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With over 1 million books sold, USA Today Bestseller Dannika Dark introduces her next addictive series…

Raven Black hunts evildoers for fun, but her vigilante justice isn’t the only reason she’s hiding from the law. Half Vampire, half Mage, she’s spent years living as a rogue to stay alive. When a Russian Shifter offers her a job in his covert organization hunting outlaws, dignity and a respectable career are finally within her grasp. The catch? Her new partner is Christian Poe - a smug, handsome Vampire whom she’d rather stake than go on a stakeout with.

They're hot on the trail of a human killer who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. One misstep during her probationary period could jeopardize Raven’s chance at redemption, and her partner would love nothing more than to see her fail. Will Raven find the courage to succeed, or will she give in to her dark nature?

Dark secrets, unexpected twists, and a blurred line between good and evil will keep you on the edge of your seat.

310 pages, Paperback

First published January 17, 2017

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About the author

Dannika Dark

58 books5,721 followers

Dannika Dark is a nine-time USA TODAY Bestselling author, APA Audie Awards Finalist, and AudioFile Earphones Award winner.

Her pulse-pounding urban fantasies and paranormal romances are an addiction that has thrilled readers for more than a decade. Find out why readers have reread these books three, five, or a dozen times.

Dannika has sold millions worldwide.

THE MAGERI SERIES This spellbinding tale of courage and resilience is filled with unpredictable twists that will lead you on a journey of love, friendship, and the hidden power within us all. Start reading STERLING

THE SEVEN SERIES Sparks fly in this unforgettable paranormal romance about family, second chances, and finding that person who completes you. Cliffhanger-free. Start reading SEVEN YEARS

THE CROSSBREED SERIES The stakes are always high in this action-packed urban fantasy with dark secrets, complex characters, and a side of passion. Let the hunt begin... Start reading KEYSTONE

BLACK ARROWHEAD SERIES A wonderful blend of romance, action, magic, humor, and heartwarming stories. This paranormal series is not to be missed. Start reading THE VOW



All books are written in the same universe (Mageriverse) created by Dannika Dark. Each series can be read independently from the other and not affect the reading experience. Because the author cleverly wrote surprise twists and crossovers, you can experience the ultimate reading order HERE.

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5 stars
4,856 (40%)
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3 stars
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267 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 726 reviews
Profile Image for Feminista.
820 reviews1 follower
February 7, 2017
The book started out well. Tough lone-wolf heroine with flaws and vulnerabilities. But before this book was over all that changed. She pretty much begged to be let back into Keystone after they kicked her out. They said no. Her love interest was a promiscuous vampire who loathed and lusted after her at the same time. There is nothing attractive about him. He is an asshole, arrogant, doesn't care for her. But who doesn't love a hero who treats heroine like shit.

After a poignant moment where she sees him with another woman in the back room of a bar, she wishes she were that woman. How pathetic. Go get your own man.

Of course, the author makes it so that she has not been with a man for the length of this book, while Christian, her love interest, is free to sleep around. Very 21st century attitude. Very feminist.

Please, if you are going to write an urban fantasy, don't make it read like a harlequin romance.
35 reviews9 followers
July 2, 2017
Oh god, where to start? This book is a hot mess.

Fan-fiction. Let’s start with fan-fiction. I’m 80% sure this series is a fan-fic of Teen Titans. Don’t believe me? Allow me to demonstrate.

There's a scrappy band of heroes who are basically emotionally damaged but mildly funny, with misunderstood superpowers and a thirst for violence. They are given inordinate (and frankly, myserterious) amounts of wealth and resources to be some sort of vigilante law enforcement against foes they are hopelessly unqualified to take out.

MC is a morose mixed breed with a tragic backstory and raven locks who’s literally called Raven. Her eyes are important to her heritage, or at least everyone thinks so. She’s super powerful but can’t access her full powers until she embraces her heritage. She has trust issues and no family so joins a super secret posse of other messed up people with powers where she develops forbidden crushes on teammates.

MC meets a sidekick lady friend who is sparkly and bubbly and mostly there to provide comic relief except for the few times she’s actually useful. Also has tragic backstory although it’s not as elaborated. Overly affectionate, and clueless to awkwardness. Manic pixy dream girl.

There’s a “tall dark handsome” guy in the posse who’s somewhat out of the picture but is important (I guess?), wears black, is moody. Talks too much considering he's supposed to be laconic. Object of many crushes although it’s not clear why because he’s a douche.

