Darkness Becomes Her [NOOK Book]

Overview

A dark and lush paranormal romance set in a richly reimagined New Orleans—now in paperback!

Ari can’t help feeling lost and alone. With teal eyes and freakish silver hair that can’t be changed or destroyed, Ari has always stood out. And after growing up in foster care, she longs for some understanding of where she came from and who she is.

Her search for answers uncovers a ...
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Darkness Becomes Her

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Overview

A dark and lush paranormal romance set in a richly reimagined New Orleans—now in paperback!

Ari can’t help feeling lost and alone. With teal eyes and freakish silver hair that can’t be changed or destroyed, Ari has always stood out. And after growing up in foster care, she longs for some understanding of where she came from and who she is.

Her search for answers uncovers a message from her long dead mother: Run. Ari can sense that someone, or something, is getting closer than they should. But it’s impossible to protect herself when she doesn’t know what she’s running from or why she is being pursued.

She knows only one thing: she must return to her birthplace of New 2, the lush rebuilt city of New Orleans. Upon arriving, she discovers that New 2 is very...different. Here, Ari is seemingly normal. But every creature she encounters, no matter how deadly or horrifying, is afraid of her.

Ari won’t stop until she knows why. But some truths are too haunting, too terrifying, to ever be revealed.
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  • Darkness Becomes Her
    Darkness Becomes Her  

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Fast-forward a generation. New Orleans, now called New 2, has been decimated by natural disaster. Nine prominent families have banded together to buy the city from the federal government; all that used to be New Orleans is now considered "beyond the rim," an area rumored to be riddled with supernatural beings and happenings. Enter Ari. Inexplicably abandoned by her mother soon after the city's fall, she is now a hardened 17-year-old living in Memphis. When she visits a sanitorium near the border where her mother spent her last days, her discoveries lead her deep into New 2. In search of information to help solve the puzzle of her origins, she soon realizes how intricately intertwined her fate is with that of the city and that it will be up to her to lift the curse that has plagued the women in her family for centuries. Darkness Becomes Her is part "Lightning Thief," part "Twilight," and part "Maximum Ride." Unfortunately, Keaton reveals the specifics of Ari's mother's delusion at the book's start, something if left uncovered until later would have packed a much greater punch. Yet, to write this title off as a predictable "been there, done that" experience doesn't do it justice either. For fans of any of the above-mentioned popular series, it's an excellent suggestion for a next read. Keaton paints richly detailed scenes of the New Orleans landscape and crafts fully realized, sympathetic characters. Ari's journey from loner to wary member of a band of misfits and her fall for one of them spins a compelling thread through her quest. Darkness Becomes Her will leave many readers clamoring for the next installment.—Jill Heritage Maza, Greenwich High School, CT
Publishers Weekly
Keaton's first book for teens (the author writes for adults as Kelly Gay) blends urban fantasy and Greek mythology. Given up by her mother at age four after they fled their hurricane-destroyed home in New Orleans, Ari Selkirk (now 17) is determined to sort out the puzzle of her past. A box of clues drives her back to the now privately owned city-region known as "New 2," where Ari finds that the rumors of the city being a sanctuary for the paranormal are true. Aided by a clan of self-proclaimed freaks and weirdoes, Ari looks for answers: why are the powerful families that own New 2 interested in her, and who is her father? More importantly, after learning the gods are real, why is one of them pissed off at her? Keaton's writing is vivid, yet the amalgam of goddesses, voodoo, vampires, and witches somewhat muddles the intriguing plot surrounding Ari's origins and the mysterious curse that has befallen her family for generations. Still, this is a page-turning story with a multidimensional heroine and an atmospheric near-future setting. Ages 14–up. (Feb.)
From the Publisher
“Unforgettable, complex, and unique. I could not put this book down.”—#1 New York Times Bestselling author Christopher Pike

"Darkness Becomes Her is part “Lightning Thief,” part “Twilight,” and part “Maximum Ride.” [It] will leave many readers clamoring for the next installment."—SLJ

"A page-turning story with a multidimensional heroine and an atmospheric near-future setting."—Publisher's Weekly

*"Keaton creates a New Orleans setting rife with Gothic rot and decay, and allows Ari to discover, articulate, and explore a range of political and ethical questions without ever striking a didactic note. Deft character descriptions humanize not only the creatures, but also help to individuate characters who suffer a variety of physical and emotional challenges. A great choice for a book discussion group willing to take on another round of vampires. The cliff-hanger end promises a sequel."—Booklist, starred review

