4 star rating
Darkness Unmasked
Dark Angels, Book #5
By Keri Arthur
ISBN#: 978-0451237132
Author’s website: http://www.keriarthur.com/

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Vanessa

Beware of possible spoilers


Half-werewolf, half-Aedh, Risa Jones is beginning to believe that the only way to find the keys she’s been searching for and save her friends is by dying. And when Wolfgang Schmidt, the lover of her boss at the vampire council, is found dead, her worst fears are confirmed. With the first portal of hell permanently open, the energies of the dark path are leaching into the world.

Searching for Schmidt’s killer and the keys at the same time, Risa and reaper Azriel track a shape-shifting spider spirit capable of changing her form into a seductive woman. But when they finally find the second key, the Aedh Lucian snatches it and disappears.

Risa is intent on finding Lucian and fighting him to the death—for in her mind, she knows that neither can remain while the other lives…


I should probably begin this review with the admission that this is my first book in the Dark Angels Series (Darkness Unmasked is book five). I will say that although I came into this series blind, I was pleasantly surprised by not only its entertaining storyline but my ability to get up to speed on the action. Yes, there was a lot (and I do mean a lot) I didn’t fully grasp immediately, but after a few chapters I was mostly into the swing of things. I really enjoyed Risa as a character. Ye,s she seemed to get in her own way when it came to love and honesty, but she was strong and determined and I couldn’t help but admire her. Plus, she has some of the best inner dialogue I’ve read in a long time!

This series definitely had a strong, well developed plot that was both intriguing and entertaining. Like most books in this genre, this particular book had its own unique sub-plot, while a much larger plot continuing to develop in the background. There was a lot of backstory that I clearly had missed out on but that didn’t minimize my enjoyment, if anything my interest was piqued as to what had occurred in previous books.

When it comes to the major plot development, I don’t want to give too much away since this is an ongoing series. With that in mind, I will say that this book definitely hits warp speed about three-quarters of the way through and doesn’t let up. Risa is happy and broken all at once and there are several major questions that get answered. The ending left us with a major cliffhanger that is sure to drive fans of this series crazy! A great deal of things happened that I didn’t expect and there was a lot of painful moments that really showed the range of Keri Arthur as an author. There were a few things that could/should have gone down differently in my opinion, especially when it came to a very serious and devastating scene. I found myself laughing, blushing, getting irritated and cringing throughout this book. Any story that can pull that range of emotions out of the reader is definitely worth looking into!

My biggest complaint was in regards to the romance between Azriel and Risa, it just fell flat to me. Although they had chemistry (along with several sweet moments), there wasn’t a big explosive come together. I guess my expectations were higher and overall I just wasn’t impressed by the heat (or lack thereof). When these two characters (who are five books in the making) finally sleep together, I found myself thoroughly disappointed.

I had two major problems with how the author delivered this long awaited event: One, it wasn’t like anything I had expected. Risa and Azriel “finally” sleep together, but it wasn’t packed with intense heat or passion. They had “Reaper Sex” which was basically their energies coming together. Not a whole lot of heat for me as I was more focused on trying to understand what exactly Reaper sex involved more so than enjoying the act itself. Two, when they have actual sex we don’t get to have any part in it. The author simply fades away from the scene. This is a huge pet peeve of mine with authors! Don’t make us anticipate this moment for several books only to deny us a front row seat when it finally happens!

As a fan of romance I have certain expectations when two characters (who have long been in the making) finally come together. I didn’t need some pornographic, long winded description but I was sorely disappointed by the love scenes in Darkness Unmasked. And don’t even get me started on their emotional relationship! These two need to sit down and have some serious, open discussions. They are both hard headed, emotionally scarred individuals. But with that said, I was (and am) still rooting for them. Overall this book is absolutely worth the read and I would definitely recommend it. My advice? Start with book one! This way you can experience the entire journey as a whole.