Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton
|Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton|
|Reviewer: Robert James|
|Summary: A new entry into the crowded field of paranormal young adult fiction, this has a great setting in New 2, the rebuilt city of New Orleans. Unfortunately, the characters and plot aren't strong enough to match the location and, as a result, this one fails to stand out.|
|Buy? No||Borrow? Maybe|
|Pages: 368||Date: May 2011|
|Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children's Books|
|External links: Author's website|
Growing up in foster care has always left Ari wondering where she came from. The teal coloured eyes and strange, unchangeable, silver hair just adds to the mystery surrounding her. When she searches for answers to her questions about her past, she finds a simple message left for her by her mother – RUN. Desperately seeking answers and with scary figures on her trail, she returns to her birthplace of New 2, once known as New Orleans, to find herself plunged into a power struggle which could have far reaching consequences.
Okay, I was intrigued by the description of New 2 – that's not post-Katrina New Orleans, but rather a city rebuilt by nine of the oldest families after two hurricanes destroyed it, and purchased by them from the US government. The thought of an enclave for misfits and supernatural beings which those in the White House have washed their hands of is awesome, and the portrayal of New 2 by Keaton certainly lives up to the promise.
Unfortunately, despite the great setting, the book as a whole rather fails to deliver. There are a couple of main problems – firstly, it seems to move along too quickly. That's not a complaint you'll hear me make about many books – I tend to enjoy fast-paced novels, but there's a difference between quickly paced and breakneck speed. There's a romance here which develops in little more than the blink of an eye and as a whole the characters seem to go from unknown to each other to fast friends at a ridiculous pace. Add to this a lack of much character development, and by two thirds of the way through the book I was struggling to care much about any of them.
Oh, and a warning to parents or easily offended readers. Ari has a filthy mouth. I mean, I routinely filter out swearing to the point where it's not just that it doesn't bother me, I genuinely couldn't tell you what level of profanity occurs in most of the books I read without thinking hard about it. If it fits in with the characters' way of speaking, and sounds realistic, I have no problem at all with it. But Ari's constant use of foul language generally seems to be done for effect and didn't work in that way either; she sounds like a little girl trying to act tough rather than the genuinely hard-hitting young woman who's been brought up by bail bondsmen and can handle herself.
Overall, I can't really recommend this although if you're really into paranormal fiction in general, or Greek mythology inspired stuff in particular, you may have a higher tolerance for the flaws than I did.
My thanks to the publishers for sending it to Bookbag.
For another paranormal series with a memorable setting but this time characters to match, I'm a huge fan of Beautiful Creatures and Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. For a New Orleans setting - this time with zombies - take a look at Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon.
You can read more book reviews or buy Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton at Amazon.com.
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