This book came from the library, and I will never give you less than an honest review, no matter its source. I do provide informational and purchase links to make it more convenient for you to access the book. I also receive a percentage of the sale if you use one of my links to buy it. And that's not enough money to be less than truthful *grin*.
by Keri Arthur
Series: Dark Angels #2
Other books by this author that I've reviewed include Mercy Burns, Darkness Unbound, Darkness Devours, Darkness Hunts, Dancing with the Devil, Darkness Unmasked, Fireborn, Hearts in Darkness, Wicked Embers, Flameout.
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Second in the Dark Angels urban fantasy series revolving around Risa Jones, a half-wolf, half-Aedh rich girl and her friends in Melbourne, Australia.
While it’s not necessary, you might want to read the Riley Jenson, Guardian series before this one.
Arthur is never boring! She has taken a twist on the wolf shifter culture and incorporated a unique take on “angels” complete with a renegade group intent on their own narrow focus never realizing its long-term effects.
I do love the banter between Azriel and Risa — I suspect he’s falling in love with her hence his hatred for Lucian. I don’t see where Azriel can really object when Risa whines about wanting to get this all over with so he’ll leave her alone. He’s certainly told her often enough that he is only there to retrieve the keys. Although, I do have my own doubts about who the latest mysterious bad guy leader is…
Arthur keeps Risa hopping from one fight to another, as she scrambles through the scavenger hunt for the plot coupons.
The traps in this installment are never what Risa or Azriel expect and it does keep them on their toes. Not quite enough since Risa is lame enough to leave the all-important book unattended during a fire fight…duh… The whole purpose of this story is to find the damned book, and she just leaves it sitting there. What was she thinking?? Arthur certainly didn’t pump up the drama when Tao falls either. It’s almost an afterthought.
On the whole, it’s tense, exciting, and has enough action to keep you turning the pages, although it’s not as sexually-charged or deep as Arthur’s Riley Jenson series.
It’s a rough start. Risa has to get through settling her mother’s estate, and it simply makes her miss her mom even more. Her emotional state certainly isn’t helped when her mom’s house is invaded by her father with demands and threats and then followed by yet more demands and threats by Madeline Hunter.
In a weak moment (see Darkness Unbound, 1), Risa agreed to work as a consultant for the vampire council in exchange for their aid in tracking down her mother’s murderer. And the council has a problem. Something is attacking vampires, making them age extremely quickly. Something, Hunter threatens, that Risa had better solve quickly, and first, if she expects to continue to live. Not that Hunter intends for Risa to succeed.
Risa Jones, the daughter of the murdered Dia Jones, psychic, is all grown up although Aunt Riley (wolf shifter) and Uncles Quinn (a half-Aedh, half-vampire), and Rhoan and Liander (both wolf shifters) still consider her in need of protection. Lianna and Ronan are the oldest of the Jenson kids. Her jerk of a father is a renegade Aedh, a Raziq, involved in the construction of three keys. And the only one who knows where they are hidden. Amaya is the sword that Azriel presents to her.
Lucian Dupon, a financial adviser, a fallen Aedh, and a Mijai (a dark angel who hunts and kills the things that escaped hell to steal on this world), is now Risa’s lover, linked to her Chi.
Azriel is Risa’s very own bodyguard reaper, set to follow her at all times in hopes her father will contact her. He is only allowed to help Risa if it will help his mission to retrieve the keys. He carries Valdis, a fairly sentient sword that reacts to evil, including Madeline Hunter.
Tao and Illiana are roommates as well as partners with Risa in their restaurant RYT. Tao is the chef, a wolf shifter, and has a fire gift. He also almost never sleeps in his own bed. Illiana is a horse shifter with an ability to use magic and leery of explaining her sexual preferences to her family. Mirri is her lover and a fellow horse shifter.
Stane Neale is Tao’s cousin and a computer whiz who always manages to find the latest technology. Harris works with Rhoan. Mike is the trio’s and her mom’s accountant; Risa suspects he and her mom were also lovers. Beatrice is his secretary.
Madeline Hunter is an ancient vampire and the head of the Directorate of Other Races as well as a high-ranking member of the vampire council. It’s easier to consider her an enemy. The Cazadors are the council’s vampire assassins; Quinn used to be one. Jack Hunter, Madeline’s brother, is the head of the Guardian division of the Directorate.
Catherine Alston is the second vampire attacked and she holds the key to the reason. A clue sniffed out by Azriel. I don’t think she’d be any great loss! Adeline Greenfield is a magic practitioner with a reputation for protection spells. Maniae are spirits of madness and death, related to the deities of vengeance. Ike Forman may be the new bad guy handler. Deborah Selwin is a magic practitioner with a mission; she belongs to the Frankston coven. Robert Whitfield was a vampire who rebelled against council edicts; his punishment was severe.
Aedh and Reapers are energy beings who can take on human form. A reaper’s task is to escort souls to heaven or hell. The Aedh’s appearance gave rise to our how we think angels look. Raziq are a secret subgroup of Aedh priests who want to prevent demons from being summoned by creating three keys that can be used to override the gates of hell. The Razan are slaves used by the Raziq. A Dušan is a type of tattoo that protects those who walk the gray fields. The Brindle is the home of all witch knowledge and seems to be the center of witch governance, I think. Helena is one of their members. Kiandra is its head.
The Cover and Title
The cover is reds and corals with Risa’s white blonde hair the only highlight. There is something dreamy about the naked Risa, her head tilted forward and turned to face us with her eyes closed, as she casually clasps her arms about her bent legs, a huge pair of wings outstretched behind her.
The title reflects this story’s end, for there is a Darkness Rising.