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Posted August 31, 2012
Suzanne Lazear debuts with this amazing and unique story of Noli
Suzanne Lazear debuts with this amazing and unique story of Noli, a girl with too much spunk and spitfire. She lives in an alternate California, ripe with Steampunk gadgets and technology. Sent to a home for girls with "problems", only to find out that the world is a much different place than she ever expected when she disappears and finds herself in a different world with a mysterious stranger.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I loved the mixing of Steampunk and Faerie!! Suzanne really captivates you with Noli's story and leaves you hanging at the end, begging for the next in the series! The characters come to life as the twists and turns of this book keep you hooked from start to finish!
Posted August 13, 2012
When I first heard about this book I was instantly intrigued be
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When I first heard about this book I was instantly intrigued because, as I will admit, I am a little bit addicted to anything Fae. Add a gorgeous cover and synopsis and hey presto! you have a recipe for greatness. Or do you? Well in the case of INNOCENT DARKNESS, it so happens you do!
Sixteen year old Magnolia Braddock, or Noli, lives at home with her mother. She enjoys tinkering with her brother Jeff's old flying car and has a handsome best friend by the name of Steven Darrow, or 'V' as she calls him. Only thing is, much as Noli enjoys fixing things up and trying to help her mother round the house, it doesn't stop her getting into trouble - and taking out Jeff's old Pixy without a licence, failing to stop for the police and then crashing it into the garden is the last straw. Noli's hoyden ways have landed her well and truly in it this time. Her mother can no longer cope and so Noli is sent to reform school at Findlay House to straighten herself out.
Her mother may never have sent her there if only she had realised just what awaited Noli behind closed doors. Whether it was the leers from the doctor, the stints she did in the Sensory Deprivation Tank or the times the horrid woman in charge nearly drowned Noli - her mother clearly wouldn't have been happy knowing these things were happening to her daughter. But of course, she'd never find out because the girls weren't allowed outside contact. No phone calls. No letters. No visits. Nothing.
Noli managed to make one friend within the walls of Findlay, her name was Charlotte. She was in there because her awful Uncle abused her and her mother found out, so she thought that Charlotte would be better where he couldn't get to her.
One day, the girls are in the little secluded fairy garden when a man looks through the fence and introduces himself. His name is Kevighn Silver. Little do the girls know, Kevighn is the High Queen's Huntsman and
every 7 years she needs him to find a Sacrifice- this is a young girl who possesses the Spark. He goes out and finds them, seduces them and then the magic binds them and they die in order to replenish the land. This, is what Kevighn has in mind when he sees the girls that day. He knows they both possess the Spark, but will either of them go with him?
After a particularly bad day at Findlay, Noli finds herself hiding in the tree in the fairy garden. She makes a wish that she was anywhere but there and that is exactly what happens. The tree transports her to the land of the Fae. She hadn't really thought that the tree could transport her anywhere, she was just thinking out loud. She certainly didn't think that she'd end up somewhere she didn't recognise and with Kevighn Silver, of all people. That's what comes with her having made a wish on the Solstice, her wish was granted, just not in any way she could imagine.
Kevighn convinces her to come back to his home with him. He says he can help her. So she goes with him, but she still doesn't really realise where she is or what's going on. All she knows is she isn't at Findlay any more and she doesn't know how to get home from wherever she is. She has hopes that Kevighn has the knowledge of how to get her home.
Noli asks Kevighn to help her get home and he does little to try to actually help. He just side-steps her questions and distracts her with trinkets and stories and such. He's hoping that the longer she is there, the magic will come and bind her. But he doesn't tell her the real truth about the Sacrifice, he doesn't want to scare her off. He wants to seduce her with his good looks and charm, then she will be what is needed and the land will be replenished before they all fade away and die..
But Kevighn didn't know what he was letting himself in for. Noli is not the kind of girl to take things lying down. She's feisty and she wants nothing more than to get home. There are times when he manages to distract her, but she's a girl with her own mind and she knows what she wants.
Kevighn didn't expect her to be so unlike the other girls. They were easy to distract and came willingly to his bed, thus meaning they give themselves to him and without knowing it, they give themselves to the land and become the much needed sacrifice.
This is a truly remarkable story that I was head over heels for from the first page. It's fast-paced and well timed. It has fun, it has action and it has two lovely boys who are very hard to choose between. I think I may just be a bit more of an advocate for Kevighn though, but that's in line with my bad-boy addiction.
I can't, or don't want to believe places like Findlay House would have existed. It struck me right in my heart and my gut when the Doctor puts her through "treatments" - whether she's in the sensory deprivation tank or almost being drowned, it hurts to see and feel Noli in such a dire situation.
I love all the characters and feel that they are developing at a decent rate, they aren't overly rushed. I think Suzanne Lazear knows exactly what she wants from the characters and how to get them there. Yet I think that somehow, they also play out at their own rate and take Suzanne where they want to go too. It's a delicate balance between the two and I feel she has it just right.
I enjoyed the story very much, though there were times when Noli had a really rough ride and I was getting upset and frustrated on her behalf because she couldn't see what was coming. I look very much forward to the next book and to seeing where Noli ends up.
Suzanne has you on the edge all the time. There's moments where you can laugh out loud, moments where you want to strangle someone, moments where you want to cry for Noli and a lot of other things that happen in between. There's stolen moments of intimacy that just add another dimension to the story. Should she just give up on going home and stay with Kevighn? Should she give in to her urges and not care that it means she's a hoyden after all? Should she give up on V or should she wait?? You are kept guessing and questioning things along the way. My heart wanted her to go with Kevighn, my head told me she shouldn't. After all, he is the Huntsman for the High Queen. All that he did for her was out of duty... Wasn't it? Whereas V, he's her best friend, he wouldn't hurt her... would he?
