I really wasn’t sure what to expect with Thea Harrison’s newest adult novel, Rising Darkness. It is the first in a new series, and to be honest, I didn’t even know what genre (PNR, UF etc) Rising Darkness was classified. I just knew I really love her Elder Races series and her writing style in general, so a chance to read her new work early and review? Yes please! Rising Darkness didn’t disappoint, but I definitely have more questions than answers right now.
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.
Let me start with what genre I would consider Rising Darkness. I would say it’s fantasy, with some elements of urban fantasy. The story is based in NW Indiana, just outside South Bend (so near Chicago suburbs and Notre Dame University). The time frame is modern day. But I’d say that’s where the urban fantasy elements end. We don’t have supernaturals in the traditional urban fantasy sense. I can’t think of any UF novels with similar types of beings that are seen in Rising Darkness. But, for you fantasy readers, you may have encountered similar beings. And beings is the best way I can describe them. That really is the best information we get…that they were beings who lived in another realm (not like faerie, though) or dimension and I’m not sure if they even had bodies in what we think of in the traditional sense. These beings killed themselves in order to cross over into our world and were reborn as humans. I really want to learn more about them. We learn about the fight with the Deceiver and only have a vague idea of what he did to betray his race. He’s evil and wants to take over Earth, that is about as much as I really could gather. So, there is still lots of world building, IMO, to do and I’m hoping we get in book 2.
Thea’s writing style is still something I enjoy and didn’t really change, despite the myriad differences between Rising Darkness and the novels in her Elder Races series. Rising Darkness is much darker than Elder Races, though there is a heavy romantic undertone. There is some smexy going on, but not nearly to the caliber that we get in Elder Races. But, this is a brand new series and isn’t PNR, so that should be expected. I could have used some more world building, but overall, Harrison keeps the plot moving forward and the action builds and we get more of it as the book moves along. By the end, I wasn’t ready to put it down!
The big downside? We have to wait a year before we get book 2 ;).
If you’re a UF fan or a fan of Harrison’s Elder Races series, I highly recommend you pick up Rising Darkness. If you’re like me and not really a big fantasy reader, I think you’ll enjoy Rising Darkness just the same, despite the heavy fantasy elements. If you’re a true fantasy reader, I do still think you’ll enjoy Rising Darkness despite the UF undertones and romantic subplot elements. Rising Darkness is that cross-over novel that will appeal to readers of several genres and is one I strongly suggest you go pick up.