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.
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)|
|Age Range:||14 Years|
About 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.
Read an Excerpt
Darkness Becomes Her 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.
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.”
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.”
“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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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+
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!
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.
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
I really liked it and cant wait for the new book also im :( about violet
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.
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.
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.
A good combination of Greek Myth and Urban Fantasy elements. We have a Gorgon for a heroine this time and the challenge is breaking the curse and surviving it. I'm super excited for A Beautiful Evil to come out next month.
Well, that was random. Not necessarily in a bad way, but just... unexpected. There were vampires, witches, shapeshifters, and... Greek mythology. Not something I've seen put together in a modern-day YA paranormal in, well, EVER. And it's not that they don't fit together, because the Ancient Greeks certainly had their own thoughts on vampires, witches, etc, but I found it slightly jarring simply because I hadn't seen these things put together in a slightly futuristic (but mostly contemporary) setting before. And it was really weird to have Athena as the "bad guy"... why Athena?! She's got to be the least bad-tempered of the Greek gods... *huff* Okay, it wasn't all bad. The story was entertaining, quick, and intriguing enough that I read through it in one go, but I wouldn't say there's a whole lot about the book that sets it apart in the genre. That said, I believe it was the author's first YA novel after writing extensively for adults, so I'm sure she's capable of more... hopefully future volumes in the series will show that. If I see the next book around, I'll pick it up, but I won't be searching for it anytime soon.
Add Greek Mythology and combine that with Supernatural beings and you get one hell of a book. A novel that will spin you around and around and will still leave you shock at the twist and turns. I loved this book. I literally wanted to marry it. I could not put it down. I am not going to lie I have been in a reading funk lately and Kelly Keaton brought me out of it. I also have been busy with school, life, graduating, exchange ect; however that another story for another time.The Plot: Was well thought out and fast. Their is definitely not a moment in this book where you stop and ponder: "When is this going to end". Honestly it the opposite you'll think, "I hope this never ends". Sadly the ending comes faster then you want it to. It is a short book, only 273 pages, however it fits everything (without boring and overwhelming the reader) in it nicely. Kelly Keaton kept the plot twists well under wraps and it will leave the readers shocked and looking back to see the hints that led to them. The ending is of course a bit of a cliff hanger, however it will leave readers screaming for more. I am most certainly excited for the next book in the series to come out.Imagery: NEW ORLEANS. I don't see many novels set in this setting, and especially not a futuristic one I might add. The author did a mesmerizing job of capturing it and it's beauty. Ever since reading this I have been dying to go to New Orleans. I think my absolute favorite scene was the party scene where everyone dressed up (in masks might I add). That scene definitely brought my imagination to life in it's fullest. It is also easy to imagine the characters (personalities, looks and actions). Kelly Keaton did a fabulous job of bring her world to life for the readers.Romance: YAY---no love triangle (or not yet). It not often that you only see one male swooning for the female leads attention. Ari and Sebastian were a couple with real chemistry. They worked well with each other and were believable. They weren't overtop or to under-the top (if you catch my drift). I really am excited to see how their relationship develops over the course of this series. I am praying that they do not break up with each other (like in many other series).Characters: The characters all fit so well with each other. The kids at the Garden District were like a real family (who I came to love and desired to be apart of) with their separate personalities. I love them all but I definitely have a special spot for Violet who was so unique in her own little way. I absolutely adored Ari's hair and tattoo which really set her apart from everyone else. The Villain was defintely evil and deep down I wish she had more book time. I hope in the next novel she does.What was the best thing about this novel? Hands down the dialogue, emotions and tone. The author did a great job of making the readers feel what the characters were feeling through dialogue. The tone also came across well with the setting.Overall I most certainly recommend reading this book :) Yours Truly,
I accepted Darkness Becomes Her on a whim when Simon and Schuster offered it through their Gallery Grab program. I didn't know much about the book but there had been some twitter excitement so I thought it was worth the gamble. Darkness Becomes Her is a strong debut for Kelly Keaton. Familiar urban fantasy elements are given a fresh twist, from it's setting in Hurricane devastated New Orleans to a mix of Greek gods, vampires and children with unique talents. I quickly found myself engrossed in the gothic world Keaton has created and with its fast paced plot I raced through the story in hours.The heroine, Ari, is just seventeen but her rough start in life has allowed her to develop self reliance. From the first pages she displays a mature attitude but her vulnerabilities are not too far under the surface. As the foster child of bail bondsman, she has learnt to pack a punch and wield a gun, so in a physical confrontation she can hold her own. I love that she has this skill and strength, so does not need to depend on others to protect her. Emotionally she has a tough facade yet her background and current situation naturally highlights some of her fragilities. I thought there were some tiny flaws in the consistency of her reactions but nothing that can't be attributed to the vagaries of adolesence. As a debut, Keaton has to introduce a wide range of supporting characters which I think she does well, providing enough background to pique interest but without overwhelming the plot. The New2 band of misfits are endearing, especially Violet, with her Mardi Gras masks and albino alligator pet. I look forward to finding out more about these children as the series progresses. Sebastian I'm not quite as keen on, Keaton has relied on the traditional type - strong, silent and dimpled - and for me did not provide a unique hook. The relationship between Ari and Sebastian happens too quickly, I felt that the tension could have been drawn out longer.Darkness Becomes Her is an engaging and imaginative novel. Despite the YA label, Darkness Becomes Her has a lot in common with adult U/F series and i think it will appeal to a range of ages who are fans of the genre.
