REVIEW: "Fifty Shades Darker", by E.L. James

Title: Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades #2)
Author: E.L. James 

Format: Kindle eBook
Pages: 532 
Release Date: September 15th 2011 
Publisher: The Writer's Coffee Shop Publishing House 

Taken from Goodreads

Daunted by the singular sexual tastes and dark secrets of the beautiful, tormented young entrepreneur Christian Grey, Anastasia Steele has broken off their relationship to start a new career with a Seattle publishing house. 

But desire for Christian still dominates her every waking thought, and when he proposes a new arrangement, Anastasia cannot resist. They rekindle their searing sensual affair, and Anastasia learns more about the harrowing past of her damaged, driven and demanding Fifty Shades. 

While Christian wrestles with his inner demons, Anastasia must confront the anger and envy of the women who came before her, and make the most important decision of her life.


A couple of days ago, I posted My Review of Fifty Shades of Grey, by E.L. James. I gave it two stars and said that I might read the others, just to see if the fuss over this trilogy becomes justified. Eventually, I did decide to give the second book a go.

Fifty Shades Darker continues the re-imagining of the Twilight series, but this time James sort of merges ideas from New Moon and Eclipse within a volume. Mostly the negative aspects! I always hated ho Bella fell apart in New Moon when she was separated from Edward. It annoyed me that she needed her manly-man in order to feel whole. 

In Eclipse, Edward was decidedly evocative of Emily Brontë's Heathcliff, from Wuthering Heights. He was domineering and chauvinistic and an all-round pain in the butt! With Christian Grey, James took these annoyances and exacerbated them. I can't understand why women all over the world are swooning over this complete ass-hat of a man. I can't help but feel like it laughs in the face of strong, independent women everywhere.

I'm not the only one who thinks that these books glorify emotional abuse. This was one of the anonymous comments I received on my review of Fifty Shades of Grey:

"i have read this book and having been in an abusive relationship for 20 years, i found it really really disturbing.

i could see the same behavior patterns in Mr Grey of an abusive partner.i think if the book ever revisits Ana in 20 years time she would have been completly destroyed by this man, jumping like a frightened mouse always trying to second guess what he wants to stop being beaten by him!!"

I found this comment very moving. I think it shows just how disturbing these books can be if you've a: had some bad experiences with having to "submit" to the baser desires of others, or b: have got your head screwed on properly.

While I didn't mind Ana in the first book, in this one she really got under my skin. Her worst moment involved her being naive and stupid where her boss was concerned. I just lost a lot of respect for her after one too many daft moments.

This was a book which seemed to get confused along the way. James began to blur the sterile lust of the first book, with more saccharine attempts at romance in this latest instalment. At the very end of the book, an attempt at establishing some conflict was made, but it was a tad weak. Too weak for me to bother buying the third book... at least not any time soon.
So, for
Fifty Shades Darker, I'm awarding two stars yet again. Some things were better, some were worse, so I feel that I don't need to reduce or increase the star count I gave Fifty Shades of Grey.

I don't think I even need to read the final book in order to know exactly where this story is going. I might try eventually, but for now my curiosity has been sated. To that end, tomorrow I am happy to have the lovely Catrin, of So Catrin Says as a guest reviewer! She's a lot more positive about the books than I am so it will be nice to have a fresh perspective! 

Until then, lovely readers! 


  1. I suggest that you give Bared to You by Sylvia Day a try. It's not anything like Fifty except for the part where Gideon Cross is an abuse survivor too. NO BDSM whatsoever and Eva is a way better heroine than Anna.

    Talk Supe

    1. I just popped over to Goodreads and the blurb and cover of that book cracked me up. I don't usually consider romance/erotica to be my genre of choice! If it's genuinely that good, I might try it some time though :P


I am an attention seeker and, as such, I HEART comments! Let me know what you are thinking and it will put a smile on my face!