Mona Lisa Darkening Mass Market Paperback – Jan 6 2009
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"Deliciously fascinating." -- Lori Foster
"A powerfully imaginative world." -- L.A. Banks
"Sure to appeal to fans of Anne Bishop or Laurell K. Hamilton." -- Patricia Briggs
About the Author
Sunny is a former physician and the wife of novelist Da Chen. She with her family.
Top Customer Reviews
Money does not grow on trees people, don't throw it away on the undeserving peons of this world -- people like Sunny with ZERO talent who are merely connected enough to get their garbage published.
Just say no.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
NetherHell is the lowest level of hell and a place where even her mate and a Crown Prince of Hell, Halcyon, dares not go. While struggling to survive in NetherHell a gargoyle warlord named Gordane captures her. He's soon obsessed with Mona and she finds it difficult not to return his affections. By becoming her protector through NetherHell Mona Lisa finds herself more and more drawn to him. Her feelings for Gordane begin to grow and strengthen, but what happens when Mona Lisa's lost love reappears and crosses the threshold of NetherHell to rescue her? All this while her inner demon, the evil Monere queen that she shares her body with, Mona Louisa, is doing her level best take control of Mona Lisa's body.
Mona Lisa Darkening is Sunny's newest installment in her Children of the Moon series. Mona Lisa Darkening is her best since The Children of the Moon debut novel, Mona Lisa Awakening. Mona Lisa Darkening not only introduces a well thought out new character, but brings back a favorite of readers. Life is anything but boring for Mona Lisa and this time around things become even more incredible. Halycon is probably most people's favorite of Mona Lisa's loves, but Gordane makes a strong go at the title. He will leave readers demanding to know more about him.
Mona Lisa Darkening is a self describing title. The sweet, innocent Mona Lisa we met in the first novel is long gone, but in a good way. The character continues to grow throughout each novel making her boldest moves yet. While Mona Lisa comes from an alien race who need the moon in order to draw down their powers, she's only human. Using the Superman mythos of having incredible powers while at the same time tempering those powers with her human upbringing and the morals that go with that, you will find yourself drawn in.
If you haven't read Sunny's Monere, Children of the Moon series, and I confess I read all four to do this review, I believe you're missing out. I was pleasantly surprised by all four and can't wait for the next installment.
Reviewed at Bitten by Books Paranormal Fiction Review Site by SunandHeir
And it gets just a little more nauseating in the plotless, hilariously silly slog of Sunny's fifth novel, "Mona Lisa Darkening." In this case, she transports her obvious self-insert (and her hotter alter ego) into a brand new realm so she can dazzle everyone there, rendered in prose that runs from Victorian purple to awkwardly stilted.
Mona Lisa and Co. are basking under their "mother planet" (since when is the moon a planet?) when she's suddenly whisked away to a wasteland where damned souls go.
Since Sunny has established that obviously Hell is a fun and cool place to be (they set off FIRECRACKERS!), this turns out to be the horrific Netherhells. And since Mona Lisa has the evil Mona Louisa's consciousness in her brain, she got dragged along for the ride. And now she's dealing with the huge deformed bull dheus, imps, and the occasional gargoyle.
In the meantime, her demon dead hubby Prince Halcyon and emo boyfriend Gryphon decide to enter the Netherhells to rescue their Luv. Unfortunately, Mona Lisa has been (oh, how Victorian!) drafted into a tall, dark and brooding gargoyle's harem, and finds out that he wants her knocked up. But even if she handles THAT situation, she may not be able to get home -- and it may cause some problems in HER ever-expanding harem
Five books in, and Sunny still hasn't figured out how to map out a plot. From the first chapter onward, "Mona Lisa Darkening" is basically a string of randomly-occurring events. Sunny throws random plot twists (Roman-style arena! Duel for kingship! Berserker bloodsucking! Poorly-described monster!) whenever things get too slow.
Unfortunately, the entire book is too slow: endless emo moping, ghastly cartoonish dialogue ("Don't be silly. Our gargoyle friends can fly us there"), random third/first personal flipflops, and hilariously cliche romance-novel prose ("I felt the caress of those dark eyes stroke across our skin"). And for the unspeakable realm of the damned, the Netherhells seem an awful lot like the Middle East (complete with palm trees, harems and veils), except that by the end everyone is worshiping Mona Lisa's magic vagina.
And the sexual content is the worst -- a random S&M threesome (because obviously only sex can cure self-hatred and trauma), spreading her legs for a literally horny gargoyle, and details about Mona Lisa getting a Brazilian. Three words: Too Much Information.
Mona Lisa herself remains a nauseating example of the Mary Sue -- she can cure psychological ills with sex, is so hot that all men lust and all women get tantrum-throwing jealous, and she's so good and pure that she makes her nastiest enemies turn good. She even ogles herself a few times, presumably because she's the only person whose opinion matters.
As for her men, few of them have any individual personality -- and some of them are outright absurd, such as insisting that Mona Lisa have sex with other guys, or wanting to go on a "girl's day out" with her. Puh-leez.
"Mona Lisa Darkening" proves that when even when a series scrapes the bottom, it always has room to go down. And sadly, it's still not over.
The book starts out with Mona Lisa basking for her Monere. Suddenly a black light comes out of the moon and Mona Lisa is taken somewhere else. Strangely enough Mona Louise's personality is stronger in the new place and Mona Lisa soon finds out she is in a different version of Hell than she ever knew existed. Can Gryphon and Halcyon save her before something more deadly finds her?
I really liked that Mona Lisa's character took things into her own hands in this book. Mona Lisa's compassion matched with toughness really set her character above all other characters and made her character something special.
I loved that both Halcyon and Gryphon were in this book a lot; Halcyon is my favorite character and it was interesting to see him have to deal with limitations to his power. Once again though Amber was absent for most of the book. Mona Lisa did make some progress in her relationship with Dontaine which was nice to read about.
I thought this book had more purpose, a better story, and a faster pace than the previous book. There are less sex scenes than normal; the ones that are present are well written. I enjoyed that this left more room for action scenes. After the third book I was ready to give up on this series, but after reading this book I am convinced to stay with this series a bit longer.