Darkness Devours: A Dark Angels Novel #3
Half-werewolf, half-Aedh Risa Jones can enter the realm between life and death, and she can see the Reapers who collect the souls of the dead. Now, she is using her gifts—and the investigative know-how of a man who broke her heart—to find a cabal searching for the power to control time, reality, and fate. And this is besides her work for the Vampire Council, half of whom want her dead.
But for now the Council needs her alive. Someone is killing blood-whore addicted vampires, and Risa must find the guilty party. If she succeeds, she may finally convince the council to lift the execution order on her life. But before she succeeds, she must first survive…
I have to just jump right in on this one, not gonna recap…
Maaaaaaan. I WANT to like this series as much as I loved the Keri Arthur’s Riley Jenson Guardian series. The Dark Angels series definitely has its own merits and I love components of it, particularly the heroine, Risa Jones. But all through this third Dark Angels novel, Darkness Devours, there are things that really drove me bananas, and totally distracted from otherwise enjoying the story. First off, I. cannot. stand. Lucian, Risa’s Aedh lover. He is constantly manipulating her and, for the most part, with her permission. She is stubborn in placing trust in him, despite his shady behavior and the glaringly obvious inconvenient (for her) facts, everyone can see clear as day, except for her. Frustrating. Even though she knows he is lying and could be using her to get his revenge, she continues to tangle with him and it really bugs the crap out of me. In fact, the best parts of the book for me was when she was blowing him off. So, merits to her for blowing him off, but she still never kicked him to the curb, and that is long overdue.
The progression of her relationship with Azriel, her Reaper guard, as well, really irritated me. He is the man in this love triangle I am rooting for, and yet everything fell flat with them as well. They took a step forward together, which we’ve been waiting for through the 2 previous books already, and then took one giant pause that had me feeling unsatisfied. To top it all off, we’ve also got an old flame who did her wrong thrown in, named Jak. Risa’s hormones are bouncing all over the pages through every chapter, and I just wanted to shake her and say “Enough!”
And then there is the vampire mega-bitch named Hunter, and her position not only with the Directorate but on the Vampire Council as well… She keeps doing all this awful sh!t to Risa, and Risa keeps taking it. Look, I know she wants to solve the mystery of who killed her Mom, and she believes that Hunter can help her, but Hunter needs to f* off and die. Risa can seriously do this without her. No matter how much it seems to want to be stressed that Risa needs the Directorate, and the Vampire Cazadors, to help solve the mystery, each book we learn they don’t know sh!t. And enough with the kidnappings already! Every single book she is kidnapped, multiple times, and her life is threatened if she doesn’t do the fraction’s bidding. After so many times hearing “you have <insert random number here> hours to do this for us or you’ll die”, it loses all effectiveness.
One of the things that I love most about reading Keri Arthur is her outstanding ability to write a very strong Urban Fantasy heroine who is immersed in this richly dark and paranormal version of Melbourne. Risa can kick ass and takes names, but is also a highly sensual and confident creature. There is fantastic gore, violence, and mythology with a little bit of erotica thrown in, and it’s done seemingly effortlessly. No doubt Ms. Arthur creates characters that you feel for, because look at this passionate rant her book has evoked from me. Ahem. I saw another reviewer compare this series to *early* Laurel K Hamilton’s Anita Blake series, and I definitely concur with that observation.
The plot is very complex, and the mystery is very well done, when we’re spending time with it, but damn there was just too much of a lover-square (it’s like a triangle, but with an extra guy) going on for me. There is no doubt that Ms. Arthur can write a wicked story and keep you entertained, but this installment left me with too many parts in which I was either frustrated or annoyed. All in all I can’t say the book was bad, it wasn’t. Darkness Devours kicked ass in some areas, but stalled miserably in a few critical areas that have me less enthusiastic over reading the next book. And that makes me sad. Come onnnn Darkness Hunts… don’t lose me!
Dark Angels reading order: