Book Review · General · reading

Book Review: Unbound Darkness by Keri Arthur

From Keri Arthur’s website:

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.

I loved Unbound Darkness! It’s clear and fast-moving.

The plot is complex, but the author presents everything so clearly, you over look that. But truthfully, only 2 of maybe 4 or 5 plot points get resolved by the end – the whole ripping soul the summary above talks about.

The summary also talks about ripping open the gates of hell. I expect the series plot arc will come from this. Unbound Darkness introduces the idea – and that’s all this book does. It’s complex and involves a lot of players. Half of them have been hinted at, but not introduced yet. I don’t even know who the villain is yet, if you can believe that. I suspect the author left out so much because it would be too much for a single book. I foresee quite a lot of books in this series. 😀

I expect (I hope!) it will be related to the smaller single-book-size plot of someone stealing souls. Maybe. I want it to, but this minor villain might not related to the bigger series plot.

I remember Risa as a little girl from the Riley Jenson stories. But in this book there is no doubt Risa is all grown up.  Even though she can’t change into a wolf, she’s still a half-wolf and perfectly comfortable in the wolf clubs. That’s not surprising. But I think I expected her to go grow up and be a psychic for a living, just like her mother. Instead she owns a restaurant. Go figure.

But the most surprising – the most astonishing part! – is that Risa makes a deal with the devil herself: Madeline Hunter, leader of the vampire council.

I don’t think she had to make that deal. Personally, I hope Madeline Hunter ends up dead by the end of this series.


Reading Books Straight Through

Last week, Nathan Bransford did a post about reading books straight through. It got me thinking: Why don’t I read books all the way through?

I have a habit of skipping around in books. I think I first started doing it in high school when the book was so boring I couldn’t read it. So I would read the last chapter, than a few chapters in the middle and eventually finish the whole thing.

This habit got worse in college. I sometimes read only half the book (first chapter, last chapter, 1 or 2 middle chapters) and still managed write A+ papers. Yeah, not very good of me. But I didn’t have time and I figured out first, last and middle chapters gave me everything I needed for the paper.

At some point, this habit carried over into the books I read for pleasure and I not entirely sure when it happened.

Part of it is that there are some writers I’ve been following since 9th grade. I know how they write, the kinds of phrases they like to use and sometimes it’s okay to skip a scene or two.

It’s harder when I skip whole chapters. Sometimes the book is that boring, but lots of times, I just want to know more about one particular character.

I mean, I did that when I still read the World of Time series. I don’t remember which book it was, but I skipped through the whole book looking for Rand’s scenes. There were lots scenes from other characters’ POV, but I didn’t care about them. I did this with Game of Thrones, too. Not just for Jon Snow (I liked him best) but a couple other characters.

Other times I’ll read the first couple of pages and then read the last page/chapter. I did that just yesterday with The Tempering of Men by Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette. After I already had it, mind, because no matter how the book ends, I am still going to read the whole thing. I wanted to know how it ended just that badly.

And sometimes I read books straight through. That’s how I read Darkness Unbound by Keri Arthur. No skipping, no hopping, no searching for anything, just chapter after chapter.

I suppose all this means I am more likely to go chapter hopping if one character is more interesting than any other character; if I am bored or if I just cannot wait to know the ending.

I don’t think it’s especially helpful since I don’t know how I’ll react to any given book. And isn’t just silly? Wish I was more regular in my reading habits.

General · reading

Teaser Tuesday: Darkness Unbound

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read

* Open to a random page

* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!



My Teasers:

The older folk in the area were still boycotting McDonald’s to protest losing their local watering hole, but I couldn’t see the point. Especially since those of us who liked to party late could get something to eat at all hours.

– Darkness Unbound by Keri Arthur