Darkest Before Dawn by Maya Banks

Darkest Before Dawn by Maya BanksDarkest Before Dawn (KGI, #10) by Maya Banks
Published by Berkley on October 27th 2015
Genres: Action & Adventure, Romantic Suspense
Pages: 384
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THE ALL-NEW KGI NOVEL from the “incredibly awesome" (Jaci Burton) #1 New York Times bestselling author of When Day Breaks.
The Kelly Group International (KGI):
A super-elite, top secret, family-run business.
High intelligence, rock-hard body, military background.
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.”

Darkest Before Dawn has a strong premise, and since I’m a fan of military dramas I wish I could say it was enough to make this a winner for me. Sadly, however, the book falters under the weight of overwhelming excesses.

This is an overly detailed, nearly 400 page story that would definitely benefit from a shorter length. There is a great deal of exposition in the beginning, and while I appreciated the author’s intention to acclimate readers like me who are new to the series, it’s just too lengthy. What’s troublesome is how often exhaustive exposition is used throughout the entire book—basically each time a character from a previous book is mentioned (which occurs frequently).
The dialog and narration are exceedingly redundant. Even the plot points are repetitive. I stopped counting the number of times Hancock injects Honor with a sedative so he won’t have to answer her questions, witness her sense of betrayal, struggle with her, etc.
Perhaps one of the biggest downfalls is the one-dimensional main character. Honor is exactly as her name indicates: honorable. However, she’s excessively so. View Spoiler » It pushes the bounds of realism. Honor has no flaws, so rather than being a character you can relate to she becomes a caricature.
The book is light on romance and heavy on the action, which was a smart choice. I was anticipating the characters would fall victim to the cliché insta-lust; however, their attraction occurs much later in the story. The focus is primarily on the military mission. It’s dark, gritty, and violent.
Fans of the series may be interested to know that characters from previous books return to play key roles in the story.

** ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. **

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