RISING DARKNESS – Thea Harrison
A Game of Shadows Novel , Book 1
Fantasy/Paranormal Romantic Fiction
Emergency Room Physician Mary Byrne is used to long nights and little sleep. Even before she became a doctor, her sleep was disturbed by very vivid and unusual dreams. But then she starts hearing voices, and her “dreams” come when she is awake. When someone tries to kill her Mary knows something is very very wrong.
Michael was on the verge of becoming a sociopath at a very tender age. He felt disconnected from everyone and everything around him. Then he met an old woman who taught him who he was and why he was born.
Thousands of years ago, in a place no human knows, there were eight of them, beings of energy and light and power. But then the one they called the deceiver escaped their world, and the others were forced to follow to save mankind from ultimate evil. Century after century they are reborn in the human world, and each time their task is to find and destroy the deceiver. But the task is not easy because each time they are reborn as human—they must relearn the past and who they really are.
Michael remembers his past lives, and remembers the woman who is his other half. She has not be reincarnated for a long time, but now she is back and Michael is determined to find her before the deceiver can find and destroy her.
Mary has no memories of past lives beyond the strange dreams she has always had about creatures of light and power. When Michael finds her at last she is on the run for her life with no idea whom she can trust. She has no memories to help her—only Michael. But when she does remember who killed her in her previous life will she find she has trusted the wrong person?
RISING DARKNESS is a fascinating novel of fantasy and suspense. Michael and Mary are complicated characters. Initially I found it difficult to follow what was going on, between the changes in perspective, dreams and the actual present action. However, as the book progressed the characters become more distinct and the plot more complex, and I found myself riveted to the story. Secondary characters include Astra, often referred to as the Grandmother, and the Deceiver, as well as a ghost who is part of the original eight.
Ms. Harrison has created a unique race and placed them in the human world. However, as unique as they once were with thousands of years of reincarnation as humans, they are very much human and much less the ephemeral creatures they began as. While Michael and Mary are essentially soul mates, for Mary, lacking the memories of her past lives, it is not instant trust and love. As they run from danger and have to rely on each other, Mary's feelings for Michael evolve, so once she does begin to regain memories of their past lives it is much easier for her to believe in Michael.
Interesting and complicated, RISING DARKKNESS will intrigue and whet your appetite for more. The ending is very open ended so I can see several more books to come in this brand new series. I'm looking forward to reading them and recommend this book to those who enjoy a dark novel of fantasy and suspense.