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Monday, November 28, 2011

Darkness Unbound by Keri Arthur

image Darkness Unbound by Keri Arthur

Book stats:
Reading Level: Adult
Mass market paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Dell
Release date: September 27, 2011

Series: Dark Angels #1

Source: Personal shelf

Reviewed by: Jenn

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

The fight against darkness rages on for the next generation—in New York Times bestselling author Keri Arthur’s exciting new series set in the world of the Guardians.

Being half werewolf and half Aedh, Risa Jones can enter the twilight realms between life and death and see the reapers, supernatural beings that collect the souls of the dead. But she soon makes a terrifying discovery: Some sinister force is stealing souls, preventing the dead from ever knowing the afterlife.

Reapers escort souls—not snatch them—but Risa is still unnerved when a reaper shadows her in search of someone Risa has never met: her own father, an Aedh priest, who is rumored to be tampering with the gates of hell for a dark purpose. With the help of her “aunt”—half-werewolf, half-vampire Riley Jenson—and an Aedh named Lucian who may have lost his wings but none of his sex appeal, Risa must pursue whatever shadowy practitioner of blood magic is seizing souls, and somehow stop her father . . . before all hell breaks loose.

Having followed Keri Arthur’s work for many years, particularly her Riley Jensen series, I was very excited when I heard she was going to be writing Risa’s story. The Riley Jensen books are fantastic paranormal romance novels with lots of action and great storylines and I was hoping that I’d be able to say the same about the Dark Angels series. Thankfully, I can!

Risa Jones was just a kid in the Riley Jensen books but she’s all grown up in this series, running a restaurant with a couple friends and trying to lead a normal life -- at least as normal as a half-werewolf, half-Aedh woman can. (For the uninitiated, the Aedh are winged beings who have varying powers and can take different states (flesh vs. energy).) It’s a change from the Riley books; Riley was a Guardian, tasked with protecting Melbourne from the evil supernaturals, while Risa definitely does not want to be a Guardian, not after seeing the toll it took on Riley. Nonetheless, she has a good grasp of her powers and knows how to defend herself, which comes in handy when her curiosity has her running around town trying to figure out why everyone is suddenly interested in her absentee father.

Risa also has to deal with new developments on the romantic front, in the shape of an Aedh named Lucien. He’s very mysterious and I’m curious to see what his role will be in future novels. In Darkness Unbound, he proves himself to be a capable ally and a sexy, sexy dude, much like Quinn in Full Moon Rising (the first Riley Jensen novel). Risa’s also attracted to one of the reapers, the beings responsible for shepherding souls after people die. This particular reaper, Azriel, is one of the many folks looking for her father and just happens to be quite appealing. This also reminded me of the Riley books since Riley found herself torn between two men for almost the entire series. But this is good news, because Keri Arthur is a genius when it comes to writing love triangles in which you (and the character) have a hard time choosing who’s a better match!Another comparison with the Riley series: lots of steaminess. Keri Arthur doesn’t shy away from the sex and Darkness Unbound is no exception. Her characters have *very* healthy lives, if you know what I mean. ;) But the romantic antics in no way detract from the main plot, which is completely engrossing.

Fans of Keri’s other work won’t be disappointed in any way, and I suspect that this new series will attract even more readers since Darkness Unbound hooks you from the start! Plus there are a lot of familiar faces, like Riley and Rhoan, who were main characters in the Riley books but who take a more secondary role in the Dark Angels series, at least so far. It’s a fun glimpse into what happened to these guys after the series was over, but you don’t have to be familiar with the characters to enjoy them in Darkness Unbound.

Everything about Darkness Unbound made me happy and I can’t wait to see what happens to Risa next, in Darkness Rising, currently in my TBR stack.

P.S. How lush is this cover? I think it’s one of my favourites of the fall. Such dramatic colours and it really incorporates a lot of elements of the story and captures Risa nicely.

Read a teaser over at The Deadline Dames


Born and raised in the Toronto area, Jenn moved to St. John's, Newfoundland, eight years ago for school. She's still in school (thankfully on another degree!), now trapped in her dissertation. When she's not dissertating, which happens more often than it should, Jenn spends her time reading, watching movies, playing volleyball, travelling, and enjoying the local music scene. Her latest addictions: yoga and Almond Crunch cereal.

6 People left their mark' :

  1. I read this last week and loved it. Keri has done an excellent job in keeping her Riley fan base happy.

  2. wowwww beautiful cover too =)

  3. I really want to read this book, I loved the Riley series, and I love all the Keri Arthur things I've read - one of my favourite authors :)
    I hope I can read this soon! Thanks for sharing a great review :)


  4. I tried the first Riley Jensen book, and did not like it very much, mostly due to all the sex for no reason. Perhaps this one is more to my liking.

  5. @Ailsa: If you loved Riley, you'll love Risa.

    @Aurian: The amount of sex in this book is on par with what you'll see in the Riley books so you may find the same issues here.

  6. @Victoria and @noemi: Agreed!!