cover image Darkness Rising

Darkness Rising

Keri Arthur. Dell, $7.99 mass market (368p) ISBN 978-0-440-24573-5

Arthur ratchets up the intrigue while rounding out characters’ personalities in this powerful sequel to Sept. 2011’s Darkness Unbound. Risa Jones, half werewolf and half Aedh, is driven by her father, a rogue supernatural, to find the keys he forged to the gates of hell. This task threatens the powerful vampire council, which will only let Risa live if she figures out why two vampires have begun aging. As she tries to solve these puzzles, she increasingly relies on Azriel, the inscrutable reaper assigned to help her safeguard the keys. His revelations and growing human qualities add depth, humor, and frustration; she finds his messages mixed but readers assume at some point they’ll get a room. Arthur writes powerfully when describing the accoutrements of Risa’s magic, particularly her bonding with a sword, and Risa’s failed attempts to find the keys result in a stunning cliffhanger. (Nov.)