Have two other male characters – big and brawny, and a shapeshifter - who are arguably way more useful but don’t get as many lines. Unfortunately they're drawn out as 2D characters who are scary, and annoying respectively, and usually thrown in just to create “bonding” scenes.

Maybe that’s all just me. But let’s use this Teen Titan ripoff idea as a meme motif for the rest of the review, shall we?

Main Issue #1: Glaring continuity hiccups.

I thikn we all agree that the number one rule of stories is that they should tell a story. And it’s pretty impossible to suspend your reader’s disbelief to get them into your story if you can’t tell a consistent story.

I have never read a book with as many glaring continuity errors as this one. What’s worse, most errors happen in the same section of the same chapter. They’re not even buried and strewn across the book. Here’s a selection:

--> MC always talking about her “street life” and how hungry she is….but constantly refuses food
--> Narrator/MC claims there’s “no government” in the Breed word….then describes the system of laws enforced by a governing authority who prosecutes law-breakers as well as maintains a comprehensive identity database and progeny protections.
--> MC is promised (three times) an assessment of her fighting skills, mage skills, and vampire skills…She is never given one, and fucks up her first assignment (to the surprise of everyone?)
--> Leader of secret posse tells MC he is “not their father”…Then demands, “we all eat together because we’re a family.”
--> “useless” because the boss will move…MC kills henchmen, gives him the address, and he uses it anyway
--> Leader of secret posse describes how they kill criminals there’s no evidence to convict…then proceeds to ban teams from pursuing killer without evidence.

Verisimilitude aside, all that rubbernecking is killing me. But it gets worse.

Issue #2: Tell me everything, show me nothing?

What bothered me even more than all the continuity errors was the mortal sin of fantasy writing: telling, not showing. Pretty much everyone is guilty of this sometime, but man did this book take that to the next level.

There’s this whole ability the MC has to “absorb” bad energy from mages. And we literally never know what it feels like. In fact, it’s easy to forget when the MC has even done it, because we’re only reminded of the fact pages later when she tells someone she feels bad. But how does she feel? Does it give her splitting headaches and a bad case of vertigo? Does it sit in the pit of her stomach, slimy and rollicking? Does it tempt her to use the dark powers for some nefarious pursuit? The MC doesn’t even seem to know so fat chance of us ever knowing.

It’s like that with everything. She sleeps in a dumpster one night in the beginning, which would be a great opportunity for some raw exploration of loneliness and destitution. Instead it’s just described, emotionlessly, in retrospect.

Actually lots of potentially cool scenes are written like that. We find out that her first night at the super secret posse, the MC climbs the roof and walks around to get a grips on her new life. What a potentially interesting scene to read that could speak for itself in metaphors. Except we only fit out about it in a passing conversation in the next chapter, and it never repeats itself.

It makes the characters flimsy, and the scenes lack punch – not to mean it dilutes the world building. And speaking of world building…

Issue #3: Bad research

This one really bothers me, because while the actual craft of writing is always about asymptotic improvement, research is somewhat static. As in, factual information exists out there to answer your questions. Not bothering to look it up – or ask an expert- reflects poorly on you as a writer, especially considering the convenience of The Cyber.

Some examples:
--> Villain reminisces about how blackmailing businesses was easier in the 1940’s because there were no wiretaps then. (Wiretaps were commonplace even during WWI)
--> Mixing up hackers and gamers and tabletop gamers in a bizarre character speech. (Actually if one of your characters is infiltrating county computers to get database records, he is, in fact, a hacker. Pretty basic stuff here.)
-->Gothic-style castle build in North America…prior to colonization? Sure, if you’re working with alternative histories, but there’s literally no mention or even hint of that.

If an author doesn’t take the time to research their own story, or hell, even just use a dictionary, I have to assume that they’re just not that interested in it. So why should I be?

In conclusion:

There’s so much else wrong with this book – screwed up romances that perpetuate boundary pushing and rape culture, TSTL syndrome, cheetahs being the only shifter group (until suddenly they’re not), a 40-year-old MC acting like she’s 16, a random POV switch halfway through the book (????), and you get the picture…

But the main takeaways here are that fan fic is fine, as long as you do it well and add more original contributions. Likewise, contradictions and unreliable narrators can be fine. The key is in committing to them – making them intentional. This is not the case here. It makes the [author] look - at best - like she’s can’t commit to her story - and at worst - like she’s lazy. Either way, she needs a better editor.

