Darkness Unbound (2011)

1. Darkness Unbound (2011)

Dark Angels series
by Keri Arthur. The companion series is Riley Jenson Guardian series, set in the same world.

Genres and Sub-GenresEdit

Adult Urban Fantasy / Alt-History UF / Futuristic (mildly)

Brief Series Description or Overview Edit

Being half werewolf and half Aedh, Risa Jones can enter the twilight realms between life and death and see the reapers, supernatural beings that collect the souls of the dead. But she soon makes a terrifying discovery: Some sinister force is stealing souls, preventing the dead from ever knowing the afterlife.

Lead's Species Edit

  • Aedh / Werewolf hybrid

Primary Supe Edit

  • Reapers, Aedh, weres, vampires

What Sets it ApartEdit

Narrative Type and Narrators Edit

  • First person narrative told by Risa Jones.

Books in Series Edit

Dark Angels series:

  1. Darkness Unbound (2011)
  2. Darkness Rising (2011)
  3. Darkness Devours (2012)
  4. Darkness Hunts (2012)
  5. Darkness Unmasked (2013)
  6. Darkness Splintered (2013)
  7. Darkness Falls (Dec 2, 2014) ~ Final

Shorts, Anthologies and GuidesEdit


Companion Series, Spinoffs, Sequels or Prequels Edit

Other Series by Keri Arthur onsite Edit

World Building Edit

Setting Edit

Set in an alternate, mildly futuristic Melbourne, Australia..


  • Dark Earth: underground vampire club run by Brett Marshall who owes allegiance to Madeline
  • Gray Fields: the realm between the mortal world and the afterlife.

Supernatural Elements Edit

Aedh, angels, souls, reapers, vampires, werewolves, witches, psychic, clones, monster hunters, warriors, enhanced humans, Jorōgumo (dark spider spirits), soul-stealing mist, Gates between hell & earth, Gate keys, demons, angels of death, astral plane, clairvoyants, demon infused sword, Vampire Council, geas, , , 

Glossary: Edit

  • Aedh: magical, non-human race of energy beings who can take human form but do not have any human emotions. They have wings, and they can desolidify into transparent beings that can travel long distances in a short period of time. They can also read mortal minds and walk the gray fields. — A being that can take h
  • Gray Fields: the realm between the mortal world and the afterlife.
  • Reaper: energy being who collects souls and who can take human form. Reapers follow people around for a little while before they are due to die. A reaper’s job is to help the newly departed’s soul navigate through the gray space.
  • Souls: Souls can be redeemed and almost all are one day reborn.
  • Ghosts: Ghosts are the result of a person not dying when they were supposed to or when the person’s soul refuses the reaper’s help.
  • Mijai: warrior who hunts creatures that break through the portals between mortal earth and hell
  • Blood Whore: human who enjoys feeding vampires—Vampires can become addicted to them. 

Groups & Organizations:Edit


In this world, the supernatural community is kept under control by the Directorate, which operates like an amped-up police force with its staff of psychics, witches, and lethal hunters. In addition to the Directorate, Melbourne has a Vampire Council that governs its own species, sometimes in accordance with the Directorate, but sometimes not. There are gates dividing hell from earth opening that shouldn’t be opening and many people who may or may not resort easily to violence looking for answers There are keys involved. And a creepy dark mist thing that is stealing souls.


Protagonist Edit

✥ 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. ~ Dark Urban Fantasy: Dark Angels

Sidekick Edit

  • Name: / What: / Sidekick-to: / About: / Book First Seen:

Characters Chart Edit

Characters What About
Risa Jones half werewolf and half Aedh Risa inherited a few werewolf traits (strength, speed, and sexual appetite, but not shape-shifting, except for her face) and a few Aedh traits (walking the gray fields and desolidifying, but not wings or mind reading).
Dia Jones psychic, werewolf, Risa's mother cloned in a laboratory
Riley Jenson Werewolf-Vamp best friend to Dia, Risa's mother
Lucian fallen Aedh, sex-obsessed used Risa to find the keys; lost his wings and now must exist in human form; he wants revenge against the Aedh priests who took his wings
Azriel former reaper, now a Mijai true form is pure energy; wants the keys; reads mortals' minds of & teleport
Hieu Risa's father, a pureblood Aedh priest met Dia just once—the night of Risa's conception—and who has never (until now) met Risa
Ilianna were-mare (horse), witch Risa's female BFF roommate
Tao Risa's male BFF roommate former sexual partner (platonic); a werewolf fire-starter; he is the son of Kellen, one of Riley Jenson's former lovers
Stane Neale werewolf computer genius also one of Kellen's sons, but with a different mother than Tao
Madeline Hunter vampire leader of the vampire council
Keri Arthur in Garden

Keri Arthur in Garden

Author Edit

Keri Arthur

The Unofficial Bio: I’m a born and bred Melbourne (Australia) gal, and grew up sharing my life with dragons, elves, vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters and the occasional talking horse. Which worried my family to no end. Of course, now that I’m actually make a living sharing my life with the above mentioned creatures, they no longer contemplate calling the men with the little white coat. When not at my keyboard, I can be found at the gym, sitting front of the TV, or taking my two dogs for a walk.

