“I really enjoyed this book..”see full review » see other reviews »
“I really enjoyed this book.. ”Debbie wrote this review Thursday, April 4, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales
Quick & Dirty: Dark urban fantasy set in a deadly and mysterious world. An ongoing storyline leaves several plots unfinished at the end of this book.
Opening Sentence: I’ve always seen the reapers.
Risa Jones has unique skills as a half werewolf and a half Aedh. Aedh’s are most commonly referred to as angels because that is what they look like but that is not exactly what they are. As an Aedh, Risa has always been able to see the Reapers, collectors of the souls of the dead, so when one begins to follow her, she prepares to confront him but not before her mother asks her to do a favor, to see if a little girl who has fallen into a coma has already crossed over or if her soul is still in her body. One of Risa’s skills allows her to see if souls have moved on for people who are in comas or worse and this is how she realizes that someone is stealing souls.
Risa then confronts Azriel about the stolen souls. Azriel is stunned that Risa can see him, almost everyone human or supernatural cannot see reapers but then Risa isn’t normal. On top of the news about stolen souls, Risa finds out Azriel is following her because he is looking for her father. He isn’t the only one looking for her father. Risa believes her father to be dead and the fact that she has never met him makes her think these people are crazy for confronting her. Her father is the prime suspect in holding keys that will unlock the three gates between the world and where the souls go and are reborn. People are using her to find these keys for good or for bad. Risa then enlists the help of her friends, Tao and Ilianna, and her “Aunt” Riley into finding who is destroying souls forever.
Risa is a strong and impetuous character. She often doesn’t think about what she is going to do until she does it. She is also very highly sexual. She likes to blame this on her werewolf genes but I’m not so sure. She enters into an unemotional but very adventurous sexual relationship with an Aedh named Lucian. She is afraid of relationships since her heart was broken so sex really feels this void. She highly values friendships that she has and she does everything to keep them alive.
Darkness Unbound is a spin-off of Keri Arthur’s Riley Jenson’s series. Unfortunately I have not read this series but it is one series I have entirely on my TBR pile so I was a little wary about jumping straight to this title. There were a few spoilers said but they didn’t seem to really ruin too much, just enough to tease those who may have read the previous series. Darkness Unbound really sticks with Risa and her life.
Darkness Unbound is an urban fantasy that is told strictly through Risa’s first person point of view. There are two main plots going on through the story, one to find who is stealing souls and the other mystery of Risa’s father. One gets resolved while the other does not. Also, with a cliffhangerish ending, you will want the next book, Darkness Rising, setting nearby. I think if I had known that there would be a huge multistory plot line going on before I read Darkness Unbound then I may have liked this story better than I did. The worldbuilding has been fairly well established in the previous books but for me the background was pretty fantastic and refreshing with its Aedhs, Reapers, psychics and face shifting werewolves. Since this is such a huge world I did have some trouble initially getting into the story but once I did I really enjoyed this novel.
Overall, Darkness Unbound sets up a mysterious new urban fantasy. This is a reasonable start up to an all new series, if you can make it past this first book the next two get much better. I would recommend having the other books in this series close by after finishing Darkness Unbound.
Several more empty pages followed; then came a picture of what looked like a wingless, serpent-like dragon. Unlike anything else in this old book so far, the colors were vibrant and colorful, the serpentine form drawn with such skill that the tiny violet scales almost appeared to glow in the half-light of the room.
I touched it lightly, running my fingers down the jeweled spine and the spiraled tail. It almost seemed warm, as if life really did pulse underneath the luminous paint.
“Fuck, Risa,” Ilianna yelled from the other kitchen. “Whatever you’re doing—“
The rest of her warning was lost in an explosion of power that knocked me backward and tore the dragon from the book.
It was no picture. It was alive.
The violet dragon was real and whole and powerful, and it swirled toward me—a glinting, arcane force I could feel through every fiber of my being.
I screamed and scrambled backward as fast as I could, but the creature was faster. It hit my fingertips, curled up my left wrist and arm, then seemed to settle, its little claws sinking into my arm, drawing blood but not really hurting. Its scaly hide felt like ice, and the bright violet of its scales glittered jewel-like against my skin.
FTC Advisory: I purchased my own copy of Darkness Unbound. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.”
“A fantastic start to the series.
It is face paced and will keep you page turning
Cannot wait to read the rest of the series!
