Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Review for Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber
Author: Leanna Renee Hieber
Series: Magic Most Foul, #1
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: November 8, 2011
Synopsis: The Picture of Dorian Gray meets Pride and Prejudice, with a dash of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
New York City, 1882. Seventeen-year-old Natalie Stewart's latest obsession is a painting of the handsome British Lord Denbury. Something in his striking blue eyes calls to her. As his incredibly life-like gaze seems to follow her, Natalie gets the uneasy feeling that details of the painting keep changing...
Jonathan Denbury's soul is trapped in the gilded painting by dark magic while his possessed body commits unspeakable crimes in the city slums. He must lure Natalie into the painting, for only together can they reverse the curse and free his damaged soul.
Verdict: When I read a book, it usually has to really grab me and reel me in for me to continue to read it. If it doesn't then I usually end up putting it down and abandoning it, which is what almost happened to Darker Still. A little over half way in, the story kind of lost me, so I put it down to pursue other books. But like a siren calling sailors to the waters, I kept picking it back up. Which a book has never really done before, because when I put a book down, it doesn't get picked back up. Darker Still is a haunting tale that refused to be put down. I finished this book (albeit longer than my normal novel-finishing time) and I loved it! The story is told in the form of diary entries, newspaper articles, and police reports. It tells the chilling tale of Natalie Stewart and Jonathon Whitby (Lord Denbury) and how they escaped from magic most foul. I loved the overall mood of the story and how I was immediately transported to the time and place after reading just a few words. (On a side note: The cover is absolutely gorgeous!) Natalie has been a mute ever since her mother died when she was a little girl. She is now seventeen years old and has just been released from The Connecticut Asylum. She lives with her father (who I'm actually kind of fond of) and has no friends. That is until she meets Mrs. Evelyn Northe and her niece, Maggie. Through them, Natalie eventually comes face to face with the most handsome man she has ever seen. Oh, did I mention that this man is nothing more than a life-size portrait? At least that's what it appears to be. In reality, the man is Jonathon Whitby and his soul has been captured in the painting by a demon. Natalie is the only one who can communicate with him (so of course!), it's up to her to get him out. Although, neither one of them expected to fall in love..... Overall, this story was very addicting and I definitely recommend it, because it teaches a valuable lesson about finding your own "voice." <3
An ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley.
Rating: 4/5 Stars