[REVIEW] Embraced by Darkness – Keri Arthur

Keri Arthur
Embraced by Darkness (Riley Jenson, Book 5)
Random House Dell Spectra (US & CA: 31st July 2007); Hachette Piatkus (UK: 2nd August 2007; AU: May 2008)
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Riley Jenson needs all her supernatural abilities to hunt down a particularly eerie serial killer, in Keri Arthur’s Embraced by Darkness.

Riley Jenson is one of the Directorate of Other Races’ guardians, trained to hunt and destroy her prey. With both vampire and werewolf genes, she is mostly werewolf, but has a host of other paranormal skills: she can switch her vision to infrared, is clairvoyant, and can wrap shadows around herself. Mixing searching for a missing pack member and investigating recent serial murders, Riley’s on the hunt.

Set in Melbourne, this series was first published in the US, thus there are terms that don’t seem to fit with the Australian characters. “Cell phone” is used instead of “mobile phone”. “Mom” is used instead of “mum”. “Ass” is used instead of “arse”. North American readers shouldn’t find this a problem, but for Aussie me it’s jarring, and took me out of the story. Mind you, it had been over a year since I’d read a Keri Arthur novel (I read the first four quickly and consecutively), so reading the novels back-to-back probably won’t make the issue too distracting.

Be sure to read this novel before The Darkest Kiss, as the latter’s first chapter deals with a spoiler from the former.

The narrative flows easily, and the final hunt is particularly engrossing – Keri Arthur improves with each novel. Riley usually has numerous sexual partners, but now she’s considering going solo with Kellen. Though his name was familiar, I didn’t remember much about him. He throws Riley’s phone out the window of a limo, and from there on I didn’t like him. The move had “control freak” written all over it, not to mention the careless waste of money. Riley deals with the situation rather calmly, but in real life losing a phone means losing all your contacts and perhaps important files. I don’t find Kellen romantic; rather an ungrateful shite. It says something about him that Riley keeps pining for vampire Quinn, though I don’t think he’s any better.

And that whole mother thing in the book’s summary? While that bit is featured, we don’t actually end up meeting Riley’s mum. But another issue from Riley’s childhood comes to light, and a new supernatural ability saves the day. That she has so many powers gets her out of jams a bit too easily, and I don’t care for her private life, but the rest of the book is fabulously intriguing and entertaining. That it’s set in places familiar to me makes it all the more worthwhile.

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3 responses to “[REVIEW] Embraced by Darkness – Keri Arthur

  1. You know what always jars me out of her books? In EVERY sex scene, she uses the word ‘kaleidoscope’. It never fails lol. It’s always in there. I just have to laugh or cringe every time I get to one of her sex scenes, b/c I know the word is coming. Even in her short story for an anthology, featuring other characters, she used it again lol.

    And I agree, she really does keep giving her main character too many powers, a la Anita Blake. It saves the day too much. And also, yes I didn’t care much for Kellen, and go back and forth on Quinn.

    To be honest, I find the series pretty flawed, and started but didn’t finish Darkest Kiss. I got that far, but really was only into certain storylines, and hence only reading the books for specific parts of it. Overall, it left me feeling unsatisfied.

    And Riley’s whole, I want to sleep with any guy even slightly hot, but still yearn endlessly for the werewolf soulmate I have to meet someday, while dismissing any potential partners that aren’t werewolves as only flings… even though I’m only half werewolf myself… and I can’t have the white picket fence and marriage anyway due to certain health issues….

    Yeah, it comes off either whiny or silly to me, alternatively. Sometimes I want to smack her really hard. And I’m all for female empowerment and all, but (at least until the last book) that girl was wayyy too easy. >.>

    Sorry if I sound really harsh on it, but I did find it decent at least, since I managed to get to book 6 after all. I think its just that I like certain characters or storylines, as I said, rather than all of it overall. Oh well.

  2. Thanks for the review, Tez!

    on the americanization of various words…this series is sold to America and it’s my biggest market, so therefore we use their terms rather than ours. Piatkus bought the publication rights for the UK and Australia from Bantam, which means (as far as I know), they can’t alter the text. I do use Australian terms where possible, but you’d be amazed at just how many words we use that confuse our overseas friends. We Aussies really do have a different way of speaking. lol.

  3. Tez I love your reviews! I’ve only read the first book in the series and didn’t really like it. Judging from your review, I don’t think it would be a series I’m interested in reading. Especially if the guys are overbearing, it would just take me out of the book and wonder why anyone would like them. :S

    ~ Popin

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