I was curious as to what world was going to be in Darkness Becomes Her and what the series name ¿Gods and Monsters¿ was referring to. For some reason when I was thinking of Monsters, Gila Monsters kept coming to mind which of course sounds crazy. I¿m sure everyone else may be able to figure out what paranormal and out of this world creatures are in this book, but I couldn¿t. I don¿t want to ruin things for whoever hasn¿t read Darkness Becomes Her yet, but the way Kelly Keaton combines worlds is amazing. For a great part of the book, I had no clue what paranormal beings were going to be included in Darkness Becomes Her¿I really liked that new out-of-this world creatures were introduced. Kelly¿s idea for combining the United States after a natural disaster along with the supernatural is intriguing for a young adult novel. I got the shivers reading many portions of Darkness Becomes Her, some scenes are creepy and different is the only way I can explain it. I wouldn¿t call Darkness Becomes Her scary at all, just some scenes are very intense and Kelly Keaton writing makes you visualize with all of your senses. Kelly Keaton wrote characters such as Ari and Sebastian to be strong minded, just, and kinda-sorta fearless. Kelly understood the importance having your main characters in a story speak up and to not just see things as face value. Ari and Sebastian both understood things aren¿t always what they seem, so lack of communication wasn¿t a problem for them. I saw many cases where either one of them could have misconstrued a situation, but they thought better of one another. I really loved the romance between these two¿yep that simple. Plus Sebastian¿s nickname at times is Bastian which I think is super hot! The world and characters Kelly Keaton make me want to continue on with this series and to see where she will be taking us next. Darkness Becomes Her leaves us wanting more without any huge cliffhanger at the last page. -on a bit of a side note¿I kept thinking of Disney¿s The Princess and the Frog and The Water Boy with Adam Sandler while reading this book just because all three of them are set in New Orleans.
When I started Darkness Becomes Her, I expected it to be another typical supernatural YA book. I was mistaken. Instead, Kelly Keaton created something new, this time using other creates then the typical vampires, werewolves and fairies. I loved the setting of this book. It took me a little bit to realize that the book took place in what I could only describe as an alternate time line, one where New Orleans was destroyed by a horrible natural disaster and New 2 was established in it¿s place. I really liked New 5. It was such a great place, exactly what I imagined a supernatural New Orleans would be like. It was such a mystical, mysterious, it was great unraveling the secrets of the place and meeting the people who lived in New 2. I really liked Ari. She was searching for who she was and was extremely strong. She took everything in stride, all the twists and turns that were thrown at her as she was unraveling her mother¿s past and unraveling who she really was as well. The people Ari meets in New 2 are great too. Each one was different had their own personality. I did have one issue with this book and that was the pacing. I felt that the time span of the book could have been lengthened. Everything happened very quickly. Within a day Ari was falling in love with Sebastian, one of the guys Ari meets in New 2, and she was unraveling everything within a week. If the time span was longer, the relationships and the plot wouldn¿t have seemed so rushed. One of the great things about this book was it had twists that I didn¿t see. There was one twist that I literally gasped out loud because I did not seeing coming. I really like that this book incorporated mythology and put a new twist on it. I really love Greek mythology and I loved the twist Kelly Keaton put on it to make certain myths her own. The ending of this book wrapped up the issue of the first book nicely, with Ari discovering who she was and about her parents past, but was open enough for a new book. I really cannot wait to read this second one because once everything happened it happened quickly and big things happened. I want to go back to Ari¿s world and New 2 and I cannot wait to see what happens next in this series.
