It's been a year since ex-Navy SEAL Ethan Kelly saw his wife Rachel alive. Now he's received an anonymous phone call claiming Rachel is alive. To find her, Ethan will have to doge bullets, cross a jungle, and risk falling captive to a deadly drug cartel that threatens his own demise.
What disappointed you about The Darkest Hour?
The book is littered with Alpha males, a big ol’ family of alpha males with alpha male buddies and alpha male adopted friends. I was just waiting for a scene where they all got drunk, beat on their sculpted naked former military chests, and chanted cadences together. But the over the top masculine posturing was killed by the number of times these brawny boys started bawling. I admit it, it’s me and my own jaded bias against men crying, but seriously the dad cried, a brother cried, and Ethan must have broke down crying at least six times. Man up Ranger’s, former Marine, and former Navy Seal, this Army Vet thinks you’re all pathetic.
What was most disappointing about Maya Banks’s story?
I had to suspend my disbelief too much in order to get through the plot mechanics of this book. If you are a stickler for how the world really works, this book will annoy you. We’re going to launch some spook mission into drug cartel territory, but we’re not going to do a trace on who sent the Fed-ex package. A wayward teen is taken in by a schoolteacher, but no one in county social services or child welfare is notified. A body was incinerated so badly dental records couldn’t be used to ID the body, but her wedding bands were only marred and not a puddle of melted goo. I know, I know un-plug your brain and try to enjoy it, but there were a lot of these kinds of things. They piled up on me making the read careless and messy.
What about Harry Berkeley’s performance did you like?
Poor Mr. Berkley, I love him for uttering such terrible lines with professional conviction. I really did start laughing after awhile when he had to abide with the overuse and repetition of the word “baby.” Baby, oh baby, I love you baby.
What character would you cut from The Darkest Hour?
The repetition and pacing was terrible. We hear Ethan make all of these confessions and long drawn out monologues about his love for Rachel. Then Rachel reunites with one brother and he hugs her, and tucks hair away, and monologues about family and how much everybody loves her. Then she meets with another brother and it’s a different brother but the same scene all over. Then Rachel reunites with a friend from high school, who is an adoptive friend of the family, and he’s hugging her and telling her how much her family loves her and it’s all going to be okay. Yes, we get it, everybody loves Rachel, wants to hug her and touch her hair, but I just wanted to ready the story, not read a different version of the same scene six times. So maybe not one specific character, but five of those six scenes could go.
Any additional comments?
So many good ideas, so many interesting characters, but in the end these elements were the only thing keeping this book from becoming nauseating. This is the most sappy and overdramatic book I’ve read in a long time.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful
I loved this book! After listening to this 1st book in the series, I have already purchased the rest of them. The narrator was great, I love a strong male character especially when the narrator has a strong male voice!! If you love Maya Banks, you will love this series, it may just be the best one yet!
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
Don’t be silly like I have been, and wait to get started on this series! For over a year now, I saw the reviews of the KGI series, and it just didn’t seem like something I would be interested in. I like action, but I’m much more of a romancer. This book had an excellent balance of action, suspense, humor, sass, and toe-curling hot romance. It was nearly perfect. The narration was excellent, and the overall storyline had me riveted from the very beginning. I’ve always been a Maya Banks fan, but I haven’t listened to anything from her in quite some time. My interest is highly piqued and I’m burning through my credits with this one. This is a series that I know I will get lost in and binge on for days on end.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
I fell in love with KGI series after reading The Darkest Hour. If you are in the mood for heartbreak, forgiveness, and redemption then this is the book for you! As always I hate giving anything away but this book made me run out and buy all of the books in the KGI series. Maya Banks has the unbelievable talent with her writing to draw a person into the story and anchor you not only to the main characters but to the secondary characters. So much so you anticipate their stories just as much as the main story.
Harry Berkeley is an amazingly talented reader. He brings such warmth to each of the characters and is the perfect complement to Maya Bank’s writing talent. Now if Recorded books and Audible would get book two out before book six comes out next year!
13 of 15 people found this review helpful
This was a very good story. I really liked both Ethan and Rachel and enjoyed seeing them come back together and work things out. I really like Maya Banks work and will be continuing with this series.
Ethan is an ex-SEAL and, when the story begins, is trying to get through the year anniversary of the death of his wife, Rachel. He's torn up and can't get past loosing her and just wishes there was some way he could go back in time or get her back. Impossible right? Well Ethan thought so too until he gets a package with pictures of someone that looks like Rachel. The information indicates that Rachel is being held in drug cartel camp down in South America. He's afraid to hope and goes to his brothers, who run a "Special Ops" company, for help.
3 of Ethan's brother's run KGI (Kelly Group International), which is a company that performs Ops like hostage/kidnap victim recovery & intelligence gathering among other things. When Ethan brings them the info he received, they are all in for planning a mission and going in to save her. Since the area she's supposed to be in is near where she was supposedly killed while on a aid mission for a charity a year before, they're hopeful it's really her. Because of her imprisonment and drugs that her captors used on her, Rachel doesn't remember much of anything except her name and Ethan's face. She almost wondered if his face was a figment of her imagination but thinking of him made her feel safe. When her rescue comes, she's so messed up that Ethan is the only one she'll trust, not remembering any of his brothers at first. There is a little bit of an issue getting out but they manage and everyone gets out whole, if slightly banged up.
