Thursday, January 19, 2012

Review: Darkness Unbound (Dark Angels #1) by Keri Arthur

Book: Darkness Unbound (Dark Angels #1) by Keri Arthur
Release Date: 27 Sep 2011
Publisher: Dell
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Psychics, Shapeshifters, Witches
Summary: 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.
Buy It: Paperbackor Kindle eBook

Review: Let me preface this review by saying that I'm an utter idiot and didn't realize the Dark Angels series had anything to do with the Riley Jenson Guardian one. Moving on: The very beginning of Darkness Unbound was an... interesting journey for me. I was so lost and utterly confused. Every few paragraphs something new was being added and none of it was something I was familiar with. We've got reapers, Helki werewolves, pagans, firestarters, Aedh, Fravardin, mares etc. I had to somehow learn all of those while being introduced to a stream of characters and those characters' friends, family and sexual preference. Somewhere in there I believe there was a plot too but I can't be sure because I was so freakin' lost. I have to say that while I was frustrated, lost and confused that I was also deeply intrigued. I'd picked up this book thinking 'alright! urban fantasy, let's do this' and expected it to be something I could plow through, enjoy the interesting story and familiarity then quickly move on from it. Darkness Unbound proved to be so much more than a run of the mill urban fantasy. It was something startlingly new to me but fascinating and definitely enjoyable. All I can say is read, you won't regret it. Things became much clearer as the book moved along and several times I felt ridiculous for not having gotten something in the first place. Everything probably would have been crystal clear if I'd read the Riley Jenson series first but I hadn't realized the two were related.

There were so many little itty-bitty parts of Darkness Unbound that made me want to hug Arthur for their uniqueness. Our heroine, Risa Jones, has loving family and friends. I never see that in urban fantasy! Most times it's them against the world with a sidekick or love interest to save or help out a little. Risa is a rich, privileged character. My mind was totally blown when this finally sank in. The whole concept for the book was unique but it was these small additions that mattered most to me. They made Risa more of her own character rather than urban fantasy heroine #32.

Darkness Unbound was significantly more risque than most urban fantasy and paranormal romance novels I've read. I wasn't on board for the occurrence at Franklin's. Smut with not even a single iota of emotion does nothing for me. Maybe it's because I'm not familiar with Arthur's writing but I feel it's necessary to mention the threesome that takes place, it certainly caught me off guard. You won't find that in pretty much any non-erotia romance, let alone a book marketed as urban fantasy. It's quick, maybe a page or two, but I do feel that it's enough for those of you who find menages to be a no go for it to possibly ruin things for you. I was really enjoying the story and adoring Risa so when stumbled upon it I was more baffled than anything else because, despite all the sexuality and promiscuity mentioned, I never expected to face it head on.

The ending was intense. There is no way that I'll be able to resist reading the next in the series, Darkness Rising, for long. I usually like to space books out so that by the time the upcoming book releases I won't have forgotten everything, but the ending of Darkness Unbound is heart stopping. I need to know what's next for Risa right now!

“You will tell me,” I said softly, resting my hand against his chest, just above his heart. Only my fingers held no substance and slipped easily through his flesh, into his body, until they were positioned near his frantically beating heart. “Or I will wrap my fingers around your heart and squeeze every bit of life out of it.”

Rating: 4 Bites (Really enjoyed it)


  1. Ooh this sounds interesting! I've never read this or the Riley Jenson Guardian one though maybe I should start with that.

    Xpresso Reads

    1. The summary for this book completely won me over. I'm still kicking myself for being so excited that I didn't notice the nine book series it takes place after. I can't wait to read that one though! Hopefully Darkness Unbound didn't give away too much of the ending since it does have Riley in it.


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