A must read for Keri Arthur fans”
“Darkness Unbound is the first book in the Dark Angels series by Keri Arthur and a Dell Fantasy.
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.
Risa Jones is the daughter of a very powerful psychic and an Aedh - this gives her a combination of gifts. She has visions like her mother - but not as precise - and she can transform herself into a vapor like substance and travel undetected for short periods of time like her father, though it is very draining.
When Risa is asked to visit a child in the hospital she is shocked to find that the child’s soul has been ripped from her body. Shaken, Risa asks for help from the first reaper she sees - who also happens to have been following her.
What the two discover is that blood magic is being used to alter the gates of hell - and more than one faction thinks Risa’s father is involved...
Darkness Unbound was an enjoyable read. I give it 3 out of 5 stars.
Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Dell (September 27, 2011)
“Our Review [by LITERAL ADDICTION's Pack Alpha - Michelle L Olson]:
Keri Arthur has been one of my favorite authors for quite some time and the Riley Jenson series has been one of my favorites.
With 9 books in that series that held me captive, you can imagine how excited I was to hear that Keri was writing a spin-off series featuring the incredible daughter of Dia Jones. What I didn't expect when starting Darkness Unbound was that it would quickly jump to the forefront of `my favorite books ever' list.
I was asked the other day what I look for in a good Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance book. My answer, "intrigue". Well, Darkness Unbound gave me that times 100, and so, SO much more!
This series is going to be incredible, if the first installment is anything to go by. It literally had it all... Heart pumping action, massive amounts of intrigue, toe curling romance, a captivating plot, and the ending had you wishing that the next book was sitting inches away so you could start it immediately.
The characters were amazing as well. Strong, capable, female leads, uber sexy alpha males, and enough magick to keep even the pickiest of readers happy; there were shifters, witches, angels (the Aedh), reapers, demons, vampires, clairvoyants and more.
LITERAL ADDICTION Paranormal Book Club gives Darkness Unbound 5 Skulls, and sincerely wishes there were more to give!
We HIGHLY recommend it for, well... EVERYONE! Keri Arthur fans will adore it, but more than that, it had everything you want in a perfectly written Urban Fantasy, and just enough hot and steamy sex and romance to keep Paranormal Romance lovers happy as well.
While it definitely isn't necessary to read the Riley Jenson, Guardian series first in order to understand and appreciate the Dark Angels series, in my personal opinion it would help. The supporting characters and historical references (from a book standpoint) will mean SO much more to you as a reader if you've lived their lives with them first, and grew up with Risa, so to speak, before jumping into her incredible life at age 28, where Darkness Unbound picks up.
BIG kudos for Keri and the Dark Angels series! November cannot get here fast enough to get Darkness Unleashed into my hot little hands... ”
“Truly awesome! I thought I would have issues moving past Riley (love Riley and Quinn)--Nope. Risa ROCKS.”Bobbi Romans wrote this review Saturday, March 24, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“As a huge fan of the Riley Jenson series I was both excited and sad about the beginning of the Dark Angels series. One, I did not want the original series to end and two, I was interested to read about Risa as an adult.
Keri Arthur is such an excellent writer that I knew she could not lack in anything other than my personal expectations. She did not disappoint!
Risa, who past readers came to know as the special child who saved Riley, has grown into a successful adult. She's matured into her powers as both a psychic and an Aedh. As she is charged with an impossible task by her mysterious father, it is a race against time to save everything she loves and the world as she knows it.
Excellent story, fantastic writing, nothing less than is expected from Ms. Arthur. An excellent beginning to another home run series! ”
“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!
Review originally posted on my blog, Bitten Books: http://www.bittenbooks.com/2012/01/review-darkness-unbound-dark-angels-1.html”
“It was totally awesome i loved everything about it , i love Risa she's really cool and i am totally in love with Azriel he's so awesome/sexy and can not wait to read more about him , the plot was kickin' from the start and you just fall in love with all the characters , i was so glad that they have a little of riley in it because i have really missed reading about her , i think this is a great new series and i cannot wait to read the next book soon .
totally 5 stars”
“I adored this book!! It was fast paced, always something going on from the minute you start it til the very last page!! It was sad, exciting, sexy, steamy and so many other things all wrapped into one book!!
For those who have read the Riley books I would recommend this book!!”