Plot Type: SMR
Ratings: V-4; S-4; H-3
Publisher and Titles: Zebra
When Darkness Comes (2007)
Embrace the Darkness (2007)
Darkness Everlasting (2008)
Darkness Revealed (2009)
Darkness Unleashed (2009)
Beyond the Darkness (2010)
Devoured by Darkness (2010)
Bound by Darkness (2011)
Fear the Darkness (2012)
NOVELLAS (Click on an anthology title below to go to my review.)
"Taken by Darkness" in Yours for Eternity (2010)
"Darkness Eternal" in Supernatural (2011)
"Where Darkness Lives" in The Real Werewives of Vampire County (2011)
This blog post was revised and updated on 10/17/12 to include a review of the ninth book in this series: Fear the Darkness. That review appears first, followed by an overview of the world-building and reviews of books 7 and 8.
BOOK 9: Fear the Darkness
The plot of the ninth book is set deeply into the ongoing story arc involving the Dark Lord and his/her attempt to achieve ultimate power by reuniting two magical babies. At the center of this episode of the story are Cassandra, who is the prophetess sister of Harley, Regan, and Darcy, and Caine, the werewolf who rescued Cassandra from her long-term captivity by the demon lords in a previous book. Both the good guys and the bad guys want Cassandra and her prophecies, so as the story begins, the couple is on the run—and also falling in love. Their love story isn't quite as angst-filled as some have been in previous books, but there is still enough anguish to fill up a slew of dramatic interior monologues and passionate love scenes.
As the story builds up to its requisite climactic battle scene, the reader might think that this is the final book in the series, but keep reading a few more pages and you'll see that this is only an anti-climax—that there's much more to come. Levet, the little gargoyle, plays an important role in the demonic battle, and it's obvious that his participation changes his life forever—but the exact consequences aren't revealed to the reader in this book. This story line is so intricately tied to past events that a new reader would have a tough time understanding what's going on. I've read all of the books, and I still had to stop at some points to try to remember the histories of various characters who show up from time to time. If you've enjoyed the humor and sardonic verbal jousting of earlier books, you'll be disappointed with this one, because there's not much to smile about in this story. The series has been getting darker and darker as the Dark Lord's story arc moves along, and this is the darkest one yet.
If you haven’t been reading this series, here’s a synopsis: The series follows members of a Chicago vampire clan through the soul-mate process. The heroes are all tall, strong, handsome, and very alpha; the heroines are all gorgeous, smart, and ultra feisty. In the author’s words: “I love a kick-ass heroine.”
In the early books, the heroes are vampires, generally the clan leaders. Later books include werewolves as heroes (and villains). The author provides short biographies of her heroes on her web site. Heroines, especially in the early books, seem at first to be human, but each actually has a different supernatural talent. Plots center around various violent acts against the soul mates (e.g., an evil spell cast by wicked witches, attempted murders and kidnappings by various evil vamps and shifters).
One plot line that runs through several later books is the werewolves’ search for four purebred female siblings who were stolen from their nursery twenty years ago, with each sister becoming the heroine of one of the books. Levet, a pint-sized French gargoyle, provides comic relief.
In Devoured by Darkness, we get the beginnings of several more romantic stories; even Levet may have found love. Bound by Darkness will tell the SMR story of two characters we first meet in Devoured by Darkness: Jaelyn, a highly skilled, but very lonely, vampire Hunter, and Ariyal, a dangerous Sylvermyst (Fae) soldier who has become alienated from his people. In the later books, the action draws us closer and closer to an apocalyptic battle between good and evil.
Click HERE to read brief biographies of the Guardians. So far in the series, all but two have had their stories told: Santiago and Roke.
Alexandra Ivy also writes historical romances under the name of Deborah Raleigh.
Here's a book-by-book guide to the heroes and heroines in the series:
> When Darkness Comes: Dante & Abby
> Embrace the Darkness: Viper & Shay
BOOK 7: Devoured by Darkness
BOOK 8: Bound by Darkness
This book tells the story of the Sylvermyst prince, Ariyal, and the vampire Hunter, Jaelyn. When we last saw the couple in a previous book, Jaelyn captured Ariyal, but then he escaped and captured her. He now has her chained up in the ruins of Morgana Le Fey's former pleasure/torture palace on the island of Avalon. This plot is one more piece of the story arc that revolves around attempts by some bad guys to bring back the Dark Lord from the Underworld.
Most of the story revolves around the romance between Ariyal and Jaelyn, as they try hard to hate each other while being driven mad with desire for one another's bodies. Soon enough, of course, they succumb to their passions and begin their bumpy ride to their inevitable HEA. In the meantime, they must contend with Sergei, the evil mage from past books; Rafael, the wizardly spirit of the villain Dane killed in an earlier book; and a new villain from beyond the Veil. Their goal is to rescue the baby girl who is the key to the ascension of the Dark Lord.
We also get the beginnings another romance: Santiago, Styx's best tracker, and Nefri, an Immortal One—a vampire who left the world centuries ago to create a clan within another dimension. Meanwhile, Cassandra and Caine are MIA for this entire book. They are still in the hands of the bad guys, but their full story comes in the next book.
This is another typical (really, stereotypical) episode in the series, with its impossibly handsome hero and over-the-top spunky heroine and its instantaneous love-at-first-sight-forever romance. It follows the usual pattern with its frequent graphic sex scenes alternating with action scenes in which Ariyal and Jaelyn are constantly in jeopardy, but always escape just in the nick of time. This is an above average genre series, so if you love basic paranormal romance, you'll probably like this one.