The fight against darkness rages on for the next generation—in New York Times bestselling author Keri Arthur’s exciting new series set in the world of the Guardians.
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.
It was only when I began to shiver that I opened my eyes and looked around me. And saw my reaper.
And if he was coming for me, he was certainly going to get it.
The Dark Angels series is a spinoff of the Riley Jenson, Guardian series, set 20-something years after the end of the first series. It features the original main character’s best friend, Dia’s, daughter, Risa Jones all grown up now. While we see the characters from the original series in cameos, Dark Angels is an entirely different story. You don’t have to have read Riley Jenson prior to Dark Angels to know what is going on. Right off the bat, the start of Dark Angels also shows how much Keri Arthur has improved as an author since she started that series so many years ago.
Darkness Unbound sets up a story about Risa Jones and how every single person wants her to do something for them, or else. Her father, Hieu, created these objects to mess with the gates of heaven and hell, and the only person on Earth who can find them is Risa because she is his daughter. There are several faction who have separate goals who have all established in this book that they’re willing to do whatever they can to make her cooperate with them. There is no getting out of this quest for Risa. Her life has gone from idealic to hellish in the span of days.
There is also a sidequest in Darkness Unbound (as well as most of the rest of the books in the series). Risa is trying to figure out who took the soul of a little girl. She needs help in the form of a reaper. She has no way to track who has done it. Even if she does find them, she hasn’t the ability to fight them. A reaper does. Good thing she has a sexy reaper following her everywhere!
Risa Jones has had a good life. She is loved by her mom. She views her Aunt Riley, of no blood relation, as a second mother and Riley’s family is her family. She has the best of friends ever. For someone who grew up with every privilege, she is remarkably down to earth. Risa has an odd assortment of powers, and what she has she is very powerful at. With a mother like Dia Jones and an Aedh for a father, could she really be anything else? She also has the best friends. Tao, the fire mage and werewolf, who is always there for her when she needs someone. There is also Illiana, the incredibly powerful witch horseshifter. Both have skills that are useful in Risa’s quest, but they’re both the best people.
There are two guys in Risa’s life at the end of this book. There is Lucian, the Aedh who shows up at a very convenient time in her life. Just after her father shows up, so does Lucian. Sure, he is super sexy. Sure he was kicked out of being an Aedh priesthood and his wings were taken away from him. Yet the timing is super suspicious, now isn’t it? I don’t trust him. Nor do I particularly like him. He is arrogant.
The second is the grim reaper, the Mijai, Azriel. All of them are named Azriel to outsiders, but that is the only name we really have to call him by for now. Azriel is shadowing Risa as his job, on the lookout for her father. Risa and Azriel just have this chemistry together that I just need more of. Azriel is supposed to be incredibly inhuman, with no emotions, apart from everyone and alone in the world. Yet, he has the most adorable smirk of personality that shows through like a ray of sun coming out from behind the clouds. If Risa doesn’t want him, I’ll take him.
This is a great start to a series with a lot of room to grow. I love the characters, and I love one of the love interests. Also, as a spinoff it stands on its own without needing to know the original, which is always a great thing.
To read more reviews for this series, check out the Dark Angels series page!