02 November 2011

Review: Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber

Posted by Meghan @ Books and a Cup of Tea at 9:49 PM

  Title: Darker Still                          Pages: 320
  Author: Leanna Renee Hieber      Source: Netgalley
  Publisher: Sourcebooks                Published: Nov 1, 2011
  Series: Magic Most Foul #1           Purchase: Amazon
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.
The premise of Darker Still captivated me just by the mention of The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Natalie was such a great character. She was strong and snarky - despite the fact that she couldn't speak. She was a bit too far on the feminist side, often making comments about various men and men in general, which was the biggest downside to her character. I felt that her feminism was pushed too far, but nothing too drastic that I couldn't like the story.

I thought Lord Denbury was a perfect male lead - gentlemanly and so hot despite the time period. The romance was also hot despite the time period, albeit a little fast-moving for my tastes. I prefer a romance to not be so love-at-first-sight and a bit more realistic.

The plot is what shines to me. It was incredibly creepy at times and satisfied my need for a thrilling, mysterious story. The religion aspect of the plot didn't bother me much, save for a few occurences, and I'm fairly sensitive when it comes to religion in a novel. I would have liked just a bit more description at times, though, in terms of character appearances and Denbury's portrait, as his heath was declining.

Overall, I really enjoyed Darker Still and it was almost exactly what I was hoping. There were some bumps in the road that might not appeal to some readers, but I personally did not find them too bothersome.

Cover thoughts: It's really pretty, I love the purple and the white around her, like she's going into a portal.

Confused why there isn't a rating? Well, folks, I decided to stop rating the books I've read, as no book is the same so I wouldn't feel right about giving them all the same ratings. Hopefully, you can clearly tell whether I've loved or hated a novel and hopefully even see the in betweens such as disappointed and really liked. Plus, I'll usually say at the end anyway :P. This is a decision I've been thinking about for a while now and have finally set in motion.


Lea on November 2, 2011 at 10:48 PM said...

Liked this book "OK" but I also picked up on the overly-feminist tones, or rather, the misguided portrayal of feminism, which is about equality between the sexes, not bashing men or making them out to be inferior idiots/villains... The whole religion thing turned me off too. BUT I did love the narrative and I thought the characters were likable! Great review :)

Lea @ LC's Adventures in Libraryland

Natalia Belikov @ DazzlingReads on November 3, 2011 at 12:05 AM said...

Dear! thanks for stopping by and letting me know about your review =D
I dont mind love-at-first-sight so I guess I might enjoy this one even more than you ^_^.
oh yeah! love how it sounds despite your cons. =)

THanks so much for sharing ^_^ muah!

Samual @ Books For All Seasons on November 3, 2011 at 5:56 PM said...

I have never rated my books in my reviews. I like it that way because I can put all my thoughts about the books without stressing whether the book is a five star or four star or in between. Good choice! I do have four levels of liking a book though. I think you've already known about that. :)


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