"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."
As a huge fan of Keri Arthur’s Riley Jenson series, I was surprised by the fact that I had no desire to read her new series. Risa Jones, the heroine of the new Dark Angels series was first introduced to us in Riley’s books as a child. You would think this would make a fan want to read Risas books. I just…didn’t. But, I relented after putting it off for a while and soon realized I was missing out. This book was very well written and you definitely know it is Keri’s work. Risa is undoubtedly no longer the child she was in Riley’s books and has grown up tremendously. It’s rather captivating to witness a child character from another series become an adult who has her own series.
This book takes bad-ass female lead to a new level. I love Keri’s books for many reasons. One of which is that her females kick ass. They take no prisoners and while they have huge hearts and immense compassion, none of that applies to the bad guys. They can take care of themselves and don’t need saving. There is just something exhilarating about reading of a woman who is on the same level as a male warrior. Another of those reasons is that there is no modesty and no worn-out pretenses about sex in her books. Sex is sex and there’s a lot of it in this book because werewolves, even half wolves like Risa need sex to maintain their control.
However, while Risa's books have all the sex that Riley’s had, they lack the same sensuality and romance element. I am getting a little ahead of myself here since I have read through the third book. This review is simply about the first one and in many cases with a series, the romance comes later. So, while I think it would have been nice if Risa wasn’t so closed off to the idea of a relationship, I understand the need to delay any romantic entanglements, at least for now.
This book presents Risa as very “philanthropic” in the sense that she uses her powers for good. There’s an evil being (that sounds so ominous and almost cliché but it’s true!) stealing souls, her long lost father enters the pictures, she becomes sexually involved with one of the hottest men alive, and another one of the sexiest men on earth is now her “guardian” until her father is found. There is loads of action in this book, so much so that I found myself biting my nails in anticipation of what the next page would hold. It unquestionably keeps you guessing and absorbed. You will not get bored reading this as it is a no nonsense startlingly intense story.
You meet many remarkable characters including Risas best friend Iliana and Tao who I love! They bring a huge comedic presence to this book that makes reading it more fun. They just add lightness to a book full of pain and tragedy.
Lucian is the Aedh man Risa encounters who she starts sleeping with, purely physical, no strings attached as Aedh don’t have feelings per se. It is hot and heavy with them all the time. In fact, if you’re going to read this book, keep a fan AND a man (or women if that’s your cup of tea) very close by. You will definitely need them.
And if that wasn’t enough, you meet Azriel, the Reaper/Mijai warrior who will melt your panties, towards the beginning and get to know him throughout the book. He and Risa do not get off on the best footing but come to rely on each other at some point during the book. They fight their friendship and their feelings but you really start to pull for them and hope something romantic happens between them. You are STARVED for romance in this book so you hang on to the thread that Riley and Azriel have. He’s fierce, protective, and a warrior through and through. He possesses an intense intelligence and a depth that you wouldn’t expect and neither does Risa. There is much more to Azriel than we know and honestly I cannot wait to find out.
Between Azriel & Risas sexual tension and Risa and Lucians sexual escapades it was quite hard to catch my breath while reading this book. Throw in all the adventure and baddies you come across and you’ll have this book read in hours, so you can jump online and buy the next one. I recommend buying them all at once, so there’s no waiting because you will be dying to find out what happens next.
Keri Arthur does not disappoint. While I was damn near devastated to see Riley’s series end (although you get peeks at her family in this book) I am temporarily placated by this new series. I just hope Keri keeps writing. As long as she does, I will keep reading.
Favorite Quotes from the Book:
“And you do not look like something a cat has regurgitated. I’d put it more on the level of a dog’s effort.” - Azriel
“I am. I mean, vampires can be nasty, but I wouldn’t put them in the same league as something that’s crawled from the gates of hell.” - Risa
More to come, it seems my highlighting for my kindle didn't stick...again! :(