The Vampire Council just won’t leave poor Risa Jones alone. This time she is forced to investigate a string of murders involving blood-whore addicted vampires. Sure, she’s got her own problems to deal with, but with an execution order on her life she’ll have to shift priorities and solve this case in order to get it lifted. She begrudgingly enlists the help of her ex-boyfriend journalist; this only serves to stir the pot even more, bringing up old feelings and nuggets of her past.
Not a lot of progress is made toward the overarching plot of the series, which involves Risa confiscating keys for her father that could potentially open the gates the hell. But I found the mystery to be satisfying enough to keep my interest. I love vamps so if we were going to get a side plot, I’m glad it was this one. That said, I hope that the next book is heavier on the main plot so that there can be steady advancement of the plot.
I am enjoying the continued development of her dark angel partner in crime, Azriel. There is progress on the relationship front with Risa as well, but it’s fragile at best and I have feeling that there will be a hitch. Not to mention, her current lover Lucian is not quite out of the picture yet, though this relationship hits its own rocky waters. I’m surprised it’s taken this long honestly. Lucian practically has a red flag stamped to his forehead when it comes to trust. It’s so obvious that he’s hiding something that I question if this is a red herring; otherwise, we’re in for a grossly underwhelming revelation of his true intentions.
When I first started reading Keri Arthur’s Dark Angel series, I wasn’t sure if it would be my cup of tea. I wasn’t really feeling Risa much as the lead and sometimes that can make or break a series for me. While she’s still not necessarily my favorite, I’m growing more attached to the supporting characters (namely Azriel ), so for now I will continue reading.
I read the first novel of Keri Arthur’s series, Darkness Unbound, finding that the pieces of a good Urban Fantasy series were there, but it didn’t really come together to carve out its own unique spot in this genre. Well, Darkness Rising is definitely putting this series on the right track to do that and I’m glad that it didn’t take very long. Many books suffer from FBS (first book syndrome), even some of the best series. So that’s why I decided to give the Dark Angels saga another shot and I’m happy I did.
After the heart-wrenching ending of the prior book, Risa Jones, the Aedh/werewolf hybrid, is out for blood and desperately searching for her mother’s killer. She’s even willing to work for Madeline Hunter, the evil leader of the vampire council, doing her bidding in exchange for information to help her get to the bottom of the murder.
Part of that includes Risa finding the culprit responsible for spelling elder vampire council members to rapidly age and die. As if those two pesky tasks weren’t enough on her plate, Risa’s Aedh father also has plans for her, practically demanding she thrust herself into danger to locate the keys to heaven and hell—to what purpose we still don’t quite know, but if she fails it will be her friends who pay the price. All of this while trying to figure out the growing powers within herself.
This book still wasn’t perfect, but I felt like I was finally becoming familiar with the world and the characters. I wasn’t hooked during the first book until the very end, but the momentum flows into this book so it ended up being quite an entertaining ride. I’m still not totally in love with the characters yet, but I think it has potential to grow over time. I particularly see a lot of potential with Risa’s own personal “guardian angel” of sorts, Azriel. Some of their interactions are a bit predictable and I think I have a sense of where the relationship is going, but I appreciate that the author isn’t rushing it. I was concerned this could be the case considering how Risa rationalizes her whoring ways as “celebrating sexuality.” Still not buying it and I still think it’s a lame attempt by the author to seem edgy, but it doesn’t detract overall from the story.
After reading the first novel I wasn’t really sure I would be interested in reading the original 9 novels from the Riley Jenson books. But after this book my interest has piqued a bit more. Unfortunately, I know how those books will end up so that may take away a bit of the suspense, but it could be worth it regardless of that. I’m still not in a rush to read them though and I doubt I will get to them this year.
All in all, for anyone that may have had a hard time getting into the first book, I urge you to give the second book a try because the series has potential to be really great.