The Official Bio: Keri Arthur, author of the New York Times bestselling Riley Jenson Guardian series, has now written more than twenty-eight novels. She’s received several nominations in the Best Contemporary Paranormal category of the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Awards and has won RT’s Career Achievement Award for urban fantasy. She lives with her daughter in Melbourne, Australia. ~ ‎keri arthur / about

DarknessDevours-art - keri arthur

Darkness Devours (Dark Angels, #3) by Keri Arthur—art by Tony Mauro

Cover ArtistEdit

— Juliana Kolesova - ISFdb

Publishing Information Edit

  • Publisher: Dell; Signet
  • Author Page: Keri Arthur Author Bookshelf - Dell/Random House
  • Series Page: Darkness Unmasked - Penguin USA
  • Bk-1: Paperback, 364 pages, Pub: Sept 27th 2011—ISBN 0440245729
  • Bk-2: Paperback, , pub: —ISBN:
  • Bk-3: Paperback, , pub: —ISBN:
  • Bk-4: Paperback, , pub: —ISBN:
  • Bk-5: Paperback, 372 pages, pub: June 4th 2013 by Signet—ISBN: 0451237137
  • Bk-6: Paperback, 382 pages, pub: Nov 5th 2013 by Signet—ISBN: 0451419596
  • Bk-7: Paperback, 400 pages, pub: Dec 2, 2014: Signet—ISBN: 045141960X

Book Cover Blurb Edit

BOOK ONE BLURB—Darkness Unbound (2011): 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. ~ Goodreads | Darkness Unbound

BOOK TWO BLURB—Darkness Rising (2011): Risa will go to any lengths to avenge her mother’s murder—even if it means making a pact with the most evil vampire she’s ever met. Lethal and powerful, Madeline Hunter is leader of the vampire council, and will put her resources behind finding the killer—for a price. The venerable vampire requires the assistance of Risa’s psychic powers. Quid pro quo. Someone—or something—is targeting the elders of the local council, cursing the immortal vampires to rapidly age, sink into madness, and die. Risa must track down the vengeful being responsible. But Risa’s father, a rogue Aedh priest, also enlists her in a dangerous mission. And not even the great Madeline Hunter may be able to protect her from the shadowy forces that desire nothing less than Risa’s destruction. ~ Goodreads | Darkness Rising (Dark Angels, #2)

BOOK THREE BLURB—Darkness Devours (2012): New York Times bestselling author Keri Arthur has been hailed for her “smart, sexy”* urban fantasy novels. Now, she continues her Dark Angels series set in the realm of danger and desire known as the Guardian World… 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. ~ Goodreads | Darkness Devours (Dark Angels, #3)

BOOK FOUR BLURB—Darkness Hunts (2012): "New York Times" bestselling author Keri Arthur returns to the enthralling Guardian World--and a twilight realm of danger and desire... Risa Jones, half-Aedh/half-werewolf, can enter the realm between life and death. She can speak to the dying and the dead, and she can see the reapers, collectors of souls. What she can not yet see is the identity of a stranger murdering women and draining their blood. Now Risa must summon her gifts to find him, even if it means putting her own life in danger. But Risa needn't look far. The killer knows who she is. He tells her his victims are infected by darkness and he's fated to destroy them. Fascinated by Risa, he engages her in a sinister game: the chance to save the life of his next victim by deciphering his series of clues. In a race against time, she enlists the help of the reaper Azriel. But as an attraction between them grows, so does the fear that the stranger's motives are only part of a larger, more dangerous stratagem--one that that has lured Risa and Azriel into the dark. ~ Goodreads | Darkness Hunts (Dark Angels, #4)