VOYA - Beth Karpas
The book begins with seventeen-year-old Ari visiting the psychiatric hospital where her mother died. Ari's foster parents have lent her the car to track down her roots. It is a normal start for an ordinary coming-of-age novel. By the end of the first chapter, however, the reader knows this is no longer our world, as Ari has a letter from her dead mother telling her to run, and she is headed to New 2, the mysterious city run by the Novem, built over New Orleans. By Chapter 3, Ari has killed someone who disappeared into dust, is wanted by the Novem, and is staying in a decaying house full of misfits in the Garden District. This is still a coming-of-age novel, albeit not an ordinary one, set in a paranormal world with Greek mythology thrown in for spice. There is also romance, and some politics. Ari has seen much sex and violence for her age, and will see more in this book, so it is not a title for young readers, but many high school and adult readers will enjoy the world that Keaton has created, and cheer for Ari as she tries to learn why her heritage is a curse. The story does not end, but enough happens that readers will be satisfied while eagerly awaiting the next book. Keaton's YA debut (she writes books for adults as Kelly Gay) combines the popular themes of vampires, witches, Greek mythology, and shape shifters. Yet in her deft hands, what could feel like a mash of themes instead unveils a new sort of fantasy world with a story that is a promising start for this paranormal teen saga. Reviewer: Beth Karpas
Kirkus Reviews
Blending tropes currently popular in teen fiction, this predictable supernatural romance portrays a society of vampires, shape-shifters, witches, monsters and gods in the post-apocalyptic ruins of what was once New Orleans. Seventeen-year-old Ari travels south to visit a mental institution to search for information about her birth mother and is drawn into the annexed city, now known as New 2. There are some likable elements in this light read—endearing, if clichéd characters and a pleasingly tough heroine among them—but it suffers from clunky language. Florid descriptions of the rotting splendor of New 2 clash with the tone of the dialogue, uneasily skipping from phrases like, "the setting sun blinded me for a second as it sank down into the black horizon of the shimmering river and the swamp" to "Until a fucking dickwad came along and ruined things," on a single page. Readers familiar with Greek mythology will have worked out the mystery of Ari's history long before it is revealed. Also unsurprising is the cliffhanger ending, leaving no doubt that there will be a sequel.(Supernatural romance. 14 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442409262
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse
  • Publication date: 2/22/2011
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 54,947
  • Age range: 14 years
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Kelly Keaton is the critically acclaimed author of The Darkness Becomes Her trilogy. As Kelly Gay, she writes the popular Charlie Madigan series for Pocket Books. While she calls Raleigh, North Carolina, home, she can also be found chatting about books and life on Facebook and Twitter. Read more about Kelly on her website at KellyKeaton.net.
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Read an Excerpt


One

UNDER THE CAFETERIA TABLE, MY RIGHT KNEE BOUNCED LIKE A jackhammer possessed. Adrenaline snaked through my limbs, urging me to bolt, to hightail it out of Rocquemore House and never look back.

Deep breaths.

If I didn’t get my act together and calm down, I’d start hyperventilating and embarrass the shit out of myself. Not a good thing, especially when I was sitting in an insane asylum with rooms to spare.

“Are you sure you want to do this, Miss Selkirk?”

“It’s Ari. And, yes, Dr. Giroux.” I gave the man seated across from me an encouraging nod. “I didn’t come all this way to give up now. I want to know.” What I wanted was to get this over with and do something, anything, with my hands, but instead I laid them flat on the tabletop. Very still. Very calm.

A reluctant breath blew through the doctor’s thin, sun-cracked lips as he fixed me with an I’m sorry, sweetheart, you asked for it look. He opened the file in his hand, clearing his throat. “I wasn’t working here at the time, but let’s see. …” He flipped through a few pages. “After your mother gave you up to social services, she spent the remainder of her life here at Rocquemore.” His fingers fidgeted with the file. “Self-admitted,” he went on. “Was here six months and eighteen days. Committed suicide on the eve of her twenty-first birthday.”

An inhale lodged in my throat.

Oh hell. I hadn’t expected that.

The news left my mind numb. It completely shredded the mental list of questions I’d practiced and prepared for.

Over the years, I’d thought of every possible reason why my mother had given me up. I even explored the idea that she might’ve passed away sometime during the last thirteen years. But suicide? Yeah, dumbass, you didn’t think of that one. A long string of curses flew through my mind, and I wanted to bang my forehead against the table—maybe it would help drive home the news.

I’d been given to the state of Louisiana just after my fourth birthday, and six months later, my mother was dead. All those years thinking of her, wondering what she looked like, what she was doing, wondering if she thought of the little girl she left behind, when all this time she was six feet under and not doing or thinking a goddamn thing.

My chest expanded with a scream I couldn’t voice. I stared hard at my hands, my short fingernails like shiny black beetles against the white composite surface of the table. I resisted the urge to curl them under and dig into the laminate, to feel the skin pull away from the nails, to feel something other than the grief squeezing and burning my chest.

