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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Innocent Darkness by Suzanne Lazear

Title: Innocent Darkness
Author: Suzanne Lazear
ISBN: 9780738732480
Publisher: Flux
Released: August 08, 2012
Series: The Aether Chronicles #1
Page #: 391
Source: ebook from Netgalley

"If one girl lives, the whole world dies.

Sixteen-year-old Noli braddock and her best friend Steven "V" Darrow just wanted to take a flying car out for a joy ride. They had no idea it would result in Noli getting sent to reform school to mend her hoyden ways. While at the dreadful school, Noli's innocent Midsummer's Eve wish summons Kevighn, a mysterious man who takes Noli with him to the Realm of Faerie. At first Noli believes she has been rescued. But the sinister reason behind the handsome huntsman's appearance quickly becomes clear - he wants to use Noli as a blood sacrifice to restore his dying world. V, who has secrets of his own, shows up to help Noli escape and return to the mortal realm - but first, they must navigate the dangerious intrigues of the Otherworld. If they are successful, Noli will live. But the entire Otherworld civilization will perish."
First Lines:

"Whatever happened, she could not allow them to catch her, nor could a single drop of her blood spill upon the ground. The only sounds were of her labored breath and the hum of night in the wildwood. Soon, the horns and hoof beats of pursuit would follow."
Page IX (Prologue)

How can you NOT pick up this book - the cover is gorgeous! Well, if you like steampunky things. Which I believe I do :). The girl on the cover isn't quite what I pictured, but she'll do.

So, this is a steampunk fairytale set in 1901 LA. Noli and V are besties who are constantly getting into trouble. This time, though, it's the last straw. Noli gets sent away and V realizes she may be in more trouble than her mother thinks. Which is true - she's accidentally pulled into Otherworld. And Kevighn is there to make sure she never gets home. V - who has been harboring huge secrets - realizes he must go on a quest to save Noli. And, of course, to tell her how he feels about her.

I had some difficulty really picturing the setting. Of course, this story is much more character driven, so there may be a reason for that. But alone, LA during the early 1900s is hard for me to grasp... even if there werent airships and hovercops and such. Honestly, it was much easier once we got into the Faery world - at least then I have some reference points. But I'm not sure that it detracted from the story - as I said, the setting is definitely secondary. And just as a note, the whole steampunk thing sort of disappears halfway through the book. I mean, it's still there, but it's just thrown in for flavor.

Helloooo love triangle. Seriously. On one hand, you have V - Noli's best friend from childhood. He's handsome, studious, and all around romantic. He's had feelings for Noli for about forever... and it's finally time to let her know. On the other hand, you have Kevighn. He's the suave, smooth talking, liar of a man who wants to trap Noli into doing his bidding - namely, dying. But he soon realizes his feelings for her are deeper than that... even after all of the women he has been with. I'm definitely Team V. Who wants a liar - even if he is sexy? I mean, please :).

Now, as for these guys... they are the ones that push this book for only older teens. You've got some seriously sexual situations - enough that it might be a bit much for some readers. One has some serious drug use that makes him much more experienced and adult. Again, that makes the book geared toward older readers. I'm not sure how much these two things add to the story, but it may help you understand their characters a little bit more. And can I just say - V's character is drastically changed from the beginning to the end of the book. I'm still trying to decide if it's believable or not...

I am excited to find out what happens in the next book. Luckily, you're not left with any huge cliffhangers. There is a definite conclusion and you can sort of infer where the story is going to go. But there are a few things I'd like to hear the rest of. But this book works well as a standalone. At least, in my opinion.

I've just looked at a few other reviews and it seems like the general view is that the book is good, but not fantastic. I very much agree. And someone mentioned the two most overused words - "dollymop" and "hoyden." It really felt like those were the only words Noli would use to describe herself. And for me that made her seem a bit one dimensional - even though I know there was much more to her. For someone who proclaimed to be atypical and unconcerned with giggly, girly things. I guess I was hoping for more from her - more attitude, less tears.

For those of you into historical romance, I definitely recommend this book to you. Again, it is better for older teens because of some content...  And I know I have mentioned some things I didn't like about this book, but it was a fast and entertaining read. I think many people will really get into it. And with the whole coming series, it will probably be popular. I would just love to see more development and consistancy in the next book.
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Tasha said...

That cover is awesome. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Katja Weinert said...

I wanted to love this one and ended up being unable to hang onto the good things, because I felt the negative outweighed anything I could praise! That cover is so blinking gorgeous though.

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