Saturday, September 29, 2012

Innocent darkness by Suzanne Lazear

Magnolia "Noli" Braddock has a knack for working with machines, she can bring dead engines back to live and can coax reluctant flying autos to fly again.  The only problem is that Noli is also seen as a troublemaker in need of guidance, and when she takes a flying auto for a joyride she finds herself on the wrong side of the law.  To avoid jail Noli is shipped off to a boarding school where her mother hopes Noli will become the lady she was born to be, but in reality the boarding school is a place where the spirit is beaten out of the girls at every opportunity, their only goal is to turn out vapid and brainless girls who are fit for marriage.  The only bright spark for Noli is her blossoming friendship with Charlotte, a friendship that goes some way to replacing the friendship she had with V, the boy next door who is slowly turning into a man.

Noli is unhappy, but a heartfelt wish at the wrong moment sends her plummeting into the Otherworld - the world of "faeries".  The world is strange and dangerous, and Noli's only wish is to return home.  At first it appears that Kevighn was her chance to escape this strange world, but Kevighn has dark plans for Noli, plans that will save his world and Noli's - but at the expense of Noli's life.  Noli has very little time to make some difficult decisions, decisions of the heart and of the mind. 

Innocent darkness is the first book in the Aether Chronicles, and I have to say that while I did enjoy the story I was very disappointed with the number of editing mistakes I found, mistakes that jarred me out of the story and quite frankly annoyed me after the first few times.  There were spelling mistakes (and not just American-English vs. New Zealand-English), and there were extra words like that and had that appeared in random places.  It also felt at times like the author was trying to be too clever with her choice of names for characters - how Creideamh can be pronounced Kray-jif I have no idea.  I also feel the need to mention that this is not a teen book for 'tweens or younger teens, there is low level sexual content that is best left for the older teens - not being a prude, some things are just better left until teens are over the age of 15 or 16.

If you are a fan of steampunk and enjoy well built stories with a lot of mythology behind them then you will no doubt enjoy Innocent darkness - just don't expect the tale to be perfectly well crafted, and expect the odd thing that just seems wrong.  This is a fantastic effort for a debut novel, and hopefully for the next book in the series the editor will pay a little more attention to what is going on and find the mistakes that have the potential to put readers off.

If you like this book then try:
  • The girl in the steel corset by Kady Cross
  • The black unicorn by Tanith Lee
  • Bewitching by Alex Flinn
  • The treachery of beautiful things by Ruth Long
  • Crown duel by Sherwood Smith
  • The halfmen of O by Maurice Gee
  • Banished by Sophie Littlefield
  • Burn bright by Marianne de Pierres
  • The unnaturalists by Tiffany Trent
  • Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
  • The demon trappers daughter by Jana Oliver

Reviewed by Brilla

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