“Okay,” I said, regrouping. “So, what exactly was wrong with her?” The question was like tar on my tongue and made my face hot. I removed my hands and placed them under the table on my thighs, rubbing my sweaty palms against my jeans.

“Schizophrenia. Delusions—well, delusion.”

“Just one?”

He opened the file and pretended to scan the page. The guy seemed nervous as hell to tell me, and I couldn’t blame him. Who’d want to tell a teenage girl that her mom was so whacked-out that she’d killed herself ?

Pink dots bloomed on his cheeks. “Says here”—his throat worked with a hard swallow—“it was snakes . . . claimed snakes were trying to poke through her head, that she could feel them growing and moving under her scalp. On several occasions, she scratched her head bloody. Tried to dig them out with a butter knife stolen from the cafeteria. Nothing the doctors did or gave her could convince her it was all in her mind.”

The image coiled around my spine and sent a shiver straight to the back of my neck. I hated snakes.

Dr. Giroux closed the file, hurrying to offer whatever comfort he could. “It’s important to remember, back then a lot of folks went through post-traumatic stress. … You were too young to remember, but—”

“I remember some.” How could I forget? Fleeing with hundreds of thousands of people as two Category Four hurricanes, one after another, destroyed New Orleans and the entire southern half of the state. No one was prepared. And no one went back. Even now, thirteen years later, no one in their right mind ventured past The Rim.

Dr. Giroux gave me a sad smile. “Then I don’t need to tell you why your mother came here.”

“No.”

“There were so many cases,” he went on sadly, eyes unfocused, and I wondered if he was even talking to me now. “Psychosis, fear of drowning, watching loved ones die. And the snakes, the snakes that were pushed out of the swamps and inland with the floodwaters . . . Your mother probably experienced some horrible real-life event that led to her delusion.”

Images of the hurricanes and their aftermath clicked through my mind like a slide projector, images I hardly thought of anymore. I shot to my feet, needing air, needing to get the hell out of this creepy place surrounded by swamps, moss, and gnarly, weeping trees. I wanted to shake my body like a maniac, to throw off the images crawling all over my skin. But instead, I forced myself to remain still, drew in a deep breath, and then tugged the end of my black T-shirt down, clearing my throat. “Thank you, Dr. Giroux, for speaking with me so late. I should probably get going.”

I pivoted slowly and made for the door, not knowing where I was going or what I’d do next, only knowing that in order to leave I had to put one foot in front of the other.

“Don’t you want her things?” Dr. Giroux asked. My foot paused midstride. “Technically they’re yours now.” My stomach did a sickening wave as I turned. “I believe there’s a box in the storage room. I’ll go get it. Please”—he gestured to the bench— “it’ll just take a second.”

Bench. Sit. Good idea. I slumped on the edge of the bench, rested my elbows on my knees, and turned in my toes, staring at the V between my feet until Dr. Giroux hurried back with a faded brown shoe box.

I expected it to be heavier and was surprised, and a little disappointed, by its lightness. “Thanks. Oh, one more thing . . . Was my mother buried around here?”

“No. She was buried in Greece.”

I did a double take. “Like small-town-in-America Greece, or . . . ?”

Dr. Giroux smiled, shoved his hands into his pockets, and rocked back on his heels. “Nope. The real thing. Some family came and claimed the body. Like I said, I wasn’t working here at the time, but perhaps you could track information through the coroner’s office; who signed for her, that sort of thing.”

Family.

That word was so alien, so unreal, that I wasn’t even sure I’d heard him right. Family. Hope stirred in the center of my chest, light and airy and ready to break into a Disney song complete with adorable bluebirds and singing squirrels.

No. It’s too soon for that. One thing at a time.

I glanced down at the box, putting a lid on the hope—I’d been let down too many times to give in to the feeling—wondering what other shocking news I’d uncover tonight.

“Take care, Miss Selkirk.”

I paused for a second, watching the doctor head for a group of patients sitting near the bay window, before leaving through the tall double doors. Every step out of the rundown mansion/mental hospital to the car parked out front took me further into the past. My mother’s horrible ordeal. My life as a ward of the state. Daughter of an unwed teenage mother who’d killed herself.

Fucking great. Just great.

The soles of my boots crunched across the gravel, echoing over the constant song of crickets and katydids, the occasional splash of water, and the call of bullfrogs. It might be winter to the rest of the country, but January in the deep South was still warm and humid. I gripped the box tighter, trying to see beyond the moss-draped live oaks and cypress trees and into the deepest, darkest shadows of the swampy lake. But a wall of blackness prevented me, a wall that—I blinked—seemed to waver.

But it was just tears rising to the surface.

I could barely breathe. I never expected this . . . hurt. I never expected to actually learn what had happened to her. After a quick swipe at the wet corners of my eyes, I set the box on the passenger seat of the car and then drove down the lonely winding road to Covington, Louisiana, and back to something resembling civilization.

