By: E L James
Narrator: Zachary Webber
Penguin Random House Audio | Imprint: Random House Audio
Genre: Fiction – Romance – Contemporary
Release Date: December 19, 2017
E L James revisits the world of Fifty Shades with a deeper and darker take on the love story that has enthralled millions of readers around the globe.
Their scorching, sensual affair ended in heartbreak and recrimination, but Christian Grey cannot get Anastasia Steele out of his mind, or his blood. Determined to win her back, he tries to suppress his darkest desires and his need for complete control, and to love Ana on her own terms.
But the horrors of his childhood still haunt him, and Ana’s scheming boss, Jack Hyde, clearly wants her for himself. Can Christian’s confidant and therapist, Dr. Flynn, help him face down his demons? Or will the possessiveness of Elena, his seducer, and the deranged devotion of Leila, his former submissive, drag Christian down into the past?
And if Christian does win Ana back, can a man so dark and damaged ever hope to keep her?
So, after so many years of the Twilight fan fiction phenomenon, the Fifty Shades series, one wonders if the author only has this one idea or if she is waiting to be inspired by another captivating series.
It is possible, the author, not needing to work, doesn’t have a further story in mind and so, James has now put out her second volume of the the Fifty Shades saga from Christian’s POV (the first was GREY). It’s much like MIDNIGHT SUN, Meyer’s unpublished version of TWILIGHT from Edward’s Point of View.
FIFTY SHADES created an interesting, guilty-pleasure, mass-enchantment that affected much of the globe. My personal enchantment is over with this book. The roseate goggles have broken. Also, at some point I have become bored with BDSM appearing everywhere.
I did not recall that GREY was told from the angel-on-my-shoulder, go-cam, first-person point of view in the immediate present tense. It’s my least favorite. It doesn’t allow characters any introspection in the story – all of it is happening right now. In this case the point of view may occasionally move into the immediate past tense.
In this case, the immediacy throws the shallowness of the series into relief. Christian is self-involved, obsessive, and frankly boring. He plays the piano, but doesn’t seem involved in other aspects of expression – for example books. He is only passionate about improving the plight of the world’s poor through the development of renewable resources and following Ana around to make sure she isn’t attacked by her lecherous boss, or friends, or his ex. Supposedly he experiences personal growth, of a sort, with very little effort — just the love of a good woman. HAHAHA – the greatest trap a person in a new relationship can fall for. One good thing is that, unlike many book billionaires, he actually does spend some time working.
Ana is mysterious in her understanding of Christian. Sometimes angry, sometimes unknowing and perplexed, and at others knowing him well.
The thing I found troubling in the original books was that sex was seen as a panacea for all problems the couple faces. It happens again in this series from the other side. Fighting and fucking. While sex is important to a romantic relationship, it doesn’t solve problems rooted in non-sexual issues.
The narrator does a wonderful job with the text, how many takes it required to get through the banality of the copy without hysterical laughter will be forever be a mystery. The number of times Christian frees his straining cock from ihis pants in an urgent manner is a source of amusement not at all titillating.
I was bored, and frankly embarrassed, to listen to DARKER.