Saturday, January 22, 2011

Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton (Gods and Monsters, #1) - ARC tour review

Summary (courtesy of GoodReads):   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 just one 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.

And here's what I thought:   This was a book where my reading speed was set on "Whip."*   The fast was pace, but the story had me completely hooked from the start, and I just needed to keep reading to see what was going to happen next.   I'm not sure how much I can say about this book without revealing too much, but I'll do my best.

Ari is an interesting main character.  Growing up in foster care has made her self-sufficient and street-smart, so I never worried too much about her ability to handle herself (she's a bit Buffy-esque in that respect).   When she arrives in New 2, she discovers that there are other people there who don't seem quite ... normal.  So maybe she's in the right place to learn about her family?   Yes.  And, she'll discover more than she bargained for.   Supporting characters were interesting, as well.  Sebastian is tall, dark and mysterious .... but not necessarily predictable.  I really liked Violet, a tiny girl who loves to dress up in costumes and masks, and who supports Ari, even when her true nature is revealed (and everyone else is somewhat repelled).   Overall, the characters were written well, and written creatively.  Throughout this story, I was constantly wondering who was what, and what would happen next. 

I loved that this was set in New Orleans (which has been rebuilt after more huge hurricanes have hit).  Keaton's descriptions of places and people were so evocative, that I felt like I was there.   I also liked how Keaton worked in details of New Orleans culture, like the old, established families, and some voodoo traditions.   It was fascinating how she wove these details together, along with myths.   Several times, I would come across something while reading and think "oh, cool!"   Definitely looking forward to the next book in the series.

*ok. explanation: when I'm in my car, the windshield wipers have several setting, which I call slow, medium, fast, and Whip.   Thus, I was gulping down this book at top speed, or "whip."

First sentences:  "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." 

Thoughts on the cover:
  Beautiful font for the title!!  I like how it looks like an iron gate on the cover, and as you keep looking at it, the details emerge.  Definitely a good match for the story.

Please note: I received this book as part of an ARC tour fromDark Faerie Tales.


Amelia said...

Hey Jo!
I totally agree with what you said. This book was so creative! I didn't particularly care for Ari, but the whole story world was fascinating. Awesome review!

Lori said...

I really loved this one! It was one of the best paranormal YA's I've read in awhile. Great review!

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