Covington hovered on The Rim, the boundary between the land of the forsaken and the rest of the country; a border town with a Holiday Inn Express.

The box stayed on the hotel bed while I kicked off my boots, shrugged out of my old jeans, and jerked the tee over my head. I’d taken a shower that morning, but after my trip to the hospital, I needed to wash off the cloud of depression and the thick film of southern humidity that clung to my skin.

In the bathroom, I turned on the shower and began untying the thin black ribbon around my neck, making sure not to let my favorite amulet—a platinum crescent moon—slip off the end. The crescent moon has always been my favorite sight in the sky, especially on a clear cold night when it’s surrounded by twinkling stars. I love it so much, I had a tiny black crescent tattooed below the corner of my right eye, on the highest rise of my cheekbone— my early high school graduation present to myself. The tattoo reminded me of where I came from, my birthplace. The Crescent City. New Orleans.

But those were old names. Now it was known as New 2, a grand, decaying, lost city that refused to be swept away with the tide. A privately owned city and a beacon, a sanctuary for misfits and things that went bump in the night, or so they said.

Standing in front of the long hotel mirror in my black bra and panties, I leaned closer to my reflection and touched the small black moon, thinking of the mother I’d never really known, the mother who could’ve had the same teal-colored eyes as the ones staring back at me in the mirror, or the same hair. …

I sighed, straightened, and reached behind my head to unwind the tight bun at the nape of my neck.

Unnatural. Bizarre. Fucked up.

I’d used all those words and more to describe the thick coil that unwound and fell behind my shoulders, the ends brushing the small of my back. Parted in the middle. All one length. So light in color, it looked silver in the moonlight. My hair. The bane of my existence. Full. Glossy. And so straight it looked like it had taken an army of hairdressers wielding hot irons to get it that way. But it was all natural.

No. Unnatural.

Another tired exhale escaped my lips. I gave up trying a long time ago.

When I’d first realized—back when I was about seven or so—that my hair attracted the wrong sort of attention from some of the foster men and boys in my life, I tried everything to get rid of it. Cut it. Dyed it. Shaved it. I’d even lifted hydrochloric acid from the science lab in seventh grade, filled the sink, and then dunked my hair into the solution. It burned my hair into oblivion, but a few days later it was back to the same length, the same color, the same everything. Just like always.

So I hid it the best I could; buns, braids, hats. And I wore enough black, had accumulated enough attitude throughout my teenage years that most guys respected my no’s when I said them. And if they didn’t, well, I’d learned how to deal with that, too. My current foster parents, Bruce and Casey Sanderson, were both bail bondsmen, which meant they put up the bail money so defendants could avoid jail time until their court appearance. And if the person didn’t show for their appointment with the judge, we hunted them down and brought them back to jurisdiction so we weren’t stuck footing the bill. Thanks to Bruce and Casey, I could operate six different firearms, drop a two-hundred-pound asshole to the floor in three seconds, and cuff a perp with one hand tied behind my back.

And they called it “family time.”

My hazy reflection smiled back at me. The Sandersons were pretty decent, decent enough to let a seventeen-year-old borrow their car and go in search of her past. Casey had been a foster kid too, so she understood my need to know. She knew I had to do this alone. I wished I’d gotten placed with them from the beginning. A snort blew through my nose. Yeah, and if wishes were dollars, I’d be Bill Gates.

Steam filled the bathroom. I knew what I was doing. Avoiding. Classic Ari MO. If I didn’t take a shower, I wouldn’t get out, put on my pj’s, and then open the damn box. “Just get it over with, you big wuss.” I stripped off the last of my clothes.

Thirty minutes later, after my fingertips were wrinkled and the air was so saturated with steam it was hard to breathe, I dried off and dressed in my favorite pair of old plaid boxers and a thin cotton tank. Once my wet hair was twisted back into a knot and a pair of fuzzy socks pulled on my forever-cold feet, I sat cross-legged in the middle of the king-size bed.

The box just sat there. In front of me.

My eyes squinted. Goose bumps sprouted on my arms and thighs. My blood pressure rose—I knew it by the way my chest tightened into a painful, anxious knot.

Stop being such a baby!

It was just a dumb box. Just my past.

I settled myself and lifted the lid, pulling the box closer and peering inside to find a few letters and a couple of small jewelry boxes.

Not enough in there to contain an entire life story. No doubt I’d have more questions from this than answers—that’s usually how my search went. Already disheartened, I reached inside and grabbed the plain white envelope on top of the pile, flipping it over to see my name scrawled in blue ink.

Aristanae.

My breath left me in an astonished rush. Holy hell. My mother had written to me.

