Fifty Shades Darker is the second book in the erotic romance Fifty Shades of Grey series authored by E.L. James. Married with two teenage sons, James originally wrote the series as fan-fiction to the Twilight saga under the pen name “Snowqueens Icedragon,” and because of the trilogy’s huge fan following, it was published independently of Twilight and has become a resounding success in the publishing industry.
The Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy follows the relationship of 21-year-old college senior Anastasia “Ana” Steele and the wealthy 27-year-old Christian Grey that mainly revolves around the world of bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, and sadism and masochism (BDSM).
Fifty Shades Darker begins where Fifty Shades of Grey leaves off—Ana has broken up with Christian and has gotten a job at a Seattle publishing house. However, she can’t seem to stop thinking about the mysterious and alluring Mr. Grey, and when Christian seeks her out to propose a new arrangement, Ana does not have the heart to say no. Their newly rekindled relationship takes Ana back into Christian’s tormented and troubled past as she faces her own demons and make what could be the most important decision in her life.
If you read and enjoyed the first book in the trilogy, then you will most likely enjoy James’ newest addition to the series. While James doesn’t hold back on the sex, there is much more focus on Ana and Christian’s relationship, turning the erotic into the passionate. It’s much more of a love story this time around than erotic fiction, and the emphasis is on the growing faith, patience, and trust that Ana and Christian have between them—a mile a away from the confusion and eroticism of the first book. The second book reads as the transformation of Ana and Christian’s agreement into a real relationship founded love rather than signatures on papers.
If you read and did not enjoy the first book, however, then you will most certainly not enjoy the second book as well. The trilogy is, of course, not without controversy. James has received flak for her writing style, but much of the criticism has revolved around the content of the book itself. While the disapproval on the first book was more about its false depiction of the BDSM lifestyle, many have attacked the second book’s unrealistic attempt at analyzing emotional trauma and, most importantly, its increasing anti-feminist sentiments.
Either you hate it or you love it, but there is no denying that the Fifty Shades trilogy has become a pop culture phenomenon.