Darkness Unbound: The Dark Angel Series #1 – Book Review

This author was recommend to me on whatshouldireadnext.com as being similar to Kelley Armstrong. Regular readers will know I am a huge fan of Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series, and I was excited to think I might have found something on a par with this adult fantasy collection. However I can’t help but think I built this book up for a fall.

Summary courtesy of Amazon: Born from a lab-enhanced clone mother and an Aedh father, Risa Jones can not only talk to the souls of the dying and the dead, but she can see reapers and walk the grey fields that divide this world from the next. They are skills she rarely uses, however. But when her mother asks her to help the parents of a little girl locked in a coma, she reluctantly agrees. What she discovers terrifies her: someone has ripped the girl’s soul from her flesh. As it turns out, a creature consuming the souls of the innocent – and not so innocent – is the least of her problems. Because someone wants to rip open the gates that divide hell from earth, and Risa is a key component in their plans. And the only person standing between her and disaster is a reaper who isn’t exactly on her side.

I was disappointed by this book. I wanted it to be so much, which it did try to be, but just wasn’t.

What confused me the most was the over complication of the supernatural races. The protagonist Risa Jones is half Werewolf, half Aedh, who can shift her facial features to look like others, see reapers who come to collect dead souls, walk the area between life and death, turn in to a wisp of smoke, has a large sex drive (thanks to the werewolf in her), can feel her Mom’s emotions…. I’m sure there is more that I have missed out. And don’t forget her Mom is a blind clone with spirit guides and Dad is full Aedh which only adds to the confusion of her true heritage. I just found it all so unnecessary. Why not just stick to one race and develop it?

It is also a very adult series. The beginning of the book hints at adult themes of friends with benefits and relieving her ‘needs’ by almost strangers that just didn’t sit well with me. It gets almost pornographic at times, and not that nice romantic throes of passion pornographic – just graphic. This may be appealing to some, but it didn’t add anything to the narrative, and her partner just disappears when the real action starts, never to be seen again.

This is also a second series for Keri Arthur, after a considerably more popular one. The Riley Jenson Guardian series has a total of 10 books, and has now been declared finished. But Riley Jenson plays quite a large role in this book as Moms friend / Auntie, leaving me feeling a lot has happened that I don’t know about in previous books. It feels like it has been written for the fans and not for a new reader like myself.

In summary, I didn’t like much about this book. But I did finish it. About half way I posted on Goodreads I was going to give it a rest and come back to it, as I really wasn’t enjoying it, but in bed that night I opened it and began reading it again without even thinking.

For this point only I will give it:

2/5

Despite all this, I feel that the Riley Jenson Guardian series does sound very interesting. So I might be picking up one of these to read sometime in the future. However I am sad to say, I will not be seeking out the next book in this series.

Thanks for reading,

Rie x

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