The Lords of the Underworld are a band of immortal warriors who have, for thousands of years, fought for the king of gods (Greeks). Insulted that they have not been chosen for the monumental task of guarding a sacred box (Pandora's box), the warriors decide to teach the gods a lesson. They steal the box and set the hordes of demons free. In the fray the box is lost. Thus, the evil can not be returned inside. As punishment for the deed, the individual warriors themselves become the *homes* for the each of the demons. So the demons of Violence, Disease, Death, Pain, Wrath, Promiscuity, Doubt, Lies, Disaster etc. are now inside the warriors forever. Like having a split personality, the demon urges the warrior to do its bidding. They all struggle against the demon inside.
Fast forward to present-
The warriors now live with their curses in Castle high upon a hill in Budapest. They keep to themselves for fear of reeking havoc upon the humans. Their enemies are the *Hunters*, a band of human warriors out to kill all the perceived evil in the world -the lords being their main target.
This book is about the warrior Maddox, who has Violence demon inside. His heroine is Ashyln a human who posses the uncanny ability to hear all the conversations ever made in a particular place. Voices constantly battle inside her head. She seeks the warriors in an effort to silence the voices inside her head. But she gets more than she bargained for......
I admit when I started reading this book I got flashes of Ward's series. But really who wouldn't? - the six warriors living all together, the gods controlling them (scribe virgin), the hunters (lessers), the description of the warriors (ones tattooed, beautiful, scarred etc). Then I realized that I'm doing a complete injustice to this book by thinking this way.
To me this book is more Greek mythological than paranormal. And I'm hoping Showalter will expand on the myths with the sequels. Unlike most paranormals the war these warriors are fighting is mostly within themselves. An internal rather than external conflict. They are not out to protect anyone else, merely to survive their own curses and possibly get free of their demons. And frankly I think thats a fascinating and fresh idea. I mean who wouldn't like to read more about a warrior with a compulsion to Lie, one who causes Disasters wherever he goes, one who has to inflict Pain on himself, or one who cannot be touched (anywhere) for fear of causing Disease? And lets not forget Promiscuity. ;)
I found the characters intriguing, the action well paced and the plot believable (well, as any paranormal could be). And I wasn't bothered by how quickly the H/H fell in love (its not like they had sex on page 10). True , there are many unanswered questions but I guess thats what sequels are for.
So, I really enjoyed this book and will definitely be looking out for the sequels. And for those die-hard Black Dagger fans? I say go and read the three chapter excerpt (above is link) on Showalter's website and decide for yourself.