For What It's Worth

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Review: The Darkest Secret by Gena Showalter

The Darkest Secret (Hqn)Keeper of the demon of Secrets, Amun can manipulate the darkest thoughts of anyone nearby. But when the immortal warrior is chained and isolated to protect those he loves, death is his only hope of release—until he meets Haidee, a fellow prisoner whose beauty and hidden vulnerability draw him into a reckless test of his loyalty….
Haidee is a demon-assassin, raised to despise Amun's kind. Yet how can she hate the man whose touch sets her aflame? But to save him, she must give herself body and soul…and face the wrath of a powerful adversary sworn to destroy her. (PNR)

*Spoiler free*
I’ve been really disappointed in this genre for the past year now. The tortured brothers/demons/vampires meeting their mate has been getting a little repetitive. The multiple points of views with seemingly dozens of characters whose stories I feel we are never going to get to (cough *BDB* cough) is getting kind of old for me.
I wasn’t sure about Darkest Secret because I felt Showalter had been falling victim to this herself by writing too many plotlines without a lot of resolutions.
I was pleasantly surprised.
This book has a much tighter narrative then the last couple of books in the series. This is Amun’s book but it also sets up Strider’s story and touches on Paris and William’s futures.

So let’s break it down.

Amun & Haidee: Amun is the keeper of the demon Secrets. He can hear everyone’s deepest secrets, both good and evil and doesn’t speak in the fear that they will all come rushing out and hurt the ones he loves. Demons killed Haidees parents, sister and husband so she’s not too fond of them and has joined with the Hunters to eliminate the Lord’s. For her part, she was responsible for the murder of Amun’s best friend Baden.  They were not the strongest couple in the series but they were a good match. I liked that there wasn’t a lot of walking around in circles with their relationship. They dispensed with the deceptions early on. One thing I didn’t like about Haidee was that she was introduced as a bad ass Hunter in the last book but once with Amun she seems to get fairly wimpy. She of course comes through at all the pivotal moments but I would have liked her a little more if she was the same Haidee from the beginning of the book. There was also a quite a few references to her “boyfriend” Micah that kind of went unexplained IMO. The ending was a little too easily wrapped up but still – they held my interest.
Strider: *sigh* I admit that I never really warmed up to Strider in past books. He was OK but I’m always way to focused on Paris, & now William to worry about Strider. WELL! I loved every moment with him. His chapters were my favorites. His demon is Defeat. He must win every challenge or he suffers crippling pain. It’s starting to wear him down and he’s looking for a girl that won’t challenge him so he can be happy. All I’m going to say about that is ... that is most definitely NOT the kind of girl that’s coming his way. At all. I cannot wait to read his story now.
Paris and William: They get very brief page time but it is concentrated goodness. There is a big reveal during a conversation between Gilly and William about his curse that really sets up his story. *crosses fingers* Please …please let him be with Gilly!
As for Paris – let’s just say he’s on the war path and his story is finally moving forward.

I really felt this was a big improvement from the last few books where we kept shifting to so many points of view that it left my head spinning and frustrated that we were never going to actually get to anyone’s story. When the chapters transitioned from Amun/Haidee to Strider, it flowed and made sense rather than jarring me. There was also a lot more humor in Darkest Secrets. I had fun reading it and I wasn’t ripping my hair out at any point. So that’s good right? And most importantly for the first time in a long time I’m actually looking forward to reading the next book!

Rating: 3.5 out of 4



  1. Great review! Can't wait to read this one, especially to figure out the big reveal and Strider's set up.

  2. Great review and I need to read this series too.

  3. I enjoyed this one. The Strider/Paris/William scenes were my fav!