Let me start out by saying that I am a huge, huge fan of the Lords of the Underworld series. And like everyone else, I have been anxiously awaiting the story that would give poor Paris his HEA. This book gave me all the things I wanted -and even worked in some amazing surprises-- but it didn't quite live up to its potential for me.
The biggest problem is simply that the book is bloated. It's too long and stuffed with too much stuff. I was excited when I first saw how thick it was, but it was actually a hindrance to the storytelling. The first 100 pages or so really dragged. It didn't feel anything like the snarky, snappy, and sexy series I love. It was a portrait of a miserable Paris and a miserable Sienna, each enduring their own tragedies as they dream of a reunion. This could have been streamlined enormously and still conveyed the same things. It isn't until Paris finally tracks down his long-lost woman, that the book becomes engaging at all. Maybe around page 150.
**PLOT POINTS AHEAD**
Once Paris and Sienna are together, you can start to see the sparks. And in their interactions, the book has some of its best moments. After all, their reunion is what we've all hungered for. But Paris has changed so much, he is almost unrecognizable from the character we once knew. I know he's been through a lot, but I would have liked to see a few more glimpses of the suave Lord of Promiscuity. This guy is supposed to be the end-all, be-all Lothario and he just didn't deliver. Yeah, the sex is hot, but no more so than with any of the other Lords.
We're introduced to a slew of new characters, from the annoying Lord of Narcissism to three random Lords stuffed in a castle turret. I could have done without all of them. We also get a healthy dose of Zacharel, which is no doubt designed to set up Showalter's new Angels of the Dark series. And I'll admit... I'm intrigued.
There were some things I really did enjoy. Surprisingly, I liked the Galen and Legion sidestory and I find myself really rooting for these two to make a go of it. We got the set-up on Kane's story with the female Horseman. And we got a few new teasers on the enigma that is William the Dark. All of that was great --as were the fantastic developments on the Cronus/ Rhea front-- and a shocking tidbit about Strider's history.
Yet, the book didn't quite satisfy. Maybe it's because it took too long to get to the good stuff. Maybe it's because Paris isn't Paris anymore. I don't know. It wasn't bad. It just wasn't everything I hoped it would be. 3 1/2 stars.