Title: Darkness Rises
Author: Dianne Duvall
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Immortal Guardians (Book 4)
Publication Date: October 1, 2013
Format: Paperback, 403 Pages
ISBN-10: 1420129783 (Zebra/Kensington)
ISBN-13: 978-1420129786 (Zebra/Kensington)
Reviewed by: Steph
Krysta is used to getting the drop on vampires. Her “special abilities” aren’t much, but the plan is simple–she plays helpless pretty young thing to lure them in. Then her shoto swords come out and it’s bye-bye, bloodsucker. Until one night she finds herself with an unexpected ally. He’s a vampire, all right, but different. Mysterious. Handsome. And more interested in saving her skin than draining it.
Etienne has been an Immortal Guardian for two hundred years–long enough to know that Krysta is special. He can’t stop thinking about her long legs, even more than her short swords. Then he discovers the vamps she’s exterminating have friends in high places, and the Guardians are in danger too. He’ll have to accept Krysta’s help to save them. The stakes for a mortal are high. But the cost to his heart might be higher. . .
Quick & Dirty: A vampire hunter finds out that the paranormal world isn’t quite as cut and dry as she thought it was when an immortal enters her life. The world she thought she knew will be forever changed because of him.
Opening Sentence: Étienne stared down at the house across the street and watched shadows writhe and dance on the closed curtains.
I’ve had the first book in the Immortal Guardians series on my to read list for quite a while, so I was intrigued when I saw book 4 in my list of books to review and hoped that I wouldn’t be too lost, having not read the first three. This book easily stood on its own, causing me very little confusion as to what was happening in the overall storyline. That being said, while I was entertained, I found the book to be largely average.
Six years ago, Krysta was attacked and found out the hard way that vampires exist in our world. Ever since that night, she has gone out hunting vampires, making herself look like an easy target on college campuses, luring vampires into alleys and then killing them. Krysta has the ability to see auras, and vampires’ auras move before they do, giving Krysta an edge in a fight. Her brother Sean has the ability to heal, taking any injury from one person onto himself, so Krysta is able to keep going out and fighting. One night, she finds herself surrounded by more vamps than she’s ever faced before. When things start to go bad, she’s saved by Étienne, an Immortal Guardian. Thus begins Krysta and Sean’s initiation into a world filled not only with vampires, but also with immortal beings tasked with slaying all vampires and keeping the human population safe, as well as their Seconds, gifted humans like Krysta and Sean who aid the Immortal Guardians in their quest. Vampires are not the only threat, however. A group of mercenaries armed with tranquilizer darts are determined to capture an Immortal Guardian for purposes of experimentation. Will the Immortal Guardians be able to find their base and eradicate the threat?
I really liked Krysta as a heroine. She’s strong and able to take care of herself, but she is also aware of her limitations. She is constantly worried that one day, she’ll be injured so severely that Sean will die healing her. Seeing her struggle with that knowledge while still wanting to make the world a safer place without vampires really helped me feel a connection to her as a character and admire the way she puts herself out there despite the danger to herself.
Étienne, in contrast, seemed like a really flat character to me. Despite the fact that there are multiple parts of the book from his point of view, I never really got a good feel for him as a person. We get very little back story on his life, and then once he meets Krysta, most of his thoughts are consumed with her, so I never really had a chance to connect with him.
Regarding the story overall, a big problem I had was that parts of the world didn’t seem that original to me. For instance, the ability of the Guardians’ fangs to be able to carry blood directly to their system is something I’ve read in a different series, and I would constantly think of that series every time this book would mention it. I’ve also seen the idea of the Seconds done before. I will say though, that I really liked the idea of vampirism being caused by a virus that slowly drives the infected person insane. That seemed very original to me and kept me reading. I’m very intrigued to see if they’re ever able to figure out a way to stop the progression of the insanity. There were also some great funny moments throughout the book, especially when the entire group of guardians would gather together. The humor was a great way to take a break from the action scenes.
All in all, I’m rather torn about this book. I enjoyed it and was entertained by it, but at the same time, parts of it seemed very unoriginal to me, which hampered my enjoyment. I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to try and go back and read the first three books in the series. If I do decide to continue, it will probably be awhile before I pick up one of the books.
“What’s your point?” Ethan asked.
“My point is I can’t protect you if you keep your girlfriends from me.”
Every eye swung toward Krysta.
She glanced around. “Why is everyone looking at me?”
“Oh. Oh, no. I’m not Étienne’s girlfriend. We just…hunt together…sort of. It’s not like we’re dating or…We haven’t slept together or anything…I mean we slept together…twice actually…but we didn’t—“
“You aren’t helping,” Étienne murmured.
Immortal Guardians Series:
2. Night Reigns
FTC Advisory: Zebra/Kensington provided me with a copy of Darkness Rises. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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