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Review: Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton

Darkness Becomes Her
by Kelly Keaton

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Release Date: February 22, 2011

Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Source: borrowed/Public Library
Purchase: Book Depo. | Amazon | Kindle
About the Book:

Ari can’t help feeling lost and alone. With teal eyes and freakish silver hair that can’t be changed or destroyed, Ari has always stood out. And after growing up in foster care, she longs for some understanding of where she came from and who she is.

Her search for answers uncovers just one message from her long dead mother: Run. Ari can sense that someone, or something, is getting closer than they should. But it’s impossible to protect herself when she doesn’t know what she’s running from or why she is being pursued.

She knows only one thing: she must return to her birthplace of New 2, the lush rebuilt city of New Orleans. Upon arriving, she discovers that New 2 is very…different. Here, Ari is seemingly normal. But every creature she encounters, no matter how deadly or horrifying, is afraid of her.

Ari won’t stop until she knows why. But some truths are too haunting, too terrifying, to ever be revealed.
So I mistakenly assumed that Darkness Becomes Her would be a high-tech, sci-fi kind of book, maybe with a touch of paranormal. But what it actually turned out to be was so much more and better! When the summary indicates creatures residing in New 2, its talking about the slew of paranormal creatures we've been introduced to throughout the YA genre. The town (a remake of New Orleans) refuge for solely paranormals (incredible ones), the play on Greek mythology, and the overall package of characters served as an engrossing read!

There were points, aspects within the book that DID bother me. For starters, for some reason the profanity really irked me. In some books it works, in this one it didn't. Then there was the speed of the relationship between Ari and Sebastian. I DO like them together, but I didn't like the way they got to that part of their relationship. They barely know each other, and then, suddenly, somehow they're kissing. The progression of their connection had me scratching my head in confusion. I wasn't so much as annoyed as stumped. I didn't see how being in acquaintance for a few days led to full-on contact like that. Thankfully, though, there wasn't exactly insta-love here, no I love yous were swapped. It was more like insta-attraction that, to me, made no sense. Still, as a couple I liked what I saw and the potential for a great romance IS there... I also wish that certain plot turns were given more of an explanation. And later, the battle that ensues was a tad misplaced and short-lived (and if you don't know how much I love my battle scenes, you should read my earlier reviews). But those are probably my ONLY complaints.

Well, besides my problem with Ari herself.

I like her, the idea of her and the fact that she can kick-ass. I just couldn't fully meld myself to the character. There wasn't enough of an emotional explanation behind the search for her mother, and it was hard to understand what feelings she did encompass and exhibit. Toward the end, I did however feel like I got to know her a little, so there's hope for a better connection between us in the future.

I want to gush about the rest of this book. I thought the world-building was skillfully done. The recreation of New Orleans while still keeping its original spirit and style intact was awesome, especially for someone like me who has never been there. The Novem, the nine families who bought New Orleans, and their origins were one of the most intriguing facet of the book. Vampires and witches and everything in between can be found in this book, inside these families' trees. The curse on Ari and her family... WHOA. I was slowly trying to piece together the mystery behind it, but I wasn't quite there. And when it was finally unveiled... again, WHOA.

And the characters! I loved Violet, with her strangeness and keen obsession with masks, and Sebastian, with his odd seductive powers (that indicate something very...interesting). I just wish that Henri, Crank, and Dub had more of a prominent role in the story. Hopefully, with the approaching war they'll have a larger, more significant place in subsequent books.

The way everything was tied in--Ari's curse, the Novem, the Greek mythology, the sons of Perseus, all of it--created a phenomenal second half of the book that had me flipping the pages at a very fast pace. And despite some of my issues with the novel, the whole of the book will stay with me and leaves me yearning for what's to come in A Beautiful Evil.


Adrenaline thrummed through my veins, fueled by fury. Nothing got me going like seeing a kid being hurt--I knew first-hand what that was like. "Why don't you try that on me?" Better yet, I slugged him in the jaw.
The pain that shot through my knucklebones and up my hand felt good. And when his friends came to his aid, I welcomed the fight. 
Bring it on, you assholes.
As the first guy reached out, I spun on my heel and grabbed his arm over my shoulder, flipping him onto the floor. As soon as he was down, the other one's breath fanned the back of my neck. My gaze met Sebastian's. His eyes were smiling at me, challenging me, seeing what I could do. I cocked a grin as the second guy grabbed me around the waist. I threw back my head, bracing for the crack as my skull collided with his face. He grunted. It hurt him more than it did me. I spun and kicked him in the gut. He went down next to his friend.
I took a step back and surveyed my handiwork... (58-59)


Logan E. Turner said...

I hope the move went okay!

Isn't it funny how language can affect us differently? Sometimes the curse words really stick out and draw me out of the world of the book, and other times I don't even notice them. Too bad they irked you in this one.

A. Knight said...

Besides swollen calves and aching shoulders I think it went pretty well. I just wish we didn't have so much stuff!

Yeah, normally I don't notice that sort of thing. But, here, it bothered me to no end. Maybe because to me it came off as a bit, I don't know, excessive and therefore unnecessary...