Embraced by Darkness
Now I’m worried. I love this series, but the ending of this book leaves the reader hanging in some crucial areas, and Arthur’s next book, due out in February, isn’t a Riley Jensen book at all! I might start hyperventilating. Seriously.
As has been mentioned in previous reviews, the books in this series need to be read in order, so don’t start with this one. Riley Jensen and her brother Rhoan are both half werewolf/half vampire, and they are Guardians. They police the supernatural elements, and have fairly unlimited powers when it comes to dealing with bad guys. Many of the other werewolves, shifters, vampires, etc. consider the Guardians to be little more than assassins. Riley had hoped to never become a Guardian, but due to circumstances beyond her control, that choice was taken from her. In this book, Riley steps more firmly into her Guardian role, and whereas previously she felt uncomfortable, here she enjoys her work.
Riley investigates two mysteries in this book. One involves the deaths of members of her werewolf pack. Since Riley and Rhoan were treated horribly growing up, Riley is not excited to be forced into working for them. However, when an alpha calls, one must obey. Riley obeys in her own style, however. The other involves horrible, seemingly random deaths with the victims literally torn apart.
Unlike previous books, neither investigation was ultimately satisfying for me as a reader. Riley’s choice to embrace her work negatively affects other parts of her life, and it’s hard to predict where she will end up in her personal relationships.
However, while other areas of the book may have faltered, my favorite piece of the book once again is Riley’s strong and healthy relationship with her twin brother. They support each other, and aren’t afraid to communicate when things get uncomfortable and it’s time to be honest about motivations and behavior. While I enjoy the relationship, the story focuses more on Riley and Rhoan, and less on characters from previous books, which was unfortunate in a way because some of those characters were excellent and added dimension.
The solution to one of the investigations felt somewhat haphazard and almost anticlimactic. It was plot padding and not much else. The other solution was more emotionally satisfying for sure, but apart from placing Riley in danger to showcase her special talents, not much else was really accomplished. I still mostly enjoyed the book because Riley and Rhoan are such strong and developed characters, but I’m hoping the next book will provide a better plotline.
As for the ending, if you don’t enjoy being left on the hook dangling with the uncertainty of when the next book may arrive, perhaps waiting to read this would be the best choice. I definitely might have waited until I knew the next one was forthcoming, had I known. I thought the February book would be the next in the series, so I felt safe reading this one. Wrong!