The Darkest Surrender - Gena Showalter I have never had an author push a character so far down my throat like Showalter pushes Harpies in the Lords of the Underworld Series (LOTU). Oh – I take that back! Her 'pushing’ rivals Alan Ball’s push of Bill Compton to those of us who have read the books inspiring True Blood. But I digress.Unless you love/adore/can’t-live-without Harpies, you’re not going to enjoy The Darkest Surrender, the eighth installment of the LOTU series. Yet again, Showalter features a less prominent player as the main lead in this book. Strider, the LOTU keeper of the demon, Defeat, who must win at all costs. If a challenge is given to him, and he loses, he will be subjected to debilitating pain and suffering for days.To save some time, here is a list of what I didn’t like in The Darkest Surrender. Harpies, Harpies, Harpies. Can we please get them their own series so they can leave the LOTU series alone? Good Lord, if I have to hear one more time on how beautiful, how powerful, how strong, and how perfect they are . . . *rolls eyes* Strider and Kaia. – sure Kaia (Harpy) slept with Paris in the past, and this makes Strider reluctant to pursue her, but good Lord, it’s not until about 70% of the book goes by that Strider FINALLY relents and takes Kaia for his own. It was way too drawn out. Lack of other storylines. – Showalter keeps adding characters to this series like I add excuses of why I can’t start my diet today. With that being said, I would have liked to see more of what’s going on with everyone else in the series (that I care about), but The Darkest Surrender is bogged down with everything Harpies, that what Showalter does reveal is extremely sparse. One such storyline omission I wish had been touched on more was Legion’s, who is battling with being raped and almost killed by every demon in hell. It was heartbreaking knowing she was in an almost catatonic state. Hopefully we get to see more of her in the next installment. Changes. Eight books into the series, and Showalter starts changing up some rules in her universe. First, she reveals the demons trapped within the LOTU can now momentarily leave them and invade another person to drive them mad. I think this would have come in handy before, but adding this now – this late in the game – just reads as her trying to make an upcoming storyline work. Next, she also reveals a new rule the Harpies must adhere to, but I can’t be bothered to remember it. I just remember rolling my eyes and saying, “What? Another rule?” I was ready to dismiss this book and give it 1 Kiss, but there were some things I did like which prompted me to up my Kisses, but not by much. Humor. There is a lot of humor in this book, so it is evident Showalter was having a good time writing it. It made the Harpie overload somewhat bearable as I trudged through the book with a chuckle every now and then. Paris. Paris, the LOTU keeper of the demon, Promiscuity, is given a small role in this book – though it was one I looked forward to reading. He is up in Cronus’ realm, fucking and fighting his way to rescue Sienna, the only woman who has been able to arouse his demon more than once. Paris is obsessed with finding her and stops at nothing to find her, even pleasing a male servant to get information (though it wasn’t clear who was pleasing who, as we got a fade to black). I’m glad Paris finally gets his own story in the next book, The Darkest Seduction. Now I’m only holding out for Torin, the LOTU keeper of the demon, Disease. Can’t wait to see how Showalter gives Torin his HEA. :) William. Though we get a darker William in The Darkest Surrender, I can’t help myself around him! Just love him. He finally sets out to get justice for Ginny from her family who abused her. The amount of torture he meets out is not at all pretty, and quite gory, but at least at the end of it, he tries to clean up the mess he made. And I say ‘tries’ because as he is being helped by Kane, the LOTU keeper of the demon, Disaster (might have not been a good choice in hindsight) a grenade gets thrown in the living room and William and Kane are captured by Hunters. After escaping and then being captured again, at the end of the book we are left at the edge of seats as both Kane and William are carted off to Hell – the one place William (who is the brother of Lucifer) truly hates. *sobs* Kane. Though he’s been way in the background, Showalter brings up Kane in this book as he is first summoned by The Fates – three sister/witches who know what is going to happen in the future, and they are never wrong. They tell Kane he will be the one who starts the end of the world – The Apocalypse. As he is doing brain matter clean up duty with William, Kane shares this info, and William spills a few more interesting secrets that will at least (maybe) help Kane to save the world. But before Kane can process and ask more questions, both he and William are captured. Gah! This is the main storyline that has me running to the next book. Artifact Hunting. Finally, Showalter gets back to hunting for the four artifacts to get back Pandora’s Box. In this book, the LOTU are going after the paring rod. When we had last seen the artifact, it was under the care of The Unspoken Ones, and it wasn’t clear how the Harpies got a hold of it and were offering it as a prize in their tournament. There is some speculation, but nothing is really revealed as certain. But I’m glad the series is FINALLY back on track. Mystery. There is a whole deal of mystery going on in The Darkest Surrender (even though they are BRIEFLY mentioned, in between all things Harpies). At the top of the list is how no one knows where Rhea or Galen are, and it’s not clear who’s leading the Hunters. Hopefully, the next book lets us in on what’s going on. Cronus is also absent in the book, though we do ‘hear’ of him, so we are assured he is still alive. We also are still awaiting the birth of Ashley’s twins. Can’t wait to see how that turns out! :)All in all, if you can look past the Harpies, or if you enjoy the Harpies, then you’ll have no problem enjoying The Darkest Surrender. But as for me, since I hope this is the last book we’ll EVER hear of the Harpies (*sighs* wishful thinking, I’m sure), I give this book 2.5 Kisses.