3.5 Stars During my read of Ari's attempt to discover her past, I did not know how to react. I repeatedly asked myself "do I actually like this...or am I just reading it to be done with it?" A little bit of both really. Kelly Keaton's first young adult novel follows Ari as she looks for her birth mother in a near future. Her journey takes her to New 2 which is New Orleans but only rebuilt. It's no longer apart of the United States, because a wealthy organization known as the Novem bought it. Rumors fly across the States that New 2 is full of paranormal freaks such as vamps and other things that go bump in the night. As Ari makes progress she meets a group of Misfits who quickly become like her family. This novel got better as the book went on. For the first 100 pages I was just reading to get over with it. There wasn't anything that I was in love with, nor was there anything that I hated. The writing was solid and I liked the voice that Keaton gave Ari. I did enjoy Ari's tough girl attitude, and the fact that she wasn't afraid to drop a few "naughty words" every now and again. I could tell that Keaton was trying to build a world fit for her characters but I was not entirely interested in the environment until the "finale" if you will. Everything about this book was progress. It started off a bit flat, but as I flipped pages, I noticed that I was getting more and more intrigued. My assessment of "this is an okay read" turned to "next book now please."The group of Misfits were fun. I adored little Violet who saw no fault in anything and although the other children didn't have quite the lasting impression as Violet had, they were still fun characters. Like I stated earlier, I didn't really care about their existence until the last fifty or so pages. That was when Keaton sold me on this novel. One more thing I must mention before I wrap this review up. The romance. I'm still not too sure if I would call it that, it was really a pseudo-romance. The author made many hints that Sebastian was to be the drool-worthy interest but I did not care for him, and I still kind of don't. There were not solid interactions to prove that they liked each other besides a spur of the moment kiss. Given that this novel built for 273 pages, I'm sure that all of my complaints will be fixed. This series has so much potential that I have to read the sequel when it comes out!
Ari was born with teal eyes and silver hair which can not be changed nor destroyed. She has always felt like a freak. Ari has grown up in numerous foster homes since her mother left her as a child. Now that she's older, she wants some answers as to who she is and where she has come from.Ari is not guaranteed many answers when she finds her mother has been dead for many years. She does, however, uncover one short and not extremely detailed message: RUN. Where can she run and who exactly is she running from? Ari knows someone, or something, is after her.She decides to return to the place of her birth, New 2, the rebuilt city of New Orleans which was destroyed by multiple category 4 hurricanes when she was a child. Ari has never been sure of what New 2 really holds but once she returns, she finds it is very different. Where growing up Ari was pretty much a freak, in New 2 she is practically normal.Creatures here seem to be afraid of Ari and what she can do, whatever that is. She is determined to find out the truth about herself, but sometimes the truth is more terrifying and haunting than Ari could ever suspect.The premise was quite different than what I've come across in most YA paranormal novels recently. It had an entire slew of different creatures. Your more common vampire and werewolf showed up, as well as more unique characters like harpies, gods and arachnid people.The setting of New 2 - an refurbished version of New Orleans - was quite interesting. With the amount of hurricanes that hit around that area, I could actually imagine the type of damage that could happen and the way the city was rebuilt by the society in this novel. New 2 is now a secluded and dangerous sector separated from the rest of the U.S. after it's purchase and refurbishment by the Novem. The area is now riddled with rumors of the supernatural.The characters were very likable. A cast of misfits, the children of New 2 that Ari happened across were all unique. Ari herself was a pretty kick-butt chick. Growing up as a foster child more recently raised by a family of bail bondsmen, Ari learned how to defend herself at a young age.Darkness Becomes Her was not what I was expecting, at all. The mix of paranormal and Greek mythology was very interesting but things seemed somewhat rushed at times. The relationship between Ari and Sebastian didn't quite flow, to me. It didn't seem realistic, feeling too rushed... as a lot of YA romances are these days. The only major downfall in this novel, to me, was the amount of foul language. At times I felt as though every other word was a curse word. I think if that had been cut back a little bit, I might have felt a little more comfortable with the reading.Overall, a fascinating book and I'm interested in how Ari and her friends deal in the sequel with all of the revelations they have come across.
I think I was expecting something different. After reading this blurb, and the blurb from Darkness Becomes Her's sequel, A Beautiful Evil, I was thinking this would be more in the vein of the currently-popular YA dystopian genre with something of a science fiction flavor. While there is a vague sense of this in the book, Darkness Becomes Her is more of a paranormal romance with some deeply-rooted mythological elements.Ari has always know she's not normal, with her strange silver hair and her teal eyes, but growing up with bounty-hunter foster parents taught her how to kick some serious butt. But when Ari finds that her birth mother committed suicide in the newly-constructed version of hurricane-ravaged New Orleans, Ari decides to travel there to learn about her past. In New Orleans she finds vampires, spider creatures -and, of course, the sexy Sebastian.That's when things start to spiral into something vaguely interesting. For me, Darkness Becomes Me had its hot moments and its cold moments. Sometimes I found myself completely engrossed in the beautiful prose and fascinating mythology Keaton creates here, and the dark tones woven throughout the novel. Other times, I was incredibly bored. It seemed like Keaton went in and out of that lovely tone and that wonderful prose that make this novel so enjoyable. Sadly, this happened far too much in this book for me to really enjoy it thoroughly, but I thought it had great promise, so hopefully future novels will improve on these inconstancies.