I read 70% before giving up. Maybe the last 30% is amazing and redeems the first ¾. But I doubt it.
Profile Image for Pam Nelson.
3,152 reviews98 followers
June 16, 2018
5 Keystone Stars

It’s no secret I am a huge fan/supporter of Dannika Dark’s work. I love how she draws you in to her worlds.
I never want to leave.

When I first found out about the new series I was over the moon with anticipation. I can honestly say this is going to be a contender of which of her series is going to be my favorite.

This is different from the other series but still takes place in the same world. And we get more Christian Poe! He has always intrigued me but I love that you don’t have to have read the other series to understand this book or even Christian.

Raven is a character I want to be like, she is fearless. Maybe a little lonely sure but she is a fighter and I love that about a female character, she doesn't make excuses.
Her luck changes off and on throughout this book and you can’t help but be rooting for her.
Trust and loyalty is the name of the game and learning to trust who and what you are.
We get to see some fun and interesting characters I can’t wait for more.

I feel like I need to do the grabby hands I don’t want to wait! This book really is everything and more than I thought it was going to be.

I lovvvvvve Nicole Poole’s narration of any and all books she has done. She has a way of making each character different and unique you never feel like you don’t know who is in the driver’s seat so to speak.
The emotion she can put into her voice is amazing to me. I am a fan.
Worth the Credit, worth the money, worth it all.

I highly recommend if you are a paranormal lover because this book will suck you in and not let you go, in all the good ways.

*You don't have to like my review but its 100% my opinion, and I am allowed to have it.*
Profile Image for Denisa.
1,181 reviews286 followers
November 18, 2022
Why does everyone like this series so much...?

Let me start off with what I liked and why this series got 2 stars.
I enjoyed the heroine. She's one of the very few kick-ass chicks I've seen who aren't afraid to kill the bad guys (I mean actually kill, she goes around killing bad guys, yay). She seems really tough and, in her way, I understand why she does what she does. Yay, her!

What I didn't like, well... everything else except her.
This mystery crew is a band of idiots. They are supposed to be immortal and wise and all that jazz, yet they act as though they've never actually been on a case before. They make rookie mistakes; I'm no expert, but I've read enough books and seen enough movies to know stuff, and when I figure things out 5 pages before everyone else does, with only one POV, I'm not too happy. Especially since this happens throughout the whole book.

The writing style is pretty average. I've heard amazing things about this author, but she's definitely lacking in this series. Maybe it gets better the more you read, but frankly, I don't have the patience (or the time) to read bad books. Maybe I'll give this author another try at one point, but not right now.

The plot itself wasn't bad, here, I have nothing to say. It's your typical UF plot. It has potential if you can get over the idiots and the writing, though.

All in all, I wouldn't recommend this one. There are a lot of amazing UFs out there.
Actually, I guess it all depends on how well you handle stupid characters (that's a hard limit for me), so if you don't have a problem with that, it's actually not an awful UF.
Profile Image for Danielle (Danniegurl).
1,810 reviews95 followers
April 11, 2017

Whoops, I clearly forgot to review this. First I want to let you know that all of Ms. Dark's books are set in the same universe and she does have a preferred reading order, which is available on her website. I highly recommend reading in the order so things make sense, but it isn't completely required. Still not much of the different Breeds are explained in depth like they are in the Mageri and Seven series. By this point I feel that most people should read those ones first IMO.

Raven Black is a hybrid, which isn't normal or typical and "crossbreeding" is looked down upon. They are the lesser Breeds so to speak, and usually I believe killed (it's been like 3 weeks since I read the book).

In this book Raven goes around killing bad breeds which has earned her a sort of reputation and she is recruited for her work. This is great, at first, until she's paired up with the broody Vamp she had pegged in the bar (pegged for food). He says he works alone, always. He doesn't want nor need a partner, but he finds himself drawn to Raven and they actually make a great team. They compliment each other. But there is one important rule when you work at Keystone, no banging your partner. This kinda sucks IMO since Christian and Raven have such chemistry that they try not to act upon. The more they spend time together the more increasingly difficult this becomes, especially after they kiss. This throws a pink elephant into their otherwise shaky partnership. The attraction is so great that Raven isn't sure what to do.

I love everything in this book, the mystery, what happens the romance and relationships. I look forward to this series and eagerly await the rest of the books. My only hope is that Ms. Dark doesn't end the series like she did Mageri (I haven't read the newest books yet) where she left me wanting more regarding the main couple's relationship and such. I don't want to be left wanting more on the relationship but I do want more from this universe. Ms. Dark has just a way with words that captivate me. It was exactly what I was looking for.
Profile Image for Jacqueline's Reads.
2,755 reviews1,471 followers
June 9, 2018
3 Luke-warm stars

I haven’t read a Dannika Dark read in a long time. I do like her shifter series, but I wanted to try something different.

