Apr 5, 2013

Posted by in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Rising Darkness by Thea Harrison (Game of Shadows #1)

risingdarkness3 star

Paranormal Romance
April 2 2013
Mass Market Paperback
304 pages
Berkley Sensation
Received from publisher

Yummy Man – Michael
Kick Ass Chick – Mary

From Goodreads –
In the hospital ER where she works, Mary is used to chaos. But lately, every aspect of her life seems adrift. She’s feeling disconnected from herself. Voices appear in her head. And the vivid, disturbing dreams she’s had all her life are becoming more intense. Then she meets Michael. He’s handsome, enigmatic and knows more than he can say. In his company, she slowly remembers the truth about herself…

Thousands of years ago, there were eight of them. The one called the Deceiver came to destroy the world, and the other seven followed to stop him. Reincarnated over and over, they carry on—and Mary finds herself drawn into the battle once again. And the more she learns, the more she realizes that Michael will go to any lengths to destroy the Deceiver.

Then she remembers who killed her during her last life, nine hundred years ago…Michael.


Rising Darkness is the first book in a new series by Thea Harrison.  Thea’s Elder Races series is inventive, sexy and interesting.  I picked up Rising Darkness because I really enjoy Thea’s other books and hoped I would enjoy this series too.   I knew going into this book that is was very different from anything Thea has written before.  I did not go into it expecting Elder Races version 2.0 and I think that’s important to say.  But even knowing that it would be very different, for me Rising Darkness turned out to be an example of ‘just because you love one set of stories from an author doesn’t mean you will enjoy them all’.

What I enjoyed about the book:

Rising Darkness starts with seven people basically about to commit suicide in order to be reborn in a human body at a different time.  They are chasing an ultimate evil.  And that ultimate evil is one sociopathic crazy arsed villain.  Thea wrote The Deceiver very well.  I believe nightmares will ensue thanks to him.

The concept was interesting.  I have never read anything like it.  You can tell that Thea put a lot of thought into the details while building this world and this story.

There are some really sweet moments in this book.  Michael is falling in love for the first time in his current incarnation and it’s done well.  This is not your typical romance book.  It is dark and serious.  But the tender words add a bit of beauty to an otherwise gloomy world.

What I enjoyed and didn’t enjoy at the same time:

Mary is the main heroine of the series.  She is feeling lost and confused lately.  She’s been having dreams/nightmares since she was a child but they are getting more and more frequent and severe in nature.  She is hearing voices and thinks she is going mad.  When the soul is reborn it takes a while for previous memories to come back and unless someone is there who understands and who can guide you, it can make you go crazy.  I found Thea wrote Mary with her struggles and fears quite well.  This is the first time her soul has been reborn in 900 years and she’s been born and reborn and fighting for 6,000 years!  But even though I found her well done, I wasn’t able to connect with her as I would have liked to.

Same goes for Michael.  I found his well written yet I didn’t click fully with him either.

The romance in Rising Darkness is slow.  Really slow.  In fact, the hero and heroine don’t even meet until past page 100.  In a way, since this is the first book in a two part story, the hero and heroine’s romance shouldn’t be hot and heavy from page one but it was still a bit too long to wait for them to meet for my taste.  But when the romance is introduced (as I mentioned above) there are some really tender moments.

The detail in the book was amazing.  Thea’s world and setting is incredibly documented.  Thea’s voice is beautiful and her writing is very visual.  But I found myself confused more than once, lost in the sheer amount of detail.  It is expected to have lots of detail and description in a first book of a new series – it’s necessary to build the world and the setting for the reader – but in this book it also caused the story to drag.

What didn’t work for me:

Really, it all comes down to the pacing of the book and my ability to connect with it.  Some books suck you in right away while others don’t.  This one didn’t do it for me.  It was just too slow.

Overall, Rising Darkness was an interesting book that I just didn’t click with.  What I would suggest to you, if you are a fan of Thea’s  Elder Races books and are wondering if this new series is for you, is to get online and read reviews written by reviewers you trust.  See what they liked and didn’t like about the book and go from there.  Because you might like a book that is slow building and full of detail and description where it’s not everyone’s thing and I wouldn’t want you to miss out on a book just because some are saying it wasn’t their favorite.

3 stars



  1. Oh I’m sorry it wasn’t as good as her other series. Now I wonder how it will be if I try it. I still have her other series to read but I have book 1 and ordered book 2 too. thanks for your review.

  2. i loved all her dragon bound series books.This book was blah….

    Her earlier books are really really really good…. the best is book 1 with dragos… the yummy alpha…

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