Suzanne has fast become an author that I really rate and will look forward to reading books from in future. she isn't someone whom you can easily forget because her book packs a mean punch. She's a clever and tricky woman. In fact, I think she's a fairy because you get trapped in her land and can't seem to find an escape. Do I really want to escape is the question I should be asking myself. The answer is, no, I don't think I do!
As you can probably tell, I loved this story and I am having a hard time shutting up about it. But I'll stop here and just tell you, you need to read this book. If there is any "must-buy" book this year, Innocent Darkness is it!
Posted August 11, 2012
I have to say that this book was nothing like I expected it to b
I have to say that this book was nothing like I expected it to be, but that wasn't a bad thing. I think the cover is a bit misleading for those looking for a real steampunk novel as this one is what I'd call "light steampunk." That's fine for me, I don't think I can get past the intricacies of the machines and just a brief introduction into the steam engines and zeppelins is just fine for me. But if you're expecting hardcore steampunk, this is not the novel for you.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Why would I recommend this novel? It's utterly it's own fantasy world. It takes the otherworld and turns it on it's ear. Suzanne Lazear only kept a very few things that I've read about faeries in her story. It might as well be a totally different world, and it is really. The courts are air, fire, water and earth joined to a central court but there is still a darke court. You still can't trust a faery. EVER! They need BLOOD SACRIFICES! That's the first time I've read that. And let me tell you, even the nice guys, they admit, they need it. She built an incredibly fascinating otherworld. But first, she built an incredibly fascinating alternate Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Noli, short for Magnolia is a very strong character. Most of the story is told from her point of view, but not all. She has amazing resilience. She tinkers with a flying car until she finally gets it running only to crash it minutes later and gets hauled into the police station for driving without a license. In this world, early 1900's Los Angeles, women have no rights. Can't drive, vote, but Noli wants to go to University to be a botanist. Socialite women, like they used to be before Noli's father disappeared in the San Francisco earthquakes, never even held jobs. But now, Noli's mother has a dress shop. Noli tends the house and the gardens and tries to keep up the outside of the house. But the machines call to her. When she's sent to reform school for girls, she bears their punishments which are very cruel and unusual, until a particularly brutal night. When she finds herself in the Otherworld, she's very smart about it. She is not a character you'll throw your hands up in frustration about. She is extremely sensible.
Steven, V., for short is the boy next door, literally. He is a contradiction if there ever was one. He always is cautious with Noli, telling her to behave, remember she can't get in trouble, be careful etc. And unlike Noli's mother who believes Noli is at a nice school for boisterous girls, he knows she's at a terrible school. He worries about her constantly, but he's hiding a huge secret. One that is revealed and when it is....well let's say the steam in this novel doesn't just come from the engines!
I loved that some of the chapters were from some of the POV of some of the men in the book. There was some small amount of predictability, but that may change. I certainly didn't see the ending happening. My only complaint is that I'll have to wait so long for the next book in the series! There was no big cliff hanger ending, so thanks to Suzanne Lazear for that! This one is definitely one that I'll be eagerly awaiting the sequel to and any little novellas if any come out!
Recommended for older YA readers due to mature themes.
Thanks to Flux Publishers and NetGalley for the E-ARC for review. I was not compensated for my review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.
Posted August 8, 2012
Innocent Darkness is a fantastic novel. This is the way I like m
Innocent Darkness is a fantastic novel. This is the way I like my Steampunk: with just enough steam machines and gadgets that I know I'm reading one without it taking over the storyline. I also love fearies, so this was a wonderful addition. Lazear's writing is impressive. I was so intrigued that I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. Glued to the pages, I couldn’t get enough of these great characters. Noli is the kind of girl main character I really do enjoy. She’s strong-willed, confident and with this storyline taking place in 1901 when women aren't allowed much choice in life, she’s determined to have independence in a man's world. Lazear has also given me a beautiful romance between Noli and V (Steven) that had my temperature rising.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Noli is very much her own person, but this is not considered a good thing in 1901 when a young ladies’ only goal in life is to marry well. Noli wants to work on engines. She wants to go to university and become a botanist, but girls aren't allowed to do this in 1901. Because of her strong-will to have the life she wants, she eventually gets herself into trouble with the police when she's caught test driving her father's flying automobile. Women aren't allowed to drive, so Noli is sent to Findlay reform school for girls to become a proper young lady. She’s determine that this place will not break her spirit, but after she is horribly abused and loses the only friend she had there, she feels as if she’s loosing this battle of the wills.
Kevighn Silver, who’s also known as Silver Tongue (or Women- Maker), is a faerie huntsman who is from the Otherworld. Kevighn’s job is to go and search for special girls like Noli who have what the faerie's call the spark to take them back to the Otherworld. Kevighn hears Noli one night, wishing to get away from Findlay, so he takes her to the Otherworld. Noli soon finds out why the faerie's need girls like her, and she realizes that Findlay wasn't the worst thing that could happen to her.
V (Steven) is Noli's best friend, but he's not who he pretends to be. When Kevighn takes Noli to the Otherworld, V is the only one who can help her. V and Noli will finally admit their true feelings for each other. And after holding their feelings from each other all this time, they definitely make up for lost time. Noli and V's romance is beautiful, steamy and hot! Women-Maker Kevighn has fallen for Noli, too. It's clear who Noli loves, but I do like Kevighn. Yeah, he's the bad boy faerie, but he had me swooning for him. I mean with a name like silver-tongue and women-maker he is a bad, bad boy and he definitely lives up to his name.
Innocent Darkness is a wickedly dark faerie novel with a great steampunk theme and romance that is dangerously hot! I recommend Innocent Darkness as a fantastic read.