This book is VERY tame. Sure there’s some events that happen, but the “romance” is the back-burner of the story. I kind of wish it was YA because I didn’t care for the mild tension. But that is me.

The political aspect is the heart of the story. I’m not sure if I like the world building too much. I found out this is a spin-off series and maybe that was my problem. I went into this book thinking I had the knowledge of the world when I didn’t.

Raven is mixed mage and vampire. I don’t know what a Mage is and maybe I should have read that series. She kind of does her own thing and it’s not always good. It was hard for me to like her. She’s so stuck in her ways it was a major turn-off. I never really liked a Heroine with a chip off her shoulder. Plus she hates vampires.

Christian is a vampire and I really didn’t like the way the author wrote him. He’s so mean to Raven and even though I like a good asshole Hero, the fact Raven and Christian equally hated each other didn’t give me a believing chemistry. It wasn’t even a cute-hate, it was a I really can’t stand you hate.

I struggled with the slow parts and I was only interested in the parts with Raven and Christian and those were far and few.

I will continue with the series hoping it will steam up, but I might move on to a different Dannika Dark book in the mean time.
Profile Image for Rhea_Sways.
477 reviews101 followers
June 4, 2017

You have got to be kidding me! Seriously I wish half of these authors put in some effort in creating plots. I have no idea what the raving is all about.

I was not impressed with the characters or their development neither was the concept all that impressive or interesting. The world building was about had potential to grow however the story was mind numbingly boring to utilize it. The writing had no substance so to conclude it was a fail!
Profile Image for Marianne.
1,294 reviews145 followers
February 7, 2017
Mageri this. Mageri that. I've never read Dannika Dark's Mageri series, which was obviously a good call on my part if this book is anything to go by. And that Christian Poe character? Talk about trying to hard to make him appear a sexy and lascivious but interesting alpha male. No, just no. He was quite honestly; cringe worthy:-(

On the bright side, this book was an excellent cure for my insomnia.

First DNF of the year for me.
Profile Image for Nicole Locker.
Author 22 books258 followers
February 7, 2017
Dannika Dark is at it again. I don't know how she does it, but she just has a way of drawing you into this fantasy world of Breed with rich characters and addictive story lines.

I've read every book Dannika Dark has ever put out to the public, and I've loved every. single. one of them. But the Mageri Series has literally been my all-time favorite series out of all the books I've ever read, and Christian Poe, the snarky, Vampire bodyguard introduced in Twist, Book 2 of that series, was one of my all-time favorite characters. There's just something so utterly bad-ass about him, so humorous and salty yet likable. Oh, and did I mention Irish?

Now enter Keystone. A whole new series that begins after the final Mageri Series book (reading the former series not required), and we get another satisfying dose of Christian Poe as the leading man of the story. This book centers on a brand new character, a cross-breed anomaly who is half-vampire and half-mage. Raven Black is a rogue having to live under the radar for being what she is, and she's got demons of her own to deal with. She's a deadly huntress who's killed more Breed than she'd care to count, and every one of them deserved it.

“Don’t you know who I am? I’m the Shadow. Legend has it that if a man loses his shadow, it means that I ate it, and I’m coming for the rest of him.”

But dammit, a girl's gotta eat, and when you're a rogue in the Breed world, it's nearly impossible to find lucrative work. That's where Keystone comes in, and though Raven fits right in with this bunch and their mission, to rid the world of evil, out-law Breed that the Higher Council is unable to find or unable to pin their crimes on to punish. The problem is, she has to prove herself first, and partnering her with the one Breed she hates the most - a vampire - might just be the deal breaker.

What I just freaking loved about this book, aside from being completely engrossed in the story from start to finish, was the moments here and there when we got to see this tender or seductive side of Christian-freaking-Poe. He says his heart is black as night, and he doesn't feel love. He's mouthy, and at times down-right hilarious in a sarcastic, ass-hole kind of way. And every now and then, he gives you a glimpse of this other side that no one gets to see, and I just ate it up. Couldn't get enough of it.

“Did you get any blood on your breasts? I’m willing to go the extra mile.”

Then there were ALL the other characters. I'm amazed at how Dannika Dark can create these secondary characters that are so individual and full of life. Every one of them could have books all their own, they are so detailed, interesting, and full of personality. She did it in the Mageri Series (umm, hello... Christian Poe was a secondary character in that series, and look where we are now), and she's done it here with Keystone, the first book in her new Crossbreed series.