It took a moment for it to sink in. I trailed my thumb over the flowing cursive letters with shaky fingers and then opened the envelope and unfolded the single sheet of notebook paper.

My dearest, beautiful Ari,

If you are reading this now, then I know you have found me. I had hoped and prayed that you wouldn’t. I am sorry for leaving you, and that sounds so inadequate, I know, but there was no other way. Soon you will understand why, and I’m sorry for that, too. But for now, assuming you were given this box by those at Rocquemore, you must run. Stay away from New Orleans, and away from those who can identify you. How I wish I could save you. My heart aches, knowing you will face what I have faced. I love you so much, Ari. And I am sorry. For everything.

I’m not crazy. Trust me. Please, baby girl, just RUN.

Momma

Spooked, I jumped off the bed and dropped the letter as though it burned. “What the hell?”

Fear made my heart pound like thunder and the fine hairs on my skin lift as though electrified. I went to the window and peeked through the blinds to look one floor down at my car in the back lot. Nothing unusual. I rubbed my hands down my arms and then paced, biting my left pinkie nail.

I stared at the open letter again, with the small cursive script. I’m not crazy. Trust me. Please, baby girl.

Baby girl. Baby girl.

I had only a handful of fuzzy memories left, but those words. . . I could almost hear my mother speaking those words. Soft. Loving. A smile in her voice. It was a real memory, I realized, not one of the thousand I’d made up over the years. An ache squeezed my heart, and the dull pain of an oncoming headache began behind my left eye.

All these years . . . It wasn’t fair!

A rush of adrenaline pushed against my rib cage and raced down my arm, but instead of screaming and punching the wall like I wanted to, I bit my bottom lip hard and made a tight fist.

No. Forget it.

It was pointless to go down the Life’s Not Fair road. Been there before. Lesson learned. That kind of hurt served no purpose.

With a groan, I threw the letter back into the box, shoved the lid on, and then got dressed. Once my things were secured in my backpack, I grabbed the box. My mother hadn’t spoken to me in thirteen years and this letter from the grave was telling me to run, to get to safety. Whatever was going on, I felt to the marrow of my bones that something wasn’t right. Maybe I was just spooked and paranoid after what I’d learned from Dr. Giroux.

And maybe, I thought, as my suspicious mind kicked into high gear, my mother hadn’t committed suicide after all.

© 2011 Kelly Keaton

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 133 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(84)

4 Star

(29)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(9)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 134 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 21, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Darkness Becomes Her ARC review

    Be prepared to be enamored within the first couple of pages that you read. Kelly did not hold back when she wrote her Debut novel, she brings her A-game. The book brings something new to the paranormal world. The storyline is grand. This book has all the supernatural elements you are a fan of in other books but written in a manner that has not been written before. The Greek mythology is a perfect blend to go along with a futuristic New Orleans. Kelly wrote each characters flawless. One thing thats very important to me when I read a new book or series is, are the characters memorable? Yes they are in Darkness becomes her.

    I will give as much as I can without spoiling the book. Picture New Orleans in the future after 2 massive Hurricanes ruin what you know today as New Orleans. The United States doesn't even consider it part of the country anymore. A group of wealthy families buy New Orleans and change the name to New 2. We are introduced to Ari she considers her self very strange. It might be due to the fact that she has white hair and teal eyes, did I mention if she cuts her hair it reappears again. Ari wants to know more of her past such as her mother since sh has been in foster care practically all her life. She finds a message from her mom, its real simple. RUN! well I can tell you Ari runs but right to the place her mother meant for her to stay away from New 2. On this trip she comes across what the books calls misfits. They began to help Ari in her journey to discover her past and possibly who or what she is. The oldest on the group is named Sebastian, it turns out Sebastian is more than what meets the eyes. Sebastian and the rest show Ari she is not alone in being different, New 2 is a haven for the different. Ari then begins to discover her part and what she finds out is not something you can swallow down easily, will her new friends stick by her side? On February 22nd go to the book store and pick up your copy to find out. You will not be disappointed.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 30, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Meh....

    This book had an interesting plot and an eye-catching title. However, upon reading it, I felt like the author really skipped a lot of background information and character development and just got right into the story. That is not necessarily a bad thing for some readers, but i would prefer a bit more detail. Besides not having much idea of what the main character was like before her life was turned upside down, I found this book to be quite enjoyable and kept me turning the pages.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2011

    meah...

    I was really excited to read this book. From all the pre-release reviews and the author's description I couldn't wait until it came out. Sadly, I thought it was very hyped up. Not that the book wasn't good in its own right, I just think it was marketed to the wrong age group. Regular readers of this genre (such as myself) may want something a little more in the way of character depth and story build up. This is not to say the book wouldn't be good for new-comers to paranormal romance, just that as an avid reader of the like, I was not impressed.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Spectacular

    Darkness Becomes Her is like nothing I've read before. It's spooky, charming, and intriguing. A book that has one of the most unique plot lines I've read in the last few months, which proves Kelly Keaton to be one fabulous author, in my opinion.

