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Early Review: Innocent Darkness by Suzanne Lazear

Innocent Darkness by Suzanne Lazear (The Aether Chronicles #1)

Egalley thanks to Flux Books

Synopsis from Goodreads
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.

Release Date: 8th August 2012

 Amazon  US/UK  | The Book Depository US/UK  | Fishpond


* * *
Pretty good read which strongly reminded me of Melissa Marr's fae series. However, I think the cover misleads you in a lot of ways. I thought this would be steampunk, but it's only slightly steampunk-ish.

Noli is a young mechanic and a daughter of an impoverished lady, who is strongly opposed to her doing any sort of manual work. When she gets into trouble flying a car she just fixed without a permit and a license, the police gives her a choice - to pay for her crimes and in the process hurt her mom's business, or go into a reform school in San Francisco where they will turn her into a lady. She obviously agrees to the latter.

Findley school is a sort of sadistic poisonous environment you would expect from Jane Eyre's novel. Girls are systematically beaten, given weird medical treatment (read, - torture) by a creepy doctor with an unhealthy interest in young females. Noli goes along with everything to get out as soon as possible until her friend, Charlotte, is taken away by her abusive uncle, and then her inner talent and a magical wish on summer solstice transfer her to The Otherworld.

The rest of the book (a big chunk of it) happens in fae lands. Unfortunately The Otherworld is dying and needs a sacrifice of someone with enough Spark (talent, creativity) every 7 years. The Queen and The Huntsman think that Noli can be the one, their only problem is that the girl resists all the temptations and gifts. She just wants to go home and misses her friend, V. 

I think the problem with this book for me is that it's sooo tame. Noli does a lot of gardening and thinking but doesn't act at all, she waits for someone else to sort her out. The Otherworld's description is severely lacking. All you've got is some glimpses of Alice in Wonderland. Unlike Melissa Marr's books this doesn't have this dark and twisted urgency, it doesn't come alive.

So, it's a very pretty story with a knight in shining armour coming to the rescue and everything else conveniently falling into place at the last moment, but it's all too superfluous to my liking, all talk and no deed.

The finale has an interesting twist though, and I would like to continue with the series to find out where it will end.

* * *
Книга вышла довольно сырой пустышкой, хотя и очень смахивала на произведения Мелиссы Марр.

Ноли - юный механик и дочка обедневшей леди. Когда она попадает в неприятность, тестируя летающую машину, которую починила, без лицензии и прав, полиция предлагает ей выход из положения. Она отправится в закрытый пансион для благородных девиц в Сан-Франциско, а они подчистят и удалят все её проступки из их датабазы.

Школа оказывается очередным садистским извращённым местом с доктором, "лечащим электрошоком и ледяными ваннами" и директрисой, дающей частные уроки битья розгами и прочими "прелестями".

Ноли выдерживает всё пока её подругу Шарлотту не забирает домой извращенец и садист дядя. Тогда в ночь летнего солнцестояния она случайно загадывает желание убраться из школы и оказывается в землях фей.

Мир фей умирает и каждые 7 лет нуждается в жертвоприношении юной девушки, обладающей немалой искрой (талантом и креативностью). Королева и Главный Ловчий считают, что Ноли подойдёт под это описание, только вот сама девушка отказывается согласиться остаться, а пока она это не сделает, земли фей не примут её как потенциальную жертву.

В общем-то, книга - это такая поверхностная сказочка, где девушка работает в магическом саду и ждёт пока её не спасёт рыцарь в сияющих доспехах вместо того, чтобы сделать что-то самой. В итоге желание её исполняется, рыцарь вызволяет её из плена, только достаточно бестолково для интересного поворота событий в следующей книге, которую теперь придётся читать...


Blodeuedd said...

I'd like a bit more steampunk in my reading material. It does seem to be everywhere except for on my shelf

Cherry said...

I agree, the cover does look very steampunk...

Lalaine said...

Me too, I thought it was more of a steampunk book, and t hat girl seemed to be a little damsel-in-distress eh? But im still glad you enjoyed it. I have this book on my shelf but I dont think ill be reading it soon. Thanks for the great review Maja. x

kara-karina@Nocturnal Book Reviews said...

It's very slightly steampunkish, girls! So if you want steampunk, there are probably more suitable reads like Kady Cross's book, for example? However, there is something fairytalish about this book, so if you like Melissa Marr or Holly Black, this will be right up your alley :)

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