Risa Jones is as extraordinary as her heritage. Born from a lab-enhanced clone mother and an Aedh father, she can not only talk to the souls of the dying and the dead, but she can see the reapers and walk the gray fields that divide this world from the next.
They are skill she rarely uses, however, preferring to concentrate on the business she shares with her two best friends. But when her mother asks her to help the parents of a little girl locked in a coma, she reluctantly agrees. What she discovers scares the hell out of her. Because the little girl’s soul no longer resides in her body, and it wasn’t death and the reapers that took her.
Someone had ripped her soul from her flesh.
As it turns out, a creature consuming the souls of the innocent–and not so innocent–is the least of her problems.
Because someone wants to rip open the gates that divided hell from earth, and Risa is a key component in their plans.
And the only person standing between her and disaster is a reaper who isn’t exactly on her side.
--blurb from Darkness Unbound
Even with all the good books released in the last few weeks I found myself binging on all three from this series in one go. I thought about deviating but then realized that if the heroine annoyed me a little bit now then it might be hard to make myself come back to everything later. It's not that Risa is completely unlikeable but the books left me feeling a little 'eh' about the whole thing.
I can't say too much without heading straight into spoilers-ville, but my biggest problem was two fold: the bad guys were heavily foreshadowed so the heroine's resistance to the truth was annoying, and Risa working with entities who actively sought her destruction irked me. One relationship she actually went into at the end of book one because of possible gains on both sides, but from then on, when it was obvious that nothing the other party did was going to help, why did she stick with it? It seemed to me she had more than enough allies around her to tell this person to f*ck off but instead she just kept letting this person toy with her life. Yeah...that doesn't work for me.
The romance(s) and relationship(s) between Risa and some of the other characters in the series are probably where I feel these books shine. Her roommates Ilianna and Tao are strong beings in their own rights with personality to spare. Azriel (the reaper) starts off very aloof but through the books develops and really becomes someone to root for.
All in all the series isn't bad but if I continue reading them I'm going to want to see Risa step up and actually using her abilities to put people in their place; just because they want to use her doesn't mean she has to let herself be used. Her network and powers should make that clear, but at least at this junction both are being underutilized.
Overall Feeling - C+/B-
Series - 1) Darkness Unbound 2) Darkness Rising 3) Darkness Devours 4) Darkness Hunts (Nov 2012)
**Books won in a giveaway from Michelle's Book Blog**