    Darkness Becomes Her tells the story of Ari. Ari's felt different than most people not only because of the fact she's been in foster care the majority of her life, but with her teal eyes and silver hair it's hard to call herself "normal." Add in the fact that she just discovered her mom killed herself over delusions, Ari has never felt more lost in life. She decides the best way to get answers about her past and her mom, is to go back to her birth-place, the newly rebuilt city of New Orleans called New 2. There she meets a group of misfits just like herself, as well as a possible romantic interest, but is everything as it appears? And when she finally does figure out the secret behind her mother's delusions, will she be able to handle it, as well as everything that it means for her and her new friends? Only time will tell in this action-packed novel!

    One of my favorite parts about this book was the main character Ari. She's someone who is fearless and not afraid of getting her hands dirty when it comes to saving her life and the lives of her friends in New 2. I thought the way Kelly Keaton presented Ari's feelings over the death of her mother, as well as the secrets her mother took to her grave, were done in a realistic way, even with the paranormal aspects contained in the book. Adding to this, I loved Ari's friendships with the other teens and kids of New 2 because each were distinguishable, as well as likable, and brought something truly special to the world contained inside the pages of New 2. I specifically liked Ari's bond with Sebastian and the little spark of romance that came with it.

    Another aspect of this book I enjoyed was the plot. As mentioned before, it was action-packed and unique, making Darkness Become Her one un-put-a-down-able book! I loved finding out more about Ari and her background, as well as the story of New 2 and its leaders, with each twist, turn, and new plot line that came with the story. This is truly one story that will manage to blow your mind time and time again!

    Kelly Keaton's writing was also fabulous. She did a great job of fleshing out the plot lines and characters, as well as making their story truly jump of the page with the setting at hand.

    In all, Darkness Becomes Her is sure to become one huge hit in the new year, and because of that I highly, highly, highly recommend you pre-order it. You wouldn't want to miss out on the all mind-blowing now would you?

    But ward of warning: the ending will leave you dying to read the sequel!

    Grade: A+

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 24, 2011

    Mysterious and Exciting

    This book kept me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. Ari is looking for answers to her birth family. When she ends up in New 2 she finds way more answers then she ever bargained for. All the new people she meets seem to have strange characteristics. A whole new world is suddenly opened up to Ari, and she no longer feels like a complete outcast.

    This book was full of great paranormal creatures, each with their own unique ability. Ari, although she knows she's strange, has no clue what or who she is. The mystery of this kept me guessing, and the answer was very unique and enjoyable.

    Ari was a great character. She was determined to find out what happened, and stayed strong, no matter what was thrown at her. Although I really liked the love interest, I am extremely tired of insta-love. It wasn't enough to take away much from the story, but I could have done without it.

    This book definitely liked to throw around some crazy twists and turns, and the ending left me dying to find out more. I'm very excited to see where the next book will take us.

    Just as a side note, there is a lot of profanity in this book, which I don't like in my YA books, and wasn't necessary to the story.

    Overall, this was a great new addition to the YA genre. I loved that it was just as much about a young girl trying to find her place in the world, and realize who she is, as it was about the mystery and the paranormal. I will be preordering the next book as soon as it's available!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2013

    Great start to the series, missing some character background and

    Great start to the series, missing some character background and development but she really makes up for it the second book. It's definitely worth the investment of money and time to get involved in this series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 13, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Anything, but predictable!

    Review brought to you by OBS staff member Heidi

    Ari grew up in foster homes all her life, never knowing much about her real parents. She just graduated high school a semester early and with her current foster parents’ (the only ones that felt like real parents) blessings she starts trying to find out information about her birth mother.

    She goes to the mental institution where her mother killed herself to get all the information she can. They have a shoe box of her mother’s possessions that include a letter to her. The letter contains an apology for passing the curse on to her, a warning telling her to stay away from New Orleans (now known as New 2) and most importantly to run.

    Ari is still trying to decide what to do with all this information when she is attacked in the parking lot of her hotel. She stabs her attacker with his own sword and he disappears into smoke. The whole situation is so strange that the only thing she can think to do is to go to New 2, despite her adoptive mother’s warnings and find out what she can.

    She catches a ride into town with a young girl named Crank and ends up staying at her house with her family, a bunch of misfit kids left to fend for themselves after the hurricanes came leaving nothing, but destruction in their wake.

    One of the misfits, Sebastian, offers to help her and once they start to become close Ari is kidnapped by another attacker like the one from the hotel parking lot. He throws her into a prison that she later discovers is the Goddess Athena’s prison where she locks up all the creatures she has created. Ari escapes and frees all the prisoners; all but one that is.

