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Review: Innocent Darkness by Suzanne Lazear

Monday, August 6, 2012
Innocent Darkness (The Aether Chronicles #1)

by Suzanne Lazear

Publication: May 8th, 2012
Pages: 240
Author: Website | Facebook | Twitter
Publisher: Flux
Buy it: Amazon | KindleB&N | Book Depository

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.

Steampunk and faeries! That's actually something I've been thinking about for a Halloween costume. The cover is gorgeous, and I love fantasy. The story got better when I was introduced to Noli. She's a modern woman in a time when society is just starting to let women take on more roles, but it hasn't fully recognized them. It works really well with the steampunk and faerie angle in bringing together the modern and the old.

Yes, there are a lot of strong, independent females leads in YA literature nowadays, but Noli has intelligence. When she's taken to the Otherworld, she doesn't get distracted from her desire to return home, and she asks intelligent questions that force the truth out of those who try to deceive her. She also chooses the right guy. Because of her intelligence, I am surprised by what she and V try to do at the end though, despite knowing not to bargain with the fae. She is desperate to go home though, and she really cares about her mother.

The story is character oriented and develops the plot through the perspectives of Noli, V, and Kevighn. V is the boy next door. He's sweet, kind, and always there for Noli. However, he's hiding a secret from her; as she discovers, some of the stories he's fed her since forever are actually true. I wish his other side was more developed as it comes out rather spontaneously. Towards the end of the story, his personality changes a bit as he quickly settles into his other life. Kevighn is the bad boy, the seducer and woman maker. His personality is also a bit off. First he acts one way and then is something else, and I have no idea when his interest in Noli begins.

While I do like character-oriented books, Innocent Darkness doesn't fully develop the characters and doesn't pay enough attention to developing the plot. It started fairly strong but quickly fell apart after Noli finds herself in the Otherworld. I will not be reading book two.

Rating: An Okay Read


Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher. No payment was received in return for a review. The receipt of the book had no influence on the opinions expressed in my review.
7 comments on "Review: Innocent Darkness by Suzanne Lazear"
  1. Thanks for the review even though you didn't like this that much. I've been seeing this around.

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  2. I have to admit I was a bit excited for this one :/ I've actually seen mostly negative reviews though... although I have to admit I splurged and pre-ordered a copy for an event I'm attending. Would you say there's a large focus on romance? I know you mentioned that V was always there for Noli, but sometimes that could be friendship..? I'm not totally sure. Anyways, thanks for the review! I'm glad to hear the good and the bad about this book(:

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    1. There is a large romance focus. V is romantically interested in Noli, as she is for him. At the same time, Noli is attracted to Kevighn, who develops feelings for her as he spends time around her. Though his intentions aren't as innocent as V and push Noli out of her comfort zone. This book does have its good points, though it had so many plot holes that it took away from my overall enjoyment of the novel.

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  3. I hadn't seen anything about this book prior to reading this review, and must say that I probably won't read it. I tend to like books significantly more once I'm emotionally attached to a character, and from the way you've put it this doesn't seem to happen.
    Great review!

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    1. Yeah. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to connect to the characters in this book.

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  4. Bummer, sounds like it had a cool premise too. I do think it's got to be hard to do really good steampunk because readers expect A LOT from the books.

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  5. I agree with you that the cover of this novel is beautiful. I enjoy books where there is a strong female protagonist, but I'm not sure if I am going to read this one. It's hard to connect with the characters in books when they aren't fully developed and the book's focus is more on the romantic aspect. I am actually going through that right now with the book that I am reading, Matched by Ally Condie. I thought it was going to be a quick and fun read, but I'm kind of struggling through it.

    If I see this book at the second hand store around here and it's only $2-$3, I may pick it up though or skim through it in the store.

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