And I cannot wait for Book 2.
Profile Image for Bell.
398 reviews
February 4, 2017

Part of the reason I disliked this book so much was because of the expectation set by the glowing reviews, which were promptly dashed to pieces.

My gosh. Do we not care about good literature anymore? This book was riddled with inconsistencies, awkward dialogue, unrealistic reactions and "telling not showing."

One of the biggest issues I had was that we're fed paragraphs of boring details about what rooms look like and what people are wearing, but we barely get any details when something important happens and it actually matters.

Raven walks into a room, and we get this:

"Front and center was an oval-shaped bar, colorfully lit and busy with patrons. Music was playing, but not obnoxiously loud. Each side of the room had seating areas with boxy modern chairs that could fit two. They were arranged in groups of four surrounding a black table, and numerous pillars and short walls broke up the openness. The walls had colorful accent lights, and nothing about this place was uninteresting."

But then we find out Christian IS NOT DEAD, and we get this:

"We're so glad you're not dead."
"You and me both," he murmured, dusting off his pants.
She worried her lip. "I'd hug you, but you have dead stuff all over you. Rain check." She skipped out the door, Claude shadowing behind her.

THAT'S IT? "Oh cool, you're not dead, kay bye." Come ON.

The description of every character based on their race threw me off. He "looked Asian" or "looked Native American." Was this an attempt to be culturally diverse?

Of course the Russian guy was named Victor.

Christian was very un-sexy. It was a combo of his cartoonish Irishman cursing ("for feck's sake"), his womanizing habits. He's constantly whispering into Raven's ear when they don't like each other and pinning her against the wall. That's not sexy. That's creepy.

Raven catches Christian fucking some girl in a bar and just watches. Christian catches her watching and proceeds to stop fucking to walk over and see what she needs. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE.

Overall this book reminded me of a bad writing prompt. It was a mess of jumbled characters and awkward writing and not good at all.
Profile Image for ☕️Kimberly  (Caffeinated Reviewer).
2,999 reviews637 followers
February 24, 2017
The world will be familiar to fans of her Seven series and Mageri series (one I fully intend to listen to as well). For those who have read the series the familiar character Christian Poe appears. Dark is promising all sorts of twists and turns in this new series, and she started it off with plenty of action with life and death moments. It was utterly addictive.

Our heroine Raven Black is undocumented. Since she isn't registered and has no standing with the Breed, she is living off the streets and taking odd jobs. She fears her Mage ties and loathes her vampire ties. She is a bit of a vigilante and has spent her years killing criminals in the Breed world. From the onset, I connected with Raven and was intrigued to know more. When Raven is approached to join Keystone, a secret organization that hunts outlaws she jumps at the chance. Not only will she have a salary, but for once she will have a safe place to lay her head. What follows is a whirlwind plot with Raven adjusting, meeting the members of Keystone and dealing with some nasty and dangerous Breed members

It was a blast seeing Raven adapt to being a part of a group and dealing with RULES. This girl has been rogue for a long time and has to learn to play nice. Maybe? Christian Poe is a member of Keystone, and their interactions were intense. There are sparks but one of the rules of Keystone is no relationships with members. I will be curious to see if a romance develops- rules be damned. Raven is on probation which leads to some series problems, and not everyone wants her to become a full-fledged member. Secondary characters from a blind healer who wields knives to villains added to the tale. I am excited at the prospect of learning more. The case provided lots of action, trouble, and suspense all of which had me listening into the wee hours and ignoring my other reading material.

Nichole Poole is the perfect narrator for this series and is quickly becoming a favorite female narrator for me. She gives each character their own unique voice and captures their emotions perfectly through her tone. I wholeheartedly recommend grabbing your earbuds and listening to her books.

Audio provided by publisher. This review was originally posted at Caffeinated Book Reviewer
Profile Image for Fabi.
1,009 reviews143 followers
March 2, 2017
A gorgeous start to a new series. Reminiscent of Written in Red which began Anne Bishop's popular series, Keystone introduces us to this new Urban Fantasy world and it's main characters. The world may not be brand new to you if you've read Dark's The Mageri Series Box Set. I have not, but the gorgeous cover of this book kept calling my name. This book does not require any prior knowledge. Never for a moment did I feel like I was missing anything or lacked understanding of anything going on in Keystone. Christian and Raven's relationship is going to be a roller coaster of a ride in this series.