    Now all the founding families of New 2 are trying to decide what to do with Ari, get her out of town, keep her and use her as a weapon later, or to protect her. Everyone keeps talking about her powers, but Ari has no clue what they’re talking about. But one thing is for sure…. Athena is going to come after her with a vengeance and is willing to start a war to get her.

    I honestly didn’t know what to expect when I started reading this book. I’m not a fan of young adult books at all and the blurb sounded a bit strange for my tastes, but I decided to give it a try anyway since I’ve heard some really good things about the book. Oh and the fact that I received a free copy of the sequel, A Beautiful Evil, from the publisher didn’t hurt.

    I was instantly drawn in with the authors style of writing and it just made me want to keep reading and find out what secrets Ari’s mother took to the grave with her.

    I wasn’t really sure about the misfits as the story doesn’t get too in-depth with any of them, but I was starting to like the budding romance between Ari and Sebastian, before all hell broke loose that is! I hope the relationship continues to grow in the future installments of the series.

    I also tend to like books that delve in mythology so seeing Athena and Medusa brought into it was an interesting touch that I really didn’t see coming. Although I’ve never seen them, portrayed quite this way before as I’ve never seen Athena so…..evil before. Even with Violet stabbing her in the final showdown, I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of the Goddess of War just yet.

    Continued at openbooksociety dot com

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2012

    Just amazing.

    Just amazing.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2012

    The fry

    I really liked it and cant wait for the new book also im :( about violet

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 27, 2011

    Easily my favorite book!

    With nary a book to read, I stumbled upon a preview of the first 100 pages of this. Being an almost 300 page book, this gave me a pretty good idea of how the story would play out. Immediately after finishing the preview, I demanded that my mom take me to our local Barnes & Noble to buy a copy. Lucky for me, they had a few left. The second we got in our car, I took the book out of the bag and flipped to where the preview ended. Since that day, about five months ago, I've read the book a total of twenty-three. It would have been twenty-five, but I lent it to my mom a friend.

    Ari's search for her past was so fun to read about. And the chemistry between her and Sebastian was intense. I warmed to the other misfits (especially Violet) very quickly. Characters like Daniel and Michel took a little longer. This book has a little bit of everything, suspense, romance, adventure, and more. This book made me with I was a doué just like the rest of them.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 15, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Good book!

    I made the big mistake about starting this book at the hair salon. Once the lady got to me I could not put down the book. Ari knows something is different about her. She feels it in her bones. She goes looking for her mother in search for answers. But what she finds is so much more than that. More than she ever though she find out.

    I loved Ari. Her character, her anger towards her mother felt real. She is genuine teenager with lots of secrets, hurt, anger, betrayal that just needs to be answered. I like how the reader is able to see into her mind and how she felt. Ari just wanted answers. And I am glad that she got them even though they are not what she expected.


    The love interest in the book is good. I like how all the kids for New 2 band together and help each other out. I like how Ms. Keaton used actually facts about New Orleans in the book that intertwined with her writing. That is truly amazing! I like how it showed real life things that are still going on even now.


    The paranormal part I loved. I like Gods and Goddesses and mythology. Ms. Keaton did a wonderful job with the plot and the progression of the story. Everything is at it right pace. My only gripe is the cussing. I can understand Ari's anger and see how that showed in her speech. I felt like it was just a little too much.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 9, 2011

    Very Exciting YA Debut!

    My thoughts...Brilliant storytelling, a kick-butt heroine, paranormal beings, and edge of your seat action are all the ingredients needed to make this debut hit by Kelly Keaton. I loved this book!

    I instantly liked the heroine Ari. She is smart, strong, determined, and very unique. Her silver hair and teal eyes make her stand out like a sore thumb, until she enters New 2. Here she meets some people that think her peculiarities make her special, not just different. The supporting characters will steal your heart, especially little Violet. I look forward to reading more about these characters in future books.

    Darkness Becomes Her offers reads tons of action and a touch of romance. I am going to be vague, because I don't want to give anything away, but I will say the ending really surprized me. Looking back, there were clues, but I was so involved in the story, I didn't figure it out until the very end. The ending did wrap up the current story, but left plenty of room for more action. I will be reading more in this series.

    *On a side note, the advanced readers copy had a decent amount of language, as you may have read in other reviews. In a recent conversation, Kelly mentioned that much of the language was cut out of the final version. With that update, this book is perfect for teen readers and those readers young at heart.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2013

    When I first saw this book the first that that captured my image

    When I first saw this book the first that that captured my imagenation was the cover itself, but within the books bindings was a world I found myself enamored in. The mixture of New Orleans culture (voodoo) and Greek Mythology spoke to me in ways I can't begin to discribe.

