Mundie Moms

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Book Review: Innocent Darkness by Suzanne Lazear

Published by: Flux Books
To Be Released on: August 8th, 2012
Source: ARC from publisher to review
4 stars: I Enjoyed It
Pre-Order from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

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 - quoted from Goodreads

A fascinating debut that's one part steampunk, and one part fantasy mixed with magic, fey lore and romance. 

Innocent Darkness was a fascinating read for me, because of the unique mix of elements and lore that Suzanne includes in her story. While Noli's story starts out feeling more Steampunkish, than fantasy, the story quickly takes a turn towards fantasy, and introduces readers into the faerie realm about a third of the way in, thus ending the story's ties to being a steampunk. Normally I would have been frustrated over the fact this story has been called a steampunk and in reality has very little steampunk feel to it compared to what most of this book offers readers. Suzanne has done such a superb job at introducing different elements to her story that she not only kept it fascinating, she kept her plot line moving at an engaging rate. Being that this is the first book in the series, it wouldn't surprised me if she brought in more steampunk elements into the rest of her series as it continues.

Character wise, there are some great characters in this book. Noli is a smart girl who's not afraid to chance, to be herself, and do whatever it takes to survive. One of the things I admire the most about her, is the fact that growing up in the Victorian-Era, she wasn't this proper young women who wanted to be married off, but instead loves doing things the boys do, like mechanics and fixing up her brother's old hoverboard. It's the hoverboard that ultimately lands Noli in a boarding school. Luckily this school's dark, abusive secret doesn't break Noli's spirit, and it's here that she's also introduced to a world full of magic, and faeries.  Noli is a resilient character and it's her toughness that saves her, keeping it spoiler free, but she goes from one dark setting to the next with her introduction to the fey world.

Aside from Noli, my favorite character is her best friend, V. This fabulous nerdy boy from next door is the side kick we all wish we had. He loved and did whatever he could to help Noli out. I loved seeing how Noli's and V's relationship developed as the story goes on. Then there's the sly faery huntsman, Kevighan, who takes Noli to the Otherword. This guy is completely opposite of V, also know as Steven. His deception, and dark secret could cost Noli her life. I seriously loved the character chemistry that each of these guys have with Noli. It's well written, a little hot, and totally believable. Their roles in Noli's story are well developed and keep the story entertaining, as well as a little swoon-worthy.

The thing I enjoyed about this book is the darker undertones that this story has. Both the human and Otherworld aren't pretty, and there's plenty of dark things that take place in both worlds. There's this great mix of steampunk, fantasy, romance, and danger found through out the book. While there were a few minor flaws I found in the ARC, it wasn't enough to make me not enjoy the book. Being that it's an ARC, I would except those to be fixed in the published book. Overall, this is a fantastic debut. I think it's one fans of faerie lore will enjoy most. 

With it's mix of action, danger, Victorian-Era feel, fairy lore, romance, betrayal, friendship, and the exciting plot twists that happen through out the book, I'd say there's a little bit of something for everyone in this book. It's one I'd recommend picking up. I'm looking forward to finding out what happens in the next book in this series, The Aether Chronicles. Check by later this morning for my interview with Noli!

Don't miss my interview with Noli and be sure to follow the Innocent Darkness Blog Tour that kicks off TODAY!

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