Review: ★Darkest Before Dawn★ by Maya Banks

Review-DBDDarkest Before Dawn
Series: KGI #10
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Author: Maya Banks
Release Date: October 27, 2015add-to-goodreads-button-2

23506103-2

The Kelly Group International (KGI): A super-elite, top secret, family-run business.
Qualifications: High intelligence, rock-hard body, military background.
Mission: Hostage/kidnap victim recovery. Intelligence gathering. Handling jobs the U.S. government can’t…

The enigmatic Hancock has been both opponent and ally to the KGI teams for as long as they’ve known him. Always working a deep game, Hancock’s true allegiance has never been apparent, but one thing is for certain—he never lets anything get in the way of duty.

But now, his absolute belief in the primacy of his ultimate goal is challenged by a captive he’s been ordered to guard, no matter how much she suffers in her prison. She’s the only woman who’s ever managed to penetrate the rigid walls surrounding his icy heart, but will he allow his perplexing feelings for the beautiful victim to destroy a mission he’s spent years working to complete or will he be forced to sacrifice her for “the greater good.”

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Review2 Stars

I’ve been such a huge fan of Maya Banks, but I’m finding that most of her recent releases have been slightly less than lackluster for me lately. While I loved the first five books in the KGI series, since book six it’s been taking a significant decline for me. The story lines are just OTT out there, the characters not quite what they used to be. But still I was holding out hope for Hancock to finally bring this series back to what it used to be. I’ve been eagerly anticipating his book for years, so I was beyond excited to get my hands on Darkest Before Dawn….only to be disappointed.

The first 25% of the book I struggled to get into it. It was repetitive to the point of redundancy. Hancock’s internal musings of him being the bad guy but for good intentions was repeated ad nauseam. I suppose this is good for readers coming into the series without having read the previous books. But for fans of the series that have been up to date? Well, let’s just say you’ll get a bit of a refresher.

The story really took off after the 25% mark and I found I couldn’t put the book down. The action and suspense really picked up. The budding romance begin…and then it all crashed down after the 60% mark.

The heroine was idealistic and naive to the point of being OTT about it. It’s almost cheesy for me to say that Honor was just too honorable, but that’s what it is. While I really liked her in the beginning, her internal monologue and reasoning after the 60% mark was just beyond anything I could wrap my mind around. I don’t care how much you want the bad guys to get caught, no person in their right mind will reason with themselves that they’re OK with being betrayed and sacrificed for the greater good because it’s the “right” thing to do. She’s not a soldier. She’s a relief aid volunteer. When she finds out Hancock’s plans on using her, she’s not mad, crying, trying to escape. Nope. She accepts it all with the calmness of a woman that was just told that the purse she wanted isn’t in stock. Ah well, it is what it is. In Hancock’s defense, he never lies to her. Unless you consider lie by omission. He never confirms that he’s there to save her and doesn’t give her false hope. But he never point blank admits it either. This was just the beginning of the end for me. His epiphany came a little too late for me to sympathize with him or even like him.

Add into the mix that Honor is a (highlight to view spoiler)virgin (end spoiler), because it’s not enough with her personality fitting her name. Nope. You have to add the cherry on top. Pun intended.

But not only does she accept everything with an unbelievable sort of calm, she asks Hancock to (highlight to view spoiler)take her virginity (end spoiler). Why?(highlight to view spoiler) Because she doesn’t want her first time to be a rape, since that is inevitably what would happen to her once she’s handed over to the man that hired Hancock. Rape. Torture. Death. (end spoiler)
A man with the intentions of sacrificing me for the greater good does not exactly make me go all tingly in the nether regions. Add into the fact that she knows what she has in store for her and how horrific her (highlight to view spoiler) death(end spoiler) will be, and yet her line of thinking is (highlight to view spoiler)Oh, Hanckcock. You’re so brave and honorable for making such a hard decision. Please take my virginity. I want you to be the one. Yep. Not only does she forgive him, but she rationalizes it and praises him for it.  (end spoiler)

After 60% the book just spiraled down faster than a junky on a bender. Hancock flipped a switch and pulled a complete 180; going from badass to p*ssy in 0 to 6 seconds. It was great to finally get the entire KGI crew, but unfortunately it was a case of too little too late. For all the hopes I had for this book, sadly after finishing it, I think I’m done with this series. I kept hoping that it will come back to what it once was, but after 4 books in a row that left me underwhelmed, I just don’t have it in me to continue.

I know what Maya Banks is capable of, and her earlier books are a true testament to that. Her Sweet series was one of my favorites. But sadly the releases she’s had lately seem to be missing a certain edge that her earlier work had. I’m still holding out hope, but not with this series.

Read the rest of the series

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(KGI, #1)

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(KGI, #2)

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(KGI, #3)

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(KGI, #4)

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(KGI, #5)

14741092

(KGI, #5.5)

13411699

(KGI, #6)

16056428

(KGI, #7)

17912980

(KGI, #8)

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(KGI, #9)

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