    The heroin of this book is a STRONG female character, and I always find those more refreshing then the damsel in distress. The other thing that caught my attention is how developed the secondary characters were. They all had their own stories to them, even if they weren't elaborated on a great deal. The romance in this novel was also quite nice, very innocent and coy, and not one of those 'love at first sight' type things that all the books seem to be doing now.

    This was the first book I read in full, because it was the first book that was able to capture my imagenation in a way to spark my mental muses. I can honestly say, without this book I would not know the joys of reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2013

    AN AWESOME EXCITING AND ENTICING BOOK!!!!! Loved the whole book!!!!

    I first grabbed this book in the library, not knowing anything aboit the book. I just picked it because of the interesting cover of the book. The picture of beautiful silver hair and snake necklace made me interested in reading the book. Once I started reading this book, I was engrossed in this book. I finished the book in one day because it was an awesome and fun book that I couldn't put down. I loved Ari and all of the unique kids in new 2. I especially enjoyed the romance and the part where Ari used her powers for the first time at Atheana at the ball. This book was also funny with some bad language but very fun to read. I loved this because it was greek mythology with a hint of paranormal into it. I also loved how the author made this bok so fun that I read this book over and over looking over my favorite parts in the book and the parts that made me laugh. Overall the book was awesome and is one of the must read books. I wish Ari and Sebastian were together more and is looking forward to the next book a beautiful evil. I am so excited to see how Ari will fight against Atheana. BEST BOOK EVER IN THE WHOLE WORLD THAT I HOPE IT WILL HAVE THE BEST ENDING TO THE SERIES!!!!! ;) :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2013

    Amazing!

    Once you pick it up you will never put it down

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2012

    BEST BOOK EVER!!!

    I was planning to read one 200-300 book a month. So i read and finished a book pretty quickly. Then i picked up this book, getting a head start on next month. Well, it was soooo good i finished it in, like, a week. I love it sooooo much! I cant wait to read the next book!!!!!!!! basically, i just looove this book!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2012

    Fresh story line.

    Really good book with a fresh look at vampires, witches, shape-shifters and a greek goddess too boot! Throw in a few misfit kids and this story rocks. I found a new favorie author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2012

    Great book!

    There is nothing like this. It will keep you on the edge of your seat till the end!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2012

    Hmmm

    The plot could make a great book...sadly it skips building the characters which every book needs to do. Also there is to much going on in the book and relationships move to fast. Th e main character meets new people one day and from then on is attached to them. The main character also seems to be portrayed as a stupid and emotional. Not what i expected.

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  • Posted June 13, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I don’t think that it’s any secret that I automatica

    I don’t think that it’s any secret that I automatically add fantasy books dealing with New Orleans onto my “to be read” list. But even if Darkness Becomes Her didn’t even mention New Orleans or Louisiana at all, I still think I would fall in love with it.

    Darkness Becomes Her centers around a dystopian New Orleans, renamed New 2 … and everything is not as it seems. And when Ari, our protagonist, travels there to find the answers to her mysterious past, it turns out that the Novem, the owners of the strange city, are vampires, shapeshifters, and warlocks. And they have the answers to who she is.

    Plot was never lacking at all in this novel. As soon as I cracked open the first page, I immediately fell into that sweet action that I love so dearly: Ari learning more of her mother’s death. And soon after that, Ari encounters even more action-packed incidents that mark her as a kick-butt protagonist. And not to mention the entire mystery that Ari faces: who is she? Why is her appearance so appalling? Why did her mother and her grandmother and her great-grandmother all die at the young age of twenty one? And will she be next to follow?

    New 2 was a very believable setting for me. Even though I’d gasp to think that my beloved New Orleans would turn into such a disaster in the future, I could believe the setting. There was still my French Quarter. There was still Jackson Square. There were still my favorite places. The only difference was that they were different. They were changed.

    Ari has become one of my favorite heroines. Other than the fact that she is kick-butt (she’s seriously pro with killing hunters trying to kill her), she’s beautiful, though she doesn’t think she is. Described with long silver hair and teal-colored eyes, she’s unique. And striking, especially to Sebastian, the dreamy love interest in this novel. Sebastian’s dark, mysterious, brooding – and not to mention hot with smoldering eyes. It’s a pity I can’t claim him as my boyfriend because he and Ari sure have those melting-chocolate feelings for each other. Though I’m a little upset that he and Ari hit it off so quickly (practically on the same day they met each other), their romance is fierce and romantic at the same time.

    Darkness Becomes Her is a must for any paranormal and mythology lover out there. You’ll love the fiery romance and the mystery keeping you at the edge of your seat. You’ll love how Kelly Keaton manages to combine both paranormal, mythology, and dystopia in one. And you’ll love our kick-butt heroine Ari.

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