Customer Reviews for

Innocent Darkness (Aether Chronicles Series #1)

Average Rating 3.5
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  • Posted September 11, 2012

    The premise of Innocent Darkness had me very excited. The idea

    The premise of Innocent Darkness had me very excited. The idea of mixing steampunk with the world of faeries is fantastic, and the book started out very strongly . Unfortunately my interest in it faded a bit as the book progressed. Early in the story there was a lot of the technology that seems familiar in the steampunk genre. The deeper I got into the book though the more that faded and romance took over the story. While that is not a bad thing, it really does not work for me personally.

    The characters weren't bad and Noli's neighbor was probably my favorite. The way the realm of the Fairie were linked was an interesting twist that added a unique level to the book. Overall there were a lot of positives to the book just not enough to overcome the romance angle for me.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 27, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Less Steampunk Than Desired

    A steampunk faerie read? Count me in. I love the feel of the cover of this book, but after reading it, it didn’t seem like the perfect fit. Melding steampunk with faeries has got to be hard to do. Steampunk tends to feature a lot of metal object and faeries tend to have that pesky allergy to iron, so Lazear took a big risk with this idea.

    The faerie world is mostly separated from the real world anyways, so not too many issues there. The amount of steampunk in the story was much less than I expected. It felt as if the beginning featured it and then it mostly dropped out of existence when we entered the faeries realm. I wish it would have been a bigger portion of the story as that was what made it the most unique.

    Something that rubbed me the wrong way was the different names – for each character. The main character, Magnolia, is called that sometimes and then Noli the rest of the time. Her friend through most of the book is one name, but then later she only goes by a nickname. Kevighn also has a nickname he is called, and V (who is not to be confused with Kevighn due to the V in his name) has two additional names as well. V’s brother and sister also have multiple names. Ugh. A nickname here or there sure, an alternate name for one – ok…but these were all the largely followed characters in the story. So annoying, that I made sure to write down this fact as I was reading the book – in case I forgot to mention it when it came time to review it. (Oddly enough, this was not something I forgot about.)

    The ending also offered no explanation for the school Noli goes to, nor the violence and perversion that she is dealt out. It didn’t seem like a portion that would be revisited in a future novel, so I don’t really get it. I’m not sold on whether or not I will continue with this series. I think the writing has left me wanting.

    ARC reviewed by Jessica for Book Sake.

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  • Posted August 7, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    The cover of Innocent Darkness called to the cover whore inside

    The cover of Innocent Darkness called to the cover whore inside me and she immediately had to have it. I mean look at it~ in all of its steampunk finery. As the first book in the Aether Chronicles I went into this book expecting a steampunk novel with a fantasy twist. What I got was a young adult fantasy with a steampunk mention. I am noticing a trend in YA novels that seem to cross multiple genres and I am personally not happy about it. It waters down the genres and has me as a consumer leery about what I am actual buying. Despite my disappointment I did enjoy this dark fantasy.

    The tale begins in steampunk-gooey-goodness as we meet our protagonist Magnolia “Noli” Braddock. She and her friend V are working on her missing father’s flying car. They reside in an alternate version of Los Angeles in the year 1901. We quickly learn that Noli is perceived as a hoyden and has a knack for getting into trouble. When she takes the flying car for an unauthorized spin she is forced to attend a reform school in San Francisco. This is where the steampunk element ends, except for a few teasers here and there that felt thrown in. At the school Noli tries to behave so she can be returned to her mother. The school is horrible with incredibly cruel punishments and a creepy staff. She befriends a girl named Charlotte, who would rather stay in this dreadful place then be returned to her uncle. When things get to be too much to bear Noli makes a wish to be "any place but here." She wakes to find herself in the Otherworld. The tale that unfolds has elements of suspense, sexual tension, magic, fairies, and romance.

    The characters in Lazear’s world are interesting but lacked depth. Noli is a brilliant child who tries to please her mother and has always had a crush on V. Her brilliance constantly competes with her maturity level and she wavered back and forth between them. She wasn't developed enough for me and some of her actions were annoying. V adores Noli and has secrets, lots of secrets. Kevighn Silver is the huntsman for the Queen. He is sent from the Otherworld to find a young woman with the spark. While on his quests he indulges in hired woman and opium. There is something a little sick about Kevighn and he gave me the creeps.
    The path the author leads him on never really worked for me. Both V and Kevighn love Noli and I feared the dreaded love triangle. Noli did choose but the loser is not satisfied. The Queen was interesting and kind of reminded me of the queens from Alice in Wonderland and Snow White. I like Charlotte and my heart tugged for her. Overall these characters were unique but under developed.

    The world-building was both exciting and disappointing. I really enjoyed the back story and the altered concept of 1901. Sadly this altered version of 1901 was not completely believable. Language, settings and circumstances didn’t quite jive for me. Lazear’s description of the Otherworld and how both worlds are kept in balance was both creepy and original. I loved this world and wanted to know more. The Fae world and its rules while not new were nicely depicted.The pace flowed nicely with highs and lows. There are two climatic scenes towards the end. One was very predictable and the other while not unexpected was filled with tension and excitement.
    I want to thank Flux and netGalley for providing this ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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