Omg this book was good! Review to come!
Ari has bounced around from foster home to foster home, never quite knowing who she really is. When she learns that her mother was from New 2 or Old New Orleans, she knows that is where she must go. The United States has long since abandoned New Orleans after the hurricanes and it is now a place of mystery and misfits. That suits Ari just fine. She has always been different eyes that unnerve people and hair thick and white blonde that just won¿t go away¿literally. She joins up with a merry band of freaks that are more than meets the eye. Ancient powers and an ancient curse has caught up to Ari in New 2, it will reveal secrets that Ari will wish she had never heard and along the way it will reveal her destiny. The girl who was always unwanted will become the one person that could save them all. I don¿t think that my synopsis does this book justice. There is so much going on for a book of relatively small size. This has been out for a while and I am embarrassed to admit that I put off reading it because I was going off the cover. For some reason I just associated the cover with ghosts and ghosts really aren¿t my thing. Anyways, back to the story. I LOVED IT! There was never a dull moment. Darkness Becomes Her, I am proud to say, is a book that kept me guessing till the end and I flew threw it trying to discover Ari¿s secrets. There is a perfect mix of characters. Ari is tough both mentally and physically, but there is still a vulnerability about her. Violet is the other character that I fell in love with. She is so cute and strange with an odd honesty about her. Sebastian is the perfect love interest. Don't think that you are in for the typical YA paranormal/supernatural book, Darkness Becomes Her is so much more than that. It presents an original new world with a twist on supernatural creatures and myths. YA books that do not have the romance of two characters as the center of the book are a rarity. What else can I say? This book was amazing and I eagerly await the sequel A Beautiful Evil to come out in 2012! I give this book a 4 ½ STAR rating.
I read the description of this book on the cover and thought it sounded interesting after someone recommended it to me. I was very surprised when this story took me for an adventure that I did not expect at all. It caught me off guard in a good way. I really can¿t wait to find out what happens next in Keaton¿s next installment.When Ari searches for her past it brings her to New Orleans. This is another thing that surprised me and that I liked a lot. This New Orleans is very different then the reader would expect before reading this novel. I really like that Keaton took a different Spin on New Orleans and what happened post hurricane Katrina. Keaton brings you into a new exciting world. I enjoyed this world a lot and would recommend it to other readers.
Yesterday I finished Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton, and I was really surprised because I wasn't expecting to read what I read. The synopsis didn't give me any clue what this book was about, and I was all the time with my mouth open saying "OMG". And I don't know yet if I liked it. This book was a big mix of some fantastic creatures. The only one that was missing this time was the werewolf. Keaton didn't invite them to the party¿ so sorry to those who like wolves. (Maybe next book ?) Ok, back to businesses. Like I was saying this book was kind of strange. The plot started in a very mysterious way (Too quickly, perhaps¿ you don't have too much introduction), and continued in that way until the end. What I mean is that you don't know what is happening until the last few pages, something that kept me motivated to continue reading, but at the same time made me a little bit frustrated because sometimes I didn't see any development on the story. Even though, I really enjoyed the book, (The main idea was different from another books, and kept me on the edge of my seat¿) there were a few things I didn't like at all. First, the characters weren't so well defined, so if you are looking something more realistic, maybe you should skip this book. Even Ari wasn't credible at all. I couldn't find any information about her or her life before the story. She was created for the story. Also the "evil character" wasn't so "bad". (I didn't find any good reason for being like that¿ he/she was bad¿ because that was his/her job¿ to get mad and to be a¿B¿.) Other thing I didn't like about this book, is the romance¿ Wait a minute!¿ It's not a romance. Definitively not romance. They meet¿ and the next hour they are making out¿ C'mon! What is that!!!?? There weren't any nice feeling, no glances¿ Nothing!So, what can I say¿ This book is a big mix¿ so if you don't like different species in the same book¿. If you like more romance¿ like Twilight, or If you like real characters¿ skip it. But if you like some mystery, voodoo things, and gothic and creepy stories¿ and different stuff¿. you should give it a try. Maybe it will surprise you.3/5 stars... I like it.