I listened to the Audible book version that Nicole Poole narrates. With no exaggeration, I'd say it's the best narration I've ever heard. Nicole created an entire cast of characters with her voice alone. Everything from female to male tones. Young to old intonations. American to Irish accents. She did it all. Never a single mistake, never once falling out of characters for any of the voices, and each one distinct enough to not be confused with any other.

Top notch, award winning performance!
Profile Image for Cheryl La Pa.
393 reviews64 followers
February 7, 2017
Ms Dark has done it again with another fantastic series! Loved seeing Christian again (from the Mageri series) and getting to know Raven and the Keystone group. Raven is a little rough around the edges, independent and impulsive, so it is a big adjustment for her when she joins the covert organisation, Keystone, and has to work as a team player and follow the rules. Her partner is Christian Poe, a handsome charming vampire who would rather work alone.

Ms Dark knows how to create deep, real characters and I connected immediately with the Keystone team. They are a mishmash of immortals: chitahs, shifters, vampires, mages and gravewalkers, each with different special abilities- and together they hunt outlaws that the authorities cannot touch. I loved their dynamics, their witty banter and their comraderie. Things don't go smoothly for Raven as the latest recruit, as she tries to find her place and fit in with the tight knit group.

I loved getting to know the characters, and revisiting the Mageri world (though it is not necessary to read the Mageri series first) and was transported into lives of Raven and the Keystone clan.

Dark secrets, unexpected twists, and a blurred line between good and evil will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Profile Image for Tink Magoo is bad at reviews.
1,244 reviews185 followers
February 12, 2017
Aside from that one scene that really pissed me off - , even though I suppose it wasn't the worst thing seeing as there isn't really a romance going on, just some sexual tension - I enjoyed this. The whole group dynamic and Raven learning more about herself and what she could do.

Oh and boy did I love that little twist that Raven asked from Christian near the end.

Excited for the next book and my fingers are crossed there's some romance.
February 23, 2017
how I ADORE the Dannika Dark - Nicole Poole audio book team! I think this will be a strong and entertaining series and it's always wonderful to be back in the mythical breed world that Dannika beautifully creates and Nicole magically brings to life!
I'm pretty traditional when it comes to reading, in that I prefer to actually physically read, but NO JOKE, stumbling upon this team has me 1000000% committed to ONLY audio books (via audible.com) for anything these two are on together; they're just a stellar combo! :))
cheers! L.
Profile Image for Gaele.
4,079 reviews80 followers
April 3, 2017
AudioBook Review:
Stars: Overall 4 Narration 5 Story 4

My first introduction to Dannika Dark, and I’m hooked. In Crossbreed we have a mixed race heroine in Raven: half mage, half vampire, she’s unregistered in society and exists on the fringe, avoiding the law and doing her best to make her own rules, with reasonable success. But, she’s got her own self-image issues: she despises her vampire half, and isn’t comfortable with the magical nature of her mage side, so she’s constantly on the move, unsettled by more than just her own need for safety.

But, an opportunity arises in the form of an offer that will offer her the opportunity to continue ridding the world of evildoers as well as give her a salary and a safe place to live, she jumps at the chance. Even if it means a probationary period and plenty of new things to learn: mostly to play nice with her coworkers. There’s plenty of action to keep her busy, but, as with all new hires, she’s got to work with a partner until she proves herself. And, he calls out to her vampire side, even though she’d rather ram the stake through him than spend hours on the job with him. Yep – there are serious sparks which could mean an enemies to lovers romance somewhere down the line, even as the rules at Keystone clearly say No Relationships. But, she’s never been the one to follow the rules, big or small.

From the start, Raven was engaging, intriguing and invited listeners into her life and head, even as some questions were coming to her consciousness right along with ours. Dark builds her like a puzzle with the middle left out: each new moment brings another piece, but you always want more. Secondary characters from villains to blind knife-wielding healers, all bring their own flavor to the story, and the dialogue between Raven and Christian (her partner assigned by Keystone) is fast-paced, occasionally hilarious, and often reveals far more about each of them than one might expect.

Narration for this book is provided by Nicole Poole, another new to me narrator, and one that I will be looking for in future audiobooks. She perfectly captured the rather edgy-trying to maintain my badass approach to life even when things aren’t fabulous attitude of Raven, and followed that task up neatly with distinct voices for the other characters that appeared, adding touches that gently lead the listener to form a near-instant impression of each as a black or white hat. Never hesitating or distracting from the story, her narration made this listen a pleasure.

