Book Review: Keri Arthur’s Darkness Unmasked

Posted April 19, 2014 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Keri Arthur’s Darkness Unmasked

Darkness Unmasked


Keri Arthur

urban fantasy that was published by Signet Select on June 4, 2013 and has 372 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Mercy Burns, Darkness Unbound, Darkness Rising, Darkness Devours, Darkness Hunts, Dancing with the Devil, Fireborn, Hearts in Darkness, Wicked Embers, Flameout

Fifth in the Dark Angels urban fantasy melodrama series and revolving around Risa Jones, drama queen.

My Take

The usual melodrama and whining about she wants him, she can’t have him, as she constantly pushes at him for more, Gimme, gimme, gimme. All this horrible stuff keeps happening. Oh, woe is me… *MAJOR eye roll*


Risa finally learns the truth of her mother’s murder, sees the truly dark side of Hunter and Lucian, and well, her entire world simply falls apart. Mostly because she’s such an impetuous, histrionic idiot, who isn’t capable of stopping to think or consider the ramifications of anything.

Jesus, for all the excess of melodrama, which I think Arthur has intended as forcing the pace so we’re caught up in all the action, she misses the boat of emotion. Especially in the sex scene between Lucian and Risa. There is such an opportunity for emotional upheaval, and we simply get the mechanics of it. It was more of a yeah, yeah, let me get this read so I can get on to the next bit.

On the plus side, we do make progress in the story. Some is positive — positively lethal anyway — and some is negative.

Blah, blah, blah…

The Story

Just a typical day in Risa Jones’ life, a wake-up call from that bitch Madeline Hunter sending her out with a task. Only this case involves Hunter emotionally, and it ramps up the threat-level from the leader of the Directorate of Other Races.

It cannot distract, however, from her main task: finding that second key lest more Gates of Hell be opened.

The Characters

The waffly Risa Jones is a wolf shifter and an orphan since her mother’s murder, who carries the bloodthirsty sword, Amaya. We do learn she’s terrified of spiders, and she has great roommates and business partners: Tao is another wolf shifter, who has been affected by a fire elemental, and Ilianna is a gay horse shifter, who’s in love with Mirri. Carwyn is a stallion Ilianna’s parents want her to hook up with; she hasn’t come out to them yet. RYT is the name of the café that Risa, Ilianna, and Tao own.

Azriel is a Mijai, a reaper, assigned to follow Risa and aid her in finding, and then taking, the keys to prevent the Gates of Hell from being opened. His true name is Rephael. Valdis is his sword.

Madeline Hunter is a vampire in charge of the Directorate of Other Races as well as a leading member of the vampire council. It doesn’t do to anger her. At all. And Risa was stupid enough to make that deal with her. Cazadors are the high council’s elite killing force. Markel Sanchez is one of the Cazador vampires assigned to spy on Risa, one of their most dangerous. And it seems he enjoys his assignment. Nick Krogan and Janice Myer are others. Jack is Hunter’s brother and in charge of the Guardian Division. Wolfgang Schmidt was a vampire and Hunter’s lover.

Uncle Rhoan is a gay werewolf who works for the Guardian Division. His sister, Aunt Riley, another werewolf, is married to Quinn, a half-Aedh, half-vampire, and a former Cazador (their story is in the Riley Jenson, Guardian series, a MUCH better written series).

Stane is a computer geek friend of Risa’s and Tao’s cousin who can find anything and is being forced on a date. To be accompanied by both mothers, lol. Jak Talbott is a reporter who betrayed Risa, but he’s angling to get back in her bed. Danny, Rachel, Jacques, and Frank are employees at RYT. Maggie is the lady at the desk of the storage space.

Lucian Dupont is Risa’s former, and wingless, Aedh lover who put a spell on her to encourage her to sleep with him. Lauren McIntyre, a black sorcerer, is his current lover and partner. John Nadler is a faceshifter and possibly a sorcerer, but certainly the man behind the consortium trying to buy up land over a ley line intersection. Supposedly he’s died. But Risa thinks he may be Genevieve Sands, one of the heirs listed in his will. The Jorōgumo are spider demons who entrap and lull their prey with lutes. Dark Soul is one of the music clubs while Hallowed Ground is another where Risa meets a rival of Hunter’s: Harry Stanford, who makes Risa an offer. Classique Entertainers is a booking agency and James Parred is one of their agents. Jodie Summer and Di Shard are two of their performers.

The Brindle is the witch depository in Melbourne. Custodian Zaira is a witch horseshifter and Ilianna’s mother. Kiandra is the leader of the Brindle and a very powerful witch with a terrifying message for Risa!

Aedh are energy beings who live on the gray fields while the Raziq are rogue Aedh priests who had created the keys and then lost them. Her father, Hieu, was one of them until he went renegade and arranged for the keys to be stolen. Now he requires that Risa find them. Or watch her friends die. Malin is in charge of the Raziq, and Hieu’s former lover, who hates Risa for being the child of her father. She has altered Risa by inserting a device into her heart which notifies the Raziq when her father is around her. Razan are humans changed by the Raziq. Henry Mack, just one of his aliases, is also Mark Jackson, and a Razan.

Reapers, soul guides, are beings of energy who live on the gray fields, an area that divided earth from heaven and hell, a.k.a., the light and the dark portals. A Dušan looks like a tattoo, but is a protective shield on the gray fields. The Mijai are dark angels who hunt and kill the things that break free from hell. A Caomh is a life mate for a Reaper, someone who is in perfect harmony with his or her partner energy-wise.

The Cover and Title

The cover seems a rainbow of green to orange of smoke to spiderwebs to a grate in the wall with a very cocky Risa off-center, her wings unfurled and sword in hand.

The title is all about Lucian, for his Darkness Unmasked. Both shocking and so very not.


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