I was so excited when I started reading the books in the “Mona Lisa” series by Sunny. I mean, there are throngs of supernatural series’ out there, but most of them center on vampires or lycanthropes. Or the people who have set out to destroy them. It can become a pretty generic genre. Needless to say, the Monere society appeared to be a breath of fresh air.
The first three books in the series (“Mona Lisa Awakening”, “Mona Lisa Blossoming”, and “Mona Lisa Craving”) were really good. In fact, after reading book one I was so hooked that I immediately went out and bought books two and three and pre-ordered book four. (And after finishing the first three books, I impatiently awaited the release of “Mona Lisa Darkening,” going so far as to troll around unsuccessfully for ARC’s.) By the time it actually arrived, I was practically slavering with anticipation.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the series, the Monere are a race that migrated to the earth from the moon 4000 years ago. ‘The children of the moon’ are beautiful creatures who appear human enough to blend in, and who can in fact interbreed with humans. They are supernaturally fast and strong and live hundreds of years. They are a society led by ‘queens;’ females who are born with the ability to draw down the rays of the moon in which the other Monere’s are then able to bask in, thus sustaining their life on our planet.
In this installment, Mona Lisa’s true love, Gryphon, has recently been killed and in inhabiting the realm of hell. And she is sharing her body with the spirit of his killer, Mona Louisa. Immediately, Mona Louisa pulls some messed up sh*t and kills Mona Lisa, sending the two of them not to hell but to NetherHell “the cursed realm of the damned.” (Direct quote from the back of the book, LOL).
This situation starts a chain of events that send Gryphon and Halcyon (the High Prince of Hell and one of Mona Lisa’s mates) on a perilous decent to NetherHell to bring her back before it’s too late.
Frankly, there is not a whole lot in this book that makes sense. And (spoiler alert) at the end, we are simply right back where we started from.
As much as it pains me to do this, I feel obligated to give this book a single star rating. Unfortunately, Sunny seems to have taken a swift and drastic downturn when it comes to the quality of her writing. I hope this is just a fluke, and that any future Monere novels will be closer to what we loved from the beginning of the series.
The plus side is that if you do love this series, you should be okay to simply skip this book. As I said before, the book pretty much ends up exactly where it started, so you won’t be missing anything. You can pretend that “Mona Lisa Darkening” never even happened…