A wonderful introduction to a new series, with solid world-building, intrigue from characters and a clear purpose for the heroine with just enough left undone to continue, fans of urban fantasy that mixes character, content and action in equal measure are sure to enjoy this one.

I received an AudioBook copy of the title from Tantor Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

Review first appeared at I am, Indeed

Profile Image for Lorna.
1,318 reviews62 followers
November 27, 2018
(Rabid Reads.com)Whenever Dannika Dark publishes a new book it’s an event for me. Her stories are always full of romance, humor, suspense, and all sorts of paranormal characters. Perfect recipe for a good time reading! With Keystone, the author continues her foray into her intricately fleshed out Breed world, and introduces us to a half Mage, half Vampire, crossbreed named, Raven Black. And for the Mageri fans out there, she has added Christian Poe from that series, into the mix as a major character.

Raven is what is known as a rogue. She is undocumented as far as the Mage world is concerned and wants nothing to do with the vampire side of her heritage. Since she has no standing in the Breed world she can’t work, so she has to scrounge for meals and shelter. She is making it her business to take out the worst of the worst Breed criminals. She gets nothing but the satisfaction of taking one more bad guy out of the world. She has no idea that she is making waves with the criminal element in the breed world. When she is approached by an underground group named, Keystone, to come work with them, she jumps at the chance to finally have a home and get paid for what she already does.

Raven is already a good character. She is so real, flawed, but down deep a good person. She’s got snark and a bit of an attitude, and at times she isn’t the best at taking orders. She’s been a rogue for a long time. Now it’s time for her to learn to play well with others. Will that happen? I can’t wait to see how all that goes as the series progresses. Christian is a member of Keystone and a vampire. He was enigmatic, with a side of bad boy in the Mageri series, but with this book, we see another side of him. Oh, he still has his mysteries, but we do get to see a different Christian. This Christian is more than a little attracted to Raven, and she to him, but he doesn’t believe that he has a capacity to love. Wouldn’t matter anyway, as they are not allowed to be together due to the Keystone rules. There’s also interesting and finely drawn peripheral characters that were part of the Keystone group and I enjoyed getting to know them as well.

I am not going to go any farther into the story due to spoilers. I will say that this book is full of life and death moments and plenty of action. To me, the pacing was pretty perfect and the writing outstanding, as always with this authors work. The action was balanced with the moments of Raven going through the whirlwind of finding a new life. And possibly the chance for a bit of romance with Christian? Only time will tell. I am already chomping at the bit for the next book.

The author has told us to expect twists and turns in this series and I can’t wait to see where it’s all going. I have a feeling it’s going to be quite the ride and I am excited about the whole thing.

Highly recommended to adult urban fantasy, and paranormal romance readers may enjoy this as well.
Profile Image for Sweet and Salty Reviews by DD.
558 reviews170 followers
December 20, 2022
Great new series for me!!!! I felt like some heat was missing bringing the rating to a 4 star for me.

Super interesting storyline. Secondary characters are close to perfection! No solid MC, but we can draw some conclusions for sure. Exciting, action packed, with a dash of sass and humor! Has a little Cat and Bones Halfway to the Grave feeling to it but without the hot scenes. BTW Cat and Bones are my ABSOLUTE favorite couple EVAH!!

Excited for book 2! Hoping a solid love story with some heat will be found!

Happy reading,
DD 🥂
Profile Image for Graeme Rodaughan.
Author 9 books339 followers
March 14, 2017
DNF'ed at 11% in. Unrated. Sass without a storyline. Boring. Not worth my time.

It's all very well to be able to write 2 or 3 one liners per page, but it doesn't make up for paper thin characters and no story line.
Profile Image for Michelle.
78 reviews
February 10, 2017
4 - 4.5 stars for this newest addition to the "breeds" world that Dannika Dark created with the Mageri Series. I LOVED the Mageri series, so it was nice to be able to venture back into that world.

Raven Black is a crossbreed: half Vampire, half Mage. Crossbreeds are not well received in the breed world, and as such, she has been living on the streets: sleeping in dumpsters and scrounging for food in Breed establishments. Along the way, she has seen the worst of the breeds, and has become a kind of "vigilante". She has gained a reputation as "the Shadow" and catches the eye of some interesting people, who offer her a place among them. The question is, can she trust anyone? Is she destined to be just a "rogue"?

So I liked this book, but there were a few things that kept it from being a 5 star read for me. One, there is a lot of background info that was never revealed about how she became who and what she is, for example. I guess that will have to come in another installment, but I was kind of hoping for some explanations.

