Monday, April 28, 2014

Better the Devil You Know, Than the Devil You Don't...Says Who Exactly? REVIEW: Taming Darkness

Since he was sentenced to earth eons ago, Lucifer has always lived by three simple rules: Humans are toys that are meant to be played with, love is a useless emotion, and the only creature worth fighting for is himself. To him, nothing matters but his own enjoyment, whether it be manipulating those around him, or indulging in the sins of the flesh with Lilith. Then he found young, sweet, and innocent, Maria, who is everything that Lucifer detests. She has devoted her life to her one true love, God. Unable to resist a challenge, Lucifer sets his sights on tempting Maria away from his enemy. Disguising himself as Lucas Starr, he creates a world that not even Maria can resist. He never planned on having the tables turned on him.Imagine Lucifer’s surprise when Maria brings him to his knees and shows him a glimpse of heaven once more.
Blinded by his arrogance and an unlikely vision, Lucifer falls again, this time forgetting that some lines should never be crossed. When his greatest opponent, Michael, shows up, all Hell breaks loose. Will Maria be able to accept Lucifer for who he truly is, or realize what Michael already knows: some destinies can never be changed?

Forgive me father for I have sinned.  I must confess that for some time now, I have been waiting for this book.  We've had the vampires, the werewolves, the zombies, dark fae and fallen angels grace the pages of our beloved books.  Look around your bookstore and you'll notice that every supernatural bad boy is represented.  I was wondering when the Devil would have his turn.  Look away, sweetums, if you have a timid heart.  Run for the hills, my dear, if a controversial topic makes your head spin.  We're talking Hell and brimstone here.  The author picked an enormously tough subject matter to tackle, and managed to do so in a way that made you feel sympathy for the Devil.  Who exactly said it's better to deal with the Devil you know?  Too bad for them he isn't here.  Daemon's version of the devil is oh so deliciously the one you don't, and that is essentially what made this book such a surprisingly captivating read.  It's that unexpected realization that you're cheering on THE ultimate bad boy.  And he is a very, very bad boy.  Luce is evil, conniving, egotistical, charming, hilarious,  narcissistic, blinded by ambition and at times, a royal pain in the ass...the prodigal prince of darkness if you will.  The author opens with a quote from Milton's Paradise Lost..."Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven," and Paradise Lost, along with Blake's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell,  are most certainly echoed throughout  the book.  The Devil as a prideful defier of rules.  In his mind, he was never the bad guy, but simply the one who broke from tyranny.  So what happens when the diabolical rebel finds himself potentially in love?  Well, the expected I suppose...until you are completely derailed in one heart stopper of a twist.  Want to know what it is?  Oh my dears, I never kiss and tell.  You will have to read for yourself.

As for the mechanics of the writing, the character of Luce is very richly developed while the secondary characters sort of take a back seat.  While that might throw a few readers, I actually enjoyed that aspect of the story.  The devil as narrator will want to shine more brightly than the others in the story.  Michael, Lilith, even Mary, pale in comparison next to the Morning Star, and really, could it be any other way?  We are talking about the penultimate limelight hogger, so we spend the entirety of the story in Luce's head and experience all the events from his perspective.  The pacing is a slow, burning build to one hell (pardon the pun) of a cliffhanger that will leave you crazed for the second novel.

All in all I have to say that Taming Darkness fulfilled my little fangirl desire for a devilish good time.

*Note: Goth Girl Gabs was provided a free copy of Taming Darkness in exchange for an honest review.
This Goth Girl gives it:

Now you understand why I left.  It's not that I desired to wage a war.  I just had no other choice.  So, no matter what you've heard in the past, I'd like to take a moment to clarify something: I'm not the bad guy here.

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