Kresley Cole?

I know it sounds like a weird thing to ask but I felt like I was reading a Kresley Cole novel because of the writing style; the quick witted repartee between the lead characters, the badass female lead who is super powerful and a little off her rocker and the hilarious modern lingo. Yes, some of the female characters in Gena Showalter’s books have similar characteristics which I believe were influenced by Kresley Cole characters but The Darkest Touch had a lot of things missing that are typical to Gena’s writing style. I only noticed that the lead female character lifted her chin once or twice in a show of defiance during the book but in almost all of her previous books she uses the chin lifting so much that it gets annoying. There wasn’t a lot of over explaining emotions and situations like Gena tends to do. Then there is the Christianity factor involved. Before Gena Showalter found Christianity, she wrote sizzling, hot, almost raunchy sex scenes but after she found Christianity, the love scenes were limited and almost non-existent unless the couple was married or promised to be married. She seemed to be having a moral dilemma about writing sex scenes and seemed to be a little preachy in the books. In this book, the sex scenes were definitely hot.

The last few Lords of the Underworld Books had a different feel from the previous books in the series and it was obvious that Gena was warring with her spiritual beliefs and satisfying her fans. I was thinking she may need to change her audience and start writing young adult books or Christian literature. I was reading her Angels of the Dark series also and those were definitely written with an intended moral message but then all of the sudden, the 3rd book, Burning Dawn, came out and it was written like pre-Christian Gena. It was strange. I have a conspiracy theory; I think Gena Showalter had a prior commitment with her publisher for a certain amount of books in her Lords of the Underworld series but when she became a Christian, she struggled with writing the books because, let’s face it, mythology, magic, demons and sex go against what is taught in Christianity. So, after writing a few books and pissing off most of her fans, she asked her friend, Kresley Cole to ghost write the remaining books in the series. I’m probably totally wrong but it is what I really think.

Like most of the Lords of the Underworld fans, I’ve been waiting for Torin’s story. Torin is the keeper of the demon Disease. He is unable to touch anyone with his bare skin or the person will become ill and die. If the person lives, he will become a carrier and spread the disease to others, diseases like the black plague that wipe out thousands. His deepest desire is to be able to touch and be touched. Cronus, the King of the Titans, tricks Torin into touching a human who is supposed to be immune to disease but the human gets sick. It turns out that the woman, Mari, made a deal with Cronus and agreed to be touched by Torin in order to save her friend who has been locked in a prison in another realm for centuries. When Mari is flashed back to the prison, Torin grabs onto her and ends up in the prison. He begs the woman not to die but she does anyway. Cronus is dead so he can’t fulfill his promises, not that he would have anyway.

Mari’s friend, Keelycael or the Red Queen, vows to kill Torin for taking her friend away from her. Keely is a powerful being who was imprisoned by Cronus centuries ago. After Mari dies, she demolishes the prison with her powers and escapes. At first, she tries to kill Torin but teams up with him in order to escape the realm. Torin and Keeley start falling for each other. Keeley thinks she can overcome any sickness caused by Torin’s demon and makes a deal with Torin to help him find his lost friends and Pandora’s box if he agrees to touch her. The first time he touches her, she almost dies so he tells her the deal is off but she agrees to help him anyway. Torin wants Keeley but doesn’t know how a relationship could ever work if he cannot touch her.

I thought this book was the last in the series and everything would be wrapped up so I was a bit surprised when some things were left unfinished and seemed to hint to at least one more book in the series. Cameo and Lazarus are attracted to each even though they don’t want to admit it. Lazarus is missing so she wants to find him. Pandora’s box needs to be found which has been the whole point of the series and now the Morning Star needs to be found also.

I was reading another series when this book came out. I was in the middle of one of the books but stopped reading it to read this book. The beginning of the book was fast paced but then it got a little tedious as Keely and Torin traveled through realm after realm and fought enemy after enemy. It seemed like filler make the book longer. I found myself wanting to go back to the other book that I was reading but I knew if I did, I would never finish this one so I kept trudging through it. I liked it but I think it could have done without the filler. I will probably read any future Lord of the Underworld books that come out but I won’t interrupt any book that I am reading to read it. I think it is time to put an end to the series.

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