Darker Still

Darker Still (Magic Most Foul #1) by Leanna Renee Hieber
Release Date: November 8, 2011
Sourcebooks Fire
ISBN13: 9781402260520

4/5 Stars

Goodreads 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.

Okay, first of all, I don't think anyone can deny that this cover isn't drop-dead gorgeous. Plus, after reading such a promising description featuring so many allusions to classical literature, I was dying to read this book. DYING. I love mystical magi cand the supernatural set in a Victorian setting; there's something so dreamy and thrilling about it, don't you think? And Darker Still lives up to these promises to deliver a captiving gothic horror story.

Reasons to Read:
  1. A Victorian Mystery:
    Natalie likes to play detective; that is, she's only playing until she finds herself caught up in something very real, and very frightening. And she's such the perfect character to play this role, and she was so interesting all on her own. She was nothing like I expected (and I mean this in a good way), because she really stands out among YA female protaganists. Yet all of this is wrapped up nicely in a lovely Victorian setting, filled with magic...
  2. Hauntingly creepy:
    I mentioned magic: well, a lot of it is dark magic. And some parts were so twisted, that they send shivers up your body. I kind of wish this book had been released earlier because it is an ideal haunted Halloween read...
  3. Delicious scandal:
    Of course, I wouldn't mind being haunted if Lord Denbury was doing the haunting... and he definitely doesn't mind breaking a few society rules for the era! There's just something about a bona fide gentlemen that gets me all giddy.
Now, I do wish we had gotten to know Lord Denbury a bit more intimately (his character, I mean). And the romance does seem to progress awfully quickly, not quite insta!love, but just bordering on it. But at the same time, I can understand why it would build up suddenly, as both characters recognize something special and unique in each other.

Darker Still is written as diary entires, and I wasn't particularly taken with this. I'm not a fan of books written as diaries or journals, unless there's a reason important to the plot for it. And I didn't see that it was for Darker Still.

BUT I still ended up loving and thoroughly enjoying this book! The characters are delightful, ESPECIALLY Natalie, and I was pleased to have a satisfying ending for one book, with the perfect lead-in to the next one (which I cannot wait for, already. 2012 cannot come soon enough, I mean it doesn't even have a title and I'm anxious for it)! I just want to gush and rave about how beautiful, yet creepy, this book was but I can't because I would HATE to give anything away! Anything at all. ;)

e-galley received from publisher via netGalley in exchange for an honest review; no other compensation was received.

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Carina said...

I have an eGalley of this, too, and now after reading your review I can wait to start reading it! It sounds amazing. :)

Thank you so much for sharing your opinion. I'll definitely move it up on my tbr-pile now. :)

A Buckeye Girl Reads said...

I loved this book. Agree with almost everything you said-except for the journal form part. Natalie was muste, so how else were we supposed to hear her voice?

Brenna said...

I think the reason the journal was probably used was because she was mute- that's true. But there's no reason it HAD to be used because she's mute. She interacted with people via writing already, and the story could have been written in first person, in the same way minus journal entries. A voice in first person doesn't literally mean the person is speaking out loud- it' literally getting in one character's head.

Anonymous said...

Brenna, fantastic review! Darker Still is actually the next read on my review list. I'm terribly excited for it now, especially after reading your review!

Anna @ Literary Exploration said...

I've heard a lot of mixed things about this one, but it looks pretty cool, so I'll probably check it out anyways. Great review! You've definitely renewed my interest :)

Anna @ Literary Exploration

F said...

Love the post! I am a new follower :)

Giselle said...

Oh diary entries? That's nice to know. I don't particularly enjoy those but the premise sounds really like my type of book so I'll probably give this a try anyhow. Wonderful review, as usual! :D

Xpresso Reads

ChristasBooks said...

I wasn't a fan of the diary entries at first either, but they sort of grew on me. I loved that it's a Victorian mystery and I cannot wait to see what happens next!

Unknown said...

I really want to read this! I love the reasons to read! I definitely like creepy Victorian books! I also like that your review is short, sweet and to the point. I'm not a fan of long reviews since I have so many books I want to read and so many reviews to read that I find reading a 5 page review too lengthy!

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