Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

Darkness Unbound Darkness Unbound
by Keri Arthur

Supplied for review by Hachette New Zealand

Reviewed By: Jan Butterworth

Risa Jones is half werewolf and half Adeh, a non-physical being that can assume a physical form. She can go to the grey world between the physical and dying, where the souls of the dying are. Asked by her clairvoent mother Dia to check a client’s comatose daughter, Risa finds the child’s soul has been torn out of her body and destroyed. After making the terrifying discovery that a sinister force is stealing souls, preventing the dead from ever knowing the afterlife, Risa finds supernatural beings are trying to kidnap her. Also, that Azriel, a reaper, is following her.

Reapers are beings that escort souls through the grey world to heaven or hell. Azriel is following Risa in the hope of finding her father, an Aedh priest. The Aedh are the gatekeepers that guard the gates between heaven and hell and mortality, stopping demons from escaping. If the gates are permanently closed they would prevent souls from moving on. Keys were created to permanently lock the gates, but now they have gone missing. The only person who can find them again is a blood relative of the man who stole them - Risa's father.

Risa’s best friends/flatmates help her out, Illiana – a powerful witch, and Tao – a werewolf with fire abilities, as well as some rather interesting new characters. Riley, Rhoan and the gang also play a role in pursueing the practitioner of blood magic seizing souls. There are also two sexy men for Risa, the mysterious Azriel, and Lucien - an Aedh who may have lost his wings but none of his sex appeal.

Darkness Unbound is the first book in the new Dark Angels series. It is set in the same world as the Riley Jensen series by Keri Arthur . It isn’t necessary to read the Riley Jensen series in order to enjoy this one. I definitely think you should read all the Riley Jenson books first though, mainly because I love them and you would be missing out. If you have read the Riley books then you need to read this one, it’s fantastic! It’s fun seeing what's happened to old friends and having them as minor characters was enjoyable.

Keri Arthur once again proves just how good she is at writing an intriguing book with a fast moving plot that has plenty of steaminess on the side. It’s packed with some awesome and unique supernatural characters, a few sexy men, lots of action and mystery, and a few heart breaking moments. The ending left a lot of loose ends, setting the scene for the next Dark Angel book.

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