The Darkest Craving - Gena Showalter So I'm not sure what to make of this one. It feels like a very different LotU world than the previous books in the series. I admit that I've skipped the Angels spinoff mainly because so many reviews mentioned the overt christian message in them. But a lot of that world seems to be involved in the LotU world now and I'm not certain that I actually enjoyed a lot of this book even though I'm very invested in the world and characters, and there was still a lot of fun banter.

Kane has a very different relationship with his demon than any of the previous Lords. None of them likes the beings of evil and temptation that they were forced to host but they were able to have some sort of grudging working relationship with them, able to use the strengths that the demons gave them while struggling with the weakness that they brought. Sabin was a great example of this - Doubt gave him the power to make his enemies start questioning themselves so they'd be weakened and distracted but it also cost him every romantic relationship as anyone he got close to would also be subject to constant doubt about themselves. But Kane literally hates his demon, see no benefit, wants him dead even if it means he himself has to die. I can't help but feel like the change is due to Gena Showalter's new found religion. When a demon is no longer a metaphor or symbolic stand in for human weakness but it's actually a personification of evil, I would think that it's harder to write a character than can come to balance with the demon, it must be defeated. And that's a lot of what made this book no so much fun to read. I don't want my kick ass warriors to be so willing to die.

There are some other subtle changes, no sex until marriage (which is fine by me) and all the sex outside of marriage is wrong and empty (which is not a message I agree with). The sex is definitely toned down, I didn't really have a problem with that. I'd rather have no sex scenes or just a fade to black that an uncomfortably written one. I do have an issue with the subtle (and not so subtle) moralizing. Given the treatment of the female characters here I doubt we'll have heroines like the harpies (who were pretty open about their sexuality) again. Everyone is pretty much falling into the virgin or whore camp.

So this was an awkward book to read. It was like seeing an old friend who has some new found faith. A lot of what you liked about them is still there but they've changed in some fundamental way. You can't have the same relationship with them but it doesn't mean you can't still be friends. I don't begrudge anyone their faith or anything that helps them feel better or be a better human being. But when I don't share that faith, I kind of don't want it to invade my recreational reading. So that's how I feel about this series. I'll still read Torin's book, which is next. I'll decide after that if I'm going to stick with it or not.