The Darkest Warrior – Gena Showalter – Review
Puck is cursed with the demon of Indifference. He hides all emotions from the world or else he risks being incapacitated. He is resolute on finishing out a prophecy made about
him and his brother centuries ago. That is until Gillian walks into his life.
Gillian is an abused woman who is struggling to find a new life. She has been broken by her past and she is unsure if she can ever have a true and whole future. She is presented with an impossible choice, one that ultimately saves her life. She finds out that her past doesn’t have to define her and love is something that can be hers.
(This review is for the 14th in series so there may be spoilers for previous books).
I really liked how Gillian’s story evolved over this book. I remember when she was first introduced into the series back in the second book (I believe), she was so broken and so lost. She was desperate to find somewhere safe. She had no one and nothing to live for.
I enjoyed watching her starting to trust the Lords and their wives and girlfriends. I enjoyed watching her learning to find a way to live on her own. This book completed that journey. Though there was a serious time jump, she was able to find her own way to overcome her past.
Gilly became a badass. She was no longer the one to hide. She was no longe scared of every man who came near her. She was able to overcome her past and find her inner strength. She became a warrior. She fought for what she believed in. I loved that transformation. Loved seeing her be able to take care of herself and not need anyone else.
I also enjoyed the glimpses we got into the Hades and William storyline. While it was not nearly enough it left me interested in the next book. I want to know where Hades and his storyline are going. I am also now very intrigued where William’s story is going now that he is not ending up with Gilly.
This was probably my least favorite book in this series and there were a few things that I was able to handle but not be thrilled with and there were things that I just did not like. First I had a bit of an issue with the serious time jump in this book. In order to give us the character development of Gilly, we skip ahead about 500 years.
While this is fine I wanted to see that growth. I wanted to see more than through a few letters. I thought her character deserved us to see that transformation and not just the end. I think her story would have been even more powerful if we not only watch her transformation first hand but also saw how that connected to her growing love for Puck. That would have been the powerful story.
I thought I was going to be really upset by the fact that Gilly didn’t end up with William. The series did make it seem like those two would be together for about 12 books. I thought that would by hard for me to get over but I was okay with it.
While I would have preferred William and Gillian to be together, I do like the idea of them being friends. I think that friendship relationship could be explored more. I do like the idea of William being friend with a female and not sleeping with them. I do think that is a nice element to his character.
One of the first things that was driving me insane about this book was mainly in the beginning. Gilly is very against sex, which is undestandable because she was abused. I could not stand the way that Puck and even William kept saying that she would be alright with them. She would want to sleep with them. They could change her mind.
That is not how that works. Her wishes should have been respected. They should have stayed away and understood that she needed time to heal. If she was ever going to be with them they needed to give her the chance to make that choice for herself. Instead we did a 500 year time jump to skip over that healing process. There could have been serious commentary about sexual abuse and survivors in this story instead we stayed within the confines of the romance genre and didn’t try to go above and beyond.
I think this book would have been great if it had dared to try something different. There was so much potential to tell an interesting and different story. We could have had a story about Puck and Gilly using their relationship to learn how to heal. They could have healed each other. Puck could have realized he could be strong despite his demon and Gilly could have learned to trust and ended up with William.
Or we could have had a story where Gilly didn’t end up with anyone. She realized she didn’t need anyone. That a relationship and sex were not defining characteristics of her life. Instead we got neither. We got the generic usual love story, which was fine but wasn’t what I wanted from this story.
I gave this 2.5 stars on Goodreads. I didn’t despise this story but it was one I read through to just finish. I will continue the series because I have to know how it ends. I just wanted this story to be so much more than it was.