Thursday, February 24, 2011

REVIEW: Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton

Darkness Becomes Her
by Kelly Keaton
Pages: 288
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: 22nd February 2011
Advanced Reader's Copy, eGalley (Simon & Schuster GalleyGrab)

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.

I was really excited when I saw this on Simon & Schuster's GalleyGrab. I'd heard a lot about it from bloggers who'd received ARCs and said it was amazing. I haven't been able to read many eBooks yet, because the only way I can is on the computer, and I don't know about you, but it is pretty hard to sit in front of a screen and read for 288 pages. So I put it off for a while until I saw that there was only three days left until it expired, which also means release date! I I knew that if I didn't read it now, then I probably wouldn't read it for a long time since I am a) broke and b) it isn't out in the UK for a good few months and I can wait that long if I have it right in front of me, just waiting innocently!!!


Darkness Becomes Her tells the story of 17-year-old Ari. For as long as she can remember, Ari - with her weirdly-coloured eyes and silver hair, that despite her trying so many times, refuses to change in any way - has been stuck in foster care, and it's been anything but easy. But finally she's with a family (well, a couple) who really care about her..but with them comes the chance of finding more information about her biological parents. Ari ends up in New 2, which used to be New Orleans, but after some terrible disasters (the book is set some time into the future), it is now no more. There, Ari makes a lot of interesting discoveries and meets some very interesting (and quite scary) people..

I really liked Ari's voice. All the emotions she felt, especially the anger, it was so realistic. Keaton has got Ari sculpted into the perfect teenager; with all the secrets, deception and anger that she needed to let out of her system. (And also, Ari is kickass and that is not because she has some strange, supernatural ability, it's because her foster parents taught her. I'm quite jealous, because how cool is that?!) Ari wants answers, and that's what this whole book is about, finding them. My favourite thing about Ari was that she knew what she wanted and even though it could potentially put her life in danger, she needed to know. Although they might not be what she's expecting..

Darkness Becomes Her has one of coolest, unique bunch of  characters, I loved meeting them! They all banded together and came together like a family, after all, they only had each other. Looking forward to seeing some more of them in the next book, especially Violet and Sebastian (no comment. But I'll say that Ari has good taste *blushes*), just two of the vibrant individuals!
Here's one thing you should know, I am not from the US. Have never been there either, so naturally I don't know anything about New Orleans, but I've heard that Keaton has used a lot of real life facts which sounds fantastic (as well as educating, right?). It's great that she was able to portray real things that may still be going on now, in a way that you wouldn't even wonder about because it's so believable. Her detail to the setting is extraordinary and it felt like I was there, living and breathing New 2 along with our protagonist.

The only bad thing I'd have to say about it is the swearing. Personally, I'm kinda immune to it, and it doesn't bother me too much, but I know there are a lot of people who'd prefer it without the language, especially since not all of it was 'needed' (sorry, can't think of a better word..). But I respect that that was Ari's character and I can understand how the feelings bottled up inside her are expressed through her dialogue, but it could toned down, just a little (again, it's not really my I'm saying this for..).

I really enjoyed how Keaton intertwined the 'Gods and Goddesses' and all the mythology that appeared in the novel. It was fascinating to read about and it gave the book such and an imaginative, adventurous feeling to it. Reading about the history behind the Novem was also one of the highlights for me. Refreshing and enthralling, Darkness Becomes Her is a wild mix of dystopia, Greek mythology and a total pageturner.



  1. Apparently a lot of the swearing has been toned down in the finished copy. Sounds like a great read!

  2. Swearing doesn't bother me really, although at times in YA books, it's really not needed at all, and it just doesn't fit in! It must have been bad in this one if they had to tone it down. lol!

    This one sounds pretty good - my copy from Galley Grab expired before I got to it (really, can I ever do anything on time?), so I'll just wait for the UK release.


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