Rachel has some recovering to do and Ethan stays by her side while it happens. She starts remembering some of his brothers but things are still iffy on her memory and recovering from the drugs takes a lot out of her. Ethan, being thrilled to have Rachel back in his arms, does everything he can to help her recover. They bond back together as she heals and they start getting back in to their relationship. Rachel's memory is still fractured and she doesn't remember much. Ethan is glad of this because before he thought she died, their marriage had been in a bad spot. Ethan was to blame and is hoping he can convince her of his love before she remembers so he can convince her to give him another chance. He takes care of her and she starts to settle in to being back home and meet people she doesn't remember that she used to know. Things go pretty well in this regard but there are difficulties. One of these is unintentionally caused by a homeless girl, Rusty, that Ethan's parents took in. I liked Rusty and hope she sticks around in the series...she seems like she'd make things interesting.
Most of the issues Rachel has settling in are to be expected but she does get run off the road at one point but they don't think anything of it at the time. Things are going pretty well when Rachel finally remembers about their marriage issues. Ethan tries to explain and does but they still have more talking to do when things go wrong and Rachel is taken by some bad guys who try to kill her. She gets past this danger just to have another attempt on her life. It becomes obvious that her faulty memory is hiding something that someone doesn't want to come out. In the end, the truth comes out and the bad guy is arrested. Rachel and Ethan talk things through and confirm that they love each other and want to make things work and then they start working their way to a HEA.
I thought this story was very good. Ethan and Rachel are flawed people but realistic and I really enjoyed seeing them get another chance at love. The characters (secondary characters included) are great and the story is interesting. I'm looking forward to trying the next book in the series. I'd recommend this book. Thumbs up. :)
7 of 8 people found this review helpful
Of course we all have our own individual preferences and the only way one knows if you like a book is to listen to it yourself. I am a fan of MB books and I found myself, forcing myself to listen to this book until the end.
I was disappointed to find this story boring, sickeningly filled with overdone "lovey doviness", and a ridiculous amount of mundane descriptions. At points, I found myself speaking out loud in frustration. Don't get me wrong there are some good points in the story, but overall it leaves a lot to be desired. The narration unfortunately left even more to be desired. When I listened to the preview snippet I thought the sexy accent would surely heighten the enjoyment, but OMG he was so very boring. I am a fan of Kresley Cole, J D Tyler, Jeanine Frost, and Gena Showalter to name a few, and was hoping the KGI series would be of their caliber, like MB's other books. As a MB fan, I'm hoping the KGI stories get better and am going to try Book 2. But, If 2 is as bad as Book 1, then I will not be able to recommend them at all.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Is there anything you would change about this book?
Usually I expect more from Maya Banks. Since I finished her Sweet Series...I was expecting the same hot and heavy love scenes with a great set of characters to really enjoy. This book was okay..not great...the love story is pretty much predictable. I would say Maya does layout the Kelly Clan well enough that you may want to explore their individual stories. However, these books will not be a must have in my library. There was not enough drama or action to keep me wanting more.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
What made the experience of listening to The Darkest Hour the most enjoyable?
The Kelly family dynamic.
What other book might you compare The Darkest Hour to and why?
That other family of tough guys with a little psy powers thrown in. What was it called?
Have you listened to any of Harry Berkeley’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
I haven't listened to this narrator before. It took me a while to get used to him as his style is a little aggressive. Many sentances start off more explosively than expected. He did a good job of making it easy to tell the different character apart but he made Rachael sound even wimpier that she was, or maybe she just was.His womens' voices were pretty good. He didn't use a grating falsetto - he did pitch his voice a little higher than the mens voices, but her relied more on intonation and timing to feminize them and I thought it worked well.<br/>This book was a little lighter on the *hot* scenes that others by this author. The narrator did a good job when the going did get steamy-he didn't hesitate and he didn't sound unaffected either - I liked it!
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
I guess, I did. Even though I found myself taking to the characters - "don't be so stupid.." etc.
Any additional comments?
Really I want to give this a 3.5. The premise was good and I like books that are as much emotion driven as action driven so that was ok. But the dialog dragged. Seemed as though someone said " Are you ok?" on every page. Rachael's ordeal was pretty tramatic so I guess she deserves some slack but she did tend to internalize everything and then decide to talk to - her brothers in law? Get a clue girl - talk to your husband! And Ethan - big boys do cry. He spent so much time hesitating while he tried to cover his feelings that he was either emotionaly absent when Rachael needed him or actually physically absent from the room every time anything bad was about to go down.I am going to read the next in the series but if it doesn't pick up a bit I'm done.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Well unfortunately I've been a bit slow to listen to this series because Audible released them out of order and I wanted to wait and listen to them in order - which I'm so pleased I can now do and hey, better late than never.
This was a great listen (as most of Maya's books are) and it hooked me in from the start as grieving drunk ex Navy Seal's greatest wish is granted as he finds out his wife could still be alive and asks for all his brothers in the KGI Team to help free her.
There's action, thrills, passion and heartache as the story unfolds and we learn about all the characters involved in the KGI Team as well as the two main characters and their on/off relationship which is sorely tested. I thought the sex/passion scenes were a wee bit 'tame'' for M.B.'s usual books but it was still a very enjoyable listen.
Worth a credit? Yes absolutely, and I'm looking forward to the next one.
10 of 13 people found this review helpful
I listened to the later books first because they were the only available on audio and liked them all. This one was no exception. I like the characters and story lines of each book. The heroine in this one was brittle but still strong if that makes sense. Not an easy balance to keep.
I'm waiting for the rest of the series to be put on audio. My eyesight is very poor and I can't read printed books so audio book mean a lot to me.
I love Harry Berkely. I try not to let a bad reader ruin a book but when there is one you like this much it makes the book better.
6 of 8 people found this review helpful