Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton

Title: Darkness Becomes Her
Author: Kelly Keaton
Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse
Release Date: Febuary 11, 2011
Pages: 273 pages (paperback)
How I Got the Book: Bought it.
Purchase: Amazon; Barnes and Noble; Book Depository

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.


If Darkness Becomes Her had been written by a more patient author, it would have been fantastic. Unfortunately, it was not, and a strong foundation turned out to be a barely-standing framework of what could have been.

Keaton's world of supernatural creatures in a post-hurricane New Orleans now known as New 2, a cursed girl searching for her heritage, and one very angry and very real Greek goddess is fantastic. She may not be present for most of the novel, but Athena's presence becomes powerful by the halfway point of the novel and she quickly became my favorite character. What could thousands of years of being largely ignored do to a Greek god (beings that are pretty much egomaniacal human beings with superpowers and immortality)? A lot, and it shows in how Athena is portrayed. I love it!

Ari herself is no poor heroine--she has her genuine struggles with her identity--but she paled in comparison once Athena came along. Where the novel really fails and brings itself down is in how rushed it is. Ari falls in with her housemates and falls in love with Sebastian in less than a day. The excuse of them recognizing "kindred spirits" in one another does not work for me. I needed to see Ari demonstrate how difficult it was for her to share herself with other people and slowly open up. The novel would have been a good deal longer, but it would have improved by leaps and bounds.

(Maybe it's just me, but I don't find his drum-playing sexy. Try living with someone who plays drums for hours on end like I do and you may find yourself half-ready to take the drumsticks and stab them through all the drums. I can't even hear myself think half the time. Lack of thinking time = not sexy. Okay, timeout over.)

Yet for being so rushed, Ari's family curse is unraveled far too slowly. Her mother complained of snakes trying to burst out of her head while she was in the asylum--who or what could that be? A gorgon, perhaps? It seemed the reader was supposed to know from the very first chapter, but why keep Ari in the dark until the very end of the book? It made for a frustrating reading experience. Poor writing with constant repetition of uninspired writing shortcuts (adrenaline snaking through veins when excited, goose bumps popping up in fear) grated on me as well.

I already own the sequel A Beautiful Evil because I faith-bought both books at the same time, so I will be reading that within the next week or two. Darkness Becomes Her left me both excited for where the idea can go and frustrated that it wasn't done near as well as it could have been if only more time had been taken with it.

3 stars! (More like 2.5)

What am I reading next?: A Beautiful Evil by Kelly Keaton

1 comment:

  1. When I finished reading its preview and found out that my cousin is in their bookstore I asked her how good is the book, then she said it's perfectly great so I told her to buy the book for me. Then I found this blog, I have a feeling that it's really nice book, I'll read it later, after blogging.


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