Ashlyn Darrow’s parents couldn’t deal with the child they gave birth to and gave her to an institute to be raised. She has the ability to hear all the conversations that have ever taken place anywhere she stands. Once there, she began to learn how to cope with the voices she heard.
Unable to bear a lifetime of voices, she is consumed by a need to speak to a group of men that hide themselves in Budapest. She heard that they were angels capable of miracles and decides to find their lair. Once in the forest surrounding the men’s home, she is found by Maddox, one of the ‘angels’.
Maddox was once an immortal soldier of the Gods. That was before he let jealousy take hold of him; he, along with a few fellow soldiers, stole Pandora’s box and released the demons into the world. As punishment, he was made host to the demon Violence. Maddox must also suffer the blows he gave Pandora in the insanity that reined after becoming a demon host.
I said it in my last post and I’ll say it again. If this is any example of what’s to come from Harlequin in the future, I’m sure to be a new convert. They lost me years ago as a steady customer due to books that read the same. This is not one of those books.
Ms. Showalter has done an excellent job setting up the mythology for the series in Darkest Night. It is very clear why the men are possessed and how the possessions cause them to act. It is also clear that despite the possession there is good in these people.
Maddox is a sexy- in a ‘I’m crazy and might kill you way’- hero that made me want him to survive. It was nice to watch his transformation from ‘I’m losing a battle with a demon’ to ‘I might possibly still be in here with the demon’ manner.
Ashlyn had a cool ability. I love the idea of her just standing somewhere and hearing all that happened in that spot, ever. It would be an awesome, yet horrible, ability. Due to her exposure to paranormal creatures after years of working for the institute, she doesn’t totally flip out when she realizes Maddox is possessed by Violence.
The descriptions of the way the men look when their demons are taking control is great. It reminds me of The Chronicles of Riddick when the commander has eyes in the back of his head. You know when the ghostly apparition shows itself?