BOOK FIVE BLURB—Darkness Unmasked (2013): Keri Arthur's explosive Dark Angels series is packed with everything you could want: a fiesty heroine, witches, vampires, werewolves, demons, angels of death, suspense and a whole lot of sexy action. The sexy, exciting, suspenseful adventures continue in New York Times bestselling author Keri Arthur's Dark Angels series, starring Risa Jones, a half-Aedh/half-werewolf. She can speak to the souls of the dying and the dead, and can see Reapers, the collectors of souls. Shortly after her fight on the astral plane, Risa receives a phone call from Madeline Hunter, the leader of the vampire council, ordering her to investigate the death of Hunter's close friend and lover - Wolfgang Schmidt. His body has been discovered wrapped in a web-like substance and has been completely drained. As the body count continues to grow, Risa must summon her gifts to find the dark spirit before it strikes again. Meanwhile, as the search for the keys that keep the gate to Hell closed grows more intense, Risa begins to unravel mysteries that will have startling consequences for her. ~ Goodreads | Darkness Unmasked (Dark Angels, #5)

BOOK SIX BLURB—Darkness Splintered (2013): When Risa loses the second key to hell, she angers several powerful people, and she’s starting to feel the pressure from all sides. She gets a visit from her father, who gives her an ultimatum: Get back the key or he will kill her friends. Risa also finds herself under the scrutiny of the vampire council, some of whom consider her a monster who should be destroyed. But they offer her a bloody bargain: Take on the lethal head of the council, Madeline Hunter, and others will support her. As the search for the keys to hell heats up, Risa realizes that she has no choice. For the sake of the people she loves, she must find the keys — and get rid of Hunter — before the second gate is opened and brings the world closer to all hell breaking loose. ~ Goodreads | Darkness Splintered (Dark Angels, #6)

BOOK SEVEN BLURB—Darkness Falls (Dec 2, 2014): New York Times bestselling author Keri Arthur brings her Dark Angels series to a breathtaking conclusion as half-werewolf, half-Aedh Risa Jones treads a knife’s edge between the salvation of the human race and its total annihilation. The search for the last key to the gates of hell has begun, and half-werewolf, half-Aedh Risa Jones is in more danger than ever—and one misstep could prove ruinous. It's only a matter of time before Madeleine Hunter, the dangerous head of the vampire council, begins her hunt for complete domination. And for Risa, that comes with an alarming ultimatum: hand over the last key to Hunter or, one by one, her loved ones will die. Now, it’s a race against time for Risa to save those she loves, and to stop Hunter's apocalyptic plan to open the very gates of hell. — Includes a bonus excerpt of Keri Arthur’s FirebornGoodreads | Darkness Falls (Dark Angels, #7)

First Sentences Edit

  1. Darkness Unbound (2011) — I‟ve always seen the reapers.
  2. Darkness Rising (2011) — The house still smelled of death.
  3. Darkness Devours (2012) — We do what we have to do—we track these people down by whatever means necessary.
  4. Darkness Hunts (2012) — "I need to speak to a ghost."
  5. Darkness Unmasked (2013) — The office phone rang with a sharpness that jolted me instantly awake.
  6. Darkness Splintered (2013) — I woke up naked and in a strange bed.
  7. Darkness Falls (Dec 2, 2014) — The Raziq were coming.

Quotes Edit

“Reapers came in all shapes and sizes, often taking the form most likely to be accepted by those they’d come to collect. I’m not sure what it said about me that my reaper was shirtless, tattooed, and appeared to be wearing some sort of sword strapped across his back.” Bk-1 ~ Yummy Men and Kick Ass Chicks

Read Alikes (similar elements) Edit

Shadow and Mist Beings:


See Category links at bottom of page

Awards Edit

Trivia Edit

~ ranked #(not) on Goodreads | Best Urban Fantasy Series (181 series)

Notes Edit

Music when Writing

But what sort of music do I write to? Generally, it’s something that will fade into the background and not intrude on the flow of thoughts. When it came to the Dark Angels series, I felt the story needed a little extra something. I wanted a song that spoke to the journey Risa Jones, our heroine, was about to undertake. When I heard Melissa Etheridge’s “Into the Dark,” it was practically perfect—it spoke of Risa’s physical and emotional journey in so many ways.
With Darkness Rising (book 2), I added The Heavy’s “Short Change Hero.” For Darkness Unmasked (book 5), Neil Finn’s Song of a Lonely Mountain was added (the longing for home and place seemed appropriate). And for Darkness Splintered, the 6th and penultimate book in the series, I added Black Lab’sWeightless. Again, the lyrics were very appropriate for Risa’s current state of being. It’ll be interesting to see what sort of song I add for the final book, Darkness Falls. — Keri Arthur ~ Keri Arthur - Penguin Books USA

See Also Edit

Category links at bottom of page

External References Edit



World: Characters, etc:




Cover Art Reveal Pages:



Community and Fan Sites:

Gallery of Book Covers Edit