Innocent Darkness Review

 Innocent Darkness
By Suzanne Lazear
Published by Flux
To be published on August 8, 2012

Summary taken 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.

If you are not a regular visitor to Short and Sweet reviews, I (Coranne) typically break reviews into three parts - Cover, Characters and Character Development, and Story (the main plot).

Cover: Undoubtedly, this cover is gorgeous.  I love the steampunk feel, the font, the gorgeous graphics- this cover is simply stunning (and even looks better up close!).  I am a bit of a stickler when it comes to covers fitting with the plot of the book.  What did this cover get right? Noli has brown hair and gray eyes, she has a pocket watch and there are all sorts of steam-punky details, there is an airship and those are mentioned quite often in the book.  What isn't right?  The entire lack of fae on the cover (they are the most pivotal part of the story) and the fact that Noli is not wearing something that is appropriate for the setting of the book (she would be labeled a "loose woman" in this dress!).  This cover doesn't upset me, but it is a little misleading (leaving out the fae).

Characters:  Where to start?  I absolutely adore Noli!  I think she is a strong girl, hopeful, a little naive, and an absolute delight to read about.  I loved her inner monologue of sarcasm and the wit she displayed throughout the entire book.  Did I mention she is a reader?  How can I NOT love a reader? I don't want to talk about the males in this book, other than to say they are more than they seem- and HOLY COW the relationships that Noli has with them.  Whew!  (fans self)  There is a side character, Charlotte, who may be my favorite character of all. Noli and Charlotte meet in the "boarding school from hell" that Noli is sent to.  She is such a fresh and loveable character. I wanted to jump into the book and hug her and protect her.  There is a light to her personality that shines through the narrative and becomes absolutely tangible to the reader.

Story:  Wow, this story was not at all what I expected!  I will be honest; I picked up this book because the cover looked cool- I didn't really read much about the actual book.  I loved it!  If you are a fan of books about fae- this is absolutely for you!  This book was 10% a steampunk book and 90% a fairy book, and I thought it was wonderful! Noli is taken into the Otherworld as a human sacrifice and many unexpected things happen when Noli goes there.  

The author is absolutely excellent at shocking the reader- what I expected to happen and what actually happened in the story were completely opposite. There is a whole whole lot of smooching in this book! There are a few graphic scenes, so I would not personally recommend this for younger YA readers.  The author is very good at writing steamy scenes and she makes liberal use of hinting throughout the story.   This was a fabulous story and I can't wait to read the next book in this series!

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