Fifty Shades Trilogy: Fifty Shades Darker – Book Review (EL James)

After the torture read that was Fifty Shades of Grey (my review), I braced myself for the second book. A sane person would have stopped reading but being the masochist that I am, I wanted to know if these books, which are still selling like hotcakes, actually had anything more to them than the sex scenes upon sex scenes which filled their pages, ultimately becoming useless and skippable.

The second book in the Fifty Shades trilogy, titled Fifty Shades Darker, doesn’t stray away much from its predecessor. But as the title suggests, it runs deeper into what the first book lacked: a tangible story.

Fifty Shades Darker picks up where Grey left off: Ana had left Christian after he beat her in one of his sexual escapades. She then starts to sink in to despair, as is typical for similar characters in other books (Yes, Twilight comes to mind). Luckily enough, that doesn’t last a whole book. A few pages later Ana encounters Christian and ends up in his arms again without much struggle. This time, however, their relationship won’t be the same. New boundaries need to be set and new rules need to be instilled. As the story progresses, Ana starts to become fearful about the prospect of Christian leaving her for someone else when he gets bored of her and the “vanilla” relationship they have. On the other hand, Christian finds in Ana a reason for living (the billions upon billions that he has are not enough) and is equally fearful about her leaving him.

As their “relationship” grows, one of Christian’s ex-subs who had never lost her fixation on him returns with a vengeance while Ana faces trouble at the publishing house she’s working at with her overly flirtatious boss.

That’s book two in a nutshell.

Is it better than book one? Only slightly. Fifty Shades Darker delves deeper and goes darker into what made Christian the sadist BDSM-loving person that he is but those insights into the character’s personality are so diluted by the overly abundant sex scenes that they eventually become irrelevant.

Ana is still as useless a character as she was in book one. Even the “improvement” to her relationship with Christian don’t rub off on her – no pun intended – to give her some spine. In fact, she even melts further into the man she’s in love with, becoming more and more useless with each passing page. She “flushes” at every turn of the page. Her infamous “oh my” is blurted out countless times. Her Macbook Pro is still called the “mean machine.” Everything about her is still the same – except much staler and when her being as stale as it can get in Fifty Shades of Grey, that’s saying something.

If you’re the person reading Fifty Shades for the sex scenes (I’m not judging), you won’t be disappointed. As I said, Fifty Shades Darker doesn’t run short on them. Among the places that get a taste of Ana and Christian’s undying libido there’s a pool table, an elevator, their corresponding apartments and a boat’s deck, just to name a few.

Fifty Shades Darker manages to go a few shades deeper than its predecessor but that’s nowhere near enough to turn this erotic “thing” a novel worth reading. The characters still use the same cues for sex. Whatever plot that takes place is as predictable as it can get and that’s without even going into the overly repetitive writing style which gets even worse on this.

Why did I read these? Yes, I read all three books a few months ago. Well, horrible as they are, they were still better than the medical school material I had to study.