*This title will be released on August 8, 2012*
by Suzanne Lazear
Book Trailer: No
Reviewed by: Kristina | Source: Netgalley
Okay – A few good points, but with significant flaws. Library/swap/borrow if you want.
References to sex, mild sex scene
Wish. Love. Desire. Live.
Sixteen-year-old Noli Braddock’s hoyden ways land her in an abusive reform school far from home. On mid-summer’s eve she wishes to be anyplace but that dreadful school. A mysterious man from the Realm of Faerie rescues her and brings her to the Otherworld, only to reveal that she must be sacrificed, otherwise, the entire Otherworld civilization will perish.
I enjoyed the general concept of INNOCENT DARKNESS where a young girl is rescued from a dire situation, is spirited away to a magical land (the Otherworld in this case), and finds out she not simply an ordinary girl. Where the story lost me was in the dangerous situations Noli was put in because once we get settled into one scenario Noli is spirited away to somewhere else. I never got a chance to get used to the setting or really understand character motivations. As a “dark fairytale”, I expected the creepy and abusive subject matter, but I felt like the danger was only surface deep in order to prevent Noli’s situations from going too deep.
In addition to pulling back on the dark fairytale aspects, the steampunk elements started out with some interesting gadgets and flying machines but once Noli goes into the Otherworld the story becomes purely about fairies and magic with little to no hint of anything ‘steampunk’. I don’t mind mixing genres but this segregated split makes for a book that doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be.
Worse than being afraid to commit to one genre, INNOCENT DARKNESS also failed at getting me to connect with the characters. Noli started out as this fun rebellious girl who liked creating gadgets but we only see this side of her for the first few chapters before the plot bounds away to a completely different genre. On the love triangle aspect I couldn’t really root for Noli to be with either of the two boys considering they had little to no redeeming qualities.
INNOCENT DARKNESS started off with some promise but switched genres and changed character perspectives so randomly that I was left confused as what was supposed to be happening in the plot. In the end, Noli didn’t grow or learn anything and the story didn’t convince me on an authentic romance. Everything from character development to the plot felt like it was skimming the surface of what could have been a really good story with unique characters. Hopefully the next book in The Aether Chronicles, which is due out in 2013, will fare better.
- Innocent Darkness
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