The men - oh the men! I mean "the breeds". They were HAWT. Dannika Dark knows what kind of "male" I like and she writes them perfectly. All of the males were spectacular. The Chetah, The Vampire, The Mage, The Shifter, etc. GREAT GREAT GREAT. And surprisingly, she even wrote some really likable secondary female characters.

It's a great start to a new spinoff series for the Breed world. It takes place in "Cognito" - the breed haven city where Mageri world is set, so I am hoping to run into some people from that series. This series includes Christian Poe, the vamp from Mageri. HAWT HAWT HAWT.

Will definitely continue reading this spinoff series.

Profile Image for Silver James.
Author 119 books198 followers
November 1, 2017
Keystone (Crossbreed #1) by Dannika Dark [Audio review] Now that there are 2 more books in this series, I wanted to refresh my memory before moving on to them. Nicole Poole did a terrific job with the narration of the audio version, especially given the variety of accents and number of characters. As for the content, my previous review still stands, though I'm bumping my rating to 5 stars, due to Ms. Poole's narrative talents.

[Original review - Kindle edition] I enjoy this author's work, though her Seven series more so than her Mageri. Still, the premise of this one and the sample hooked me so I grabbed it and darn if I didn't read it pretty much in one sitting (or lying, as I was in bed fighting insomnia). This is not the book to read if you are trying to sleep. LOL I like this new character, Raven Black. I don't remember Christian Poe from the Mageri series (haven't read them all) but now I have to go back and read them to find out who he is and where he came from. I like the supporting characters. This is sort of the paranormal version of the TV show < /Scorpio >. Mysterious Alpha wolf shifter has put together a team of Breed to go after the worst of the worse--the "untouchables" in the Breed world. Each has a talent--tied to their breed--to bring to the table. Raven is an anomaly--a crossbreed (Vampire/Mage) that isn't supposed to exist. She's been alone on the streets and she's offered the chance to join this secret group. There are missteps, tension (sexual and otherwise), and a pretty darn good story. I'll stick with this series to see what happens. I want to know more about how Raven came to be. There was just enough of her backstory to set the stage, but now I want the rest. 4.5 stars
Profile Image for Blodeuedd Finland.
3,387 reviews293 followers
October 9, 2018
I had issues, and the nail in the coffin was when I fell asleep and did not care to go back and listen to 15 min or so. Oh and when I sped it up even more cos I just wanted it to end.

I did not care for Raven. She had killed a lot of people, but then we learn that she does not know to fight and her magic is not as good as the real breeds...right, and she took down dangerous baddies how? Supposedly by luring them in..right.
Oh and she is an idiot. Think woman! There was this situation and she effed up, and then she got applauds and I was all ...riiight.
I do not need someone kickass but at least I want smart.
She was too much, too honorable, and then not. Too smart mouthed, always. Too much.

Christian who I guess is the love interest was too much. Not even the accent saved him. Always with the smart mouth. He came of sleazy in the end. Ugh, no thanks.

The gang was, sigh, why did those people get picked?

Why do breed despise humans when some of them were humans like a year ago.

By a saving grace it will get an ok rating

She made it better, but not even she could save this train wreck. Would have been a dnf without the narration
Profile Image for Hilary.
187 reviews32 followers
April 9, 2017
Suspenseful, intriguing, witty and fresh; all the things a Dannika Dark fan knows to expect in her books is exactly what Keystone offers.

Raven, much like all of Dark's heroines, is strong yet vulernable, looking for her place in this world after being made into something she doesn't full understand. On Raven's search for her next meal and place in the world she meets the prickly vampire Christian Poe. *insert excited squeal*

Christian is many things, but warm and fuzzy is not one of them. I adored and was intrigued by this character back when he made his debut in the Mageri Series, and begged for more. I had hoped to get a bigger look inside his past, but maybe that will come with time.

Dark kept me glued to my kindle biting my nails and grinning ear to ear. Bring on book 2!
Profile Image for One chapter more.
764 reviews127 followers
February 10, 2020
Currently, I am in a massive reading slump, however, I was able to listen and quite enjoy this book via Audio.

It was quite a quick listen even if I was confused at a time. Not sure if I will continue with the series straight away or have a small break before reaching the book no 2.
Profile Image for Kristy.
876 reviews
February 3, 2017
4.5 stars

Great start to this crossover series! I liked the development of Raven's character, and loved the new characters. It was great to get to know Christian better too. Can't wait for the next book.
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