Kelly Keaton
Darkness Becomes Her
Gods & Monsters, Book #1

Brought to you by OBS staff member Annabell Cadiz

Synopsis: 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 a 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.

Review: You ever read one of those books where the story starts off with an interesting beginning and seems as if it will build to something really good; but then all of a sudden the book veers to the left into what-the-hell-was-that street and you no longer understand what the hell is going on? Well, that’s how I would describe  Darkness Becomes Her. Oddly enough though, I still enjoyed the book even with its many flaws.

Ari Selkick is seventeen years old and has spent her entire life bouncing from one foster home to another. She has finally found a stable home with Casey and Bruce Sanderson. They are bail bondsmen and have trained Ari how to be tough in both attitude and with her fists. Ari heads to Rocquemore House in search of answers as to where her birth mother could be and discovers the sad truth that her mother had committed suicide shortly after Ari was born. Dr. Giroux who works at Rocquemore House and gives Ari the bad news, also gives her a box that had belonged to Ari’s mother. Inside the box, Ari finds a letter where her mother explains that she is cursed but most importantly she must run! As soon as Ari leaves Rocquemore House, she is attacked by a strange man who speaks a language she has never heard of and has strange tattoos. She manages to escape with her life and heads into New 2, what is left of what had once been New Orleans, and instantly finds herself thrown into a world where she learns the stories surrounding New 2 of paranormals are true, she belongs to a heritage more powerful and tragic than she could have imagined, and a battle with a pissed off Greek god come to life is about to begin.

Darkness Becomes Her is a venture into mythology and fantasy that did not fit quite well. Many times throughout the story, the plot seemed as if a bunch of puzzle pieces from different sets of puzzles where forced to fit into each other. There are paranormals (vampires, werewolves) as well as creatures who are half human (woman who is half spider), a harpy, voodoo sorcerers, witches, warlocks, and the Greek god Athena. The different characters never flowed well together or the combination of different aspects of myths.

The letter Ari’s mother left her was a useless piece to the plot. Her mother begins to tell her she is cursed like she was but doesn’t bother to explain what exactly the curse is. Ari’s mother tells her to run but doesn’t explain why it’s so important for Ari to run. The letter was too abrupt and offered nothing but instead of creating suspense for the plot, the letter only managed to be a waste of time for the reader.

I did like the idea behind New 2. It was really cool that all the paranormals gathered in one place and managed to live together. I like the old world elegance touched with Gothic themes about it. It was a bit unrealistic to think two category four hurricanes destroyed New Orleans to the point where the government would sell the state off to five families who were billionaires but it was a nice twist.

Ari was not my most favorite character. Yes, she is tough and gritty. She can kick butt and never apologizes for it. She has a sassy attitude and pouty mouth to boot. But there were many moments in the plot the tough streak in Ari was pushed too far. Her character seemed to come off fake at times and irritated me. I did, however, manage to appreciate the vulnerable moments Ari had, especially between her and Sebastian. Sebastian was a character I really liked. He is as tough as Ari and isn’t afraid of going head to head with her. He’s also just as sarcastic and totally gorgeous! I loved the fact that he had dimples! Crank, Henri, and Violet served as great sidekicks and background characters.

The romantic relationship between Ari and Sebastian happens so fast, the relationship seems shallow and without heart. Ari is only in New 2 for close to two days but manages to fall head-over-heels-desperately-in-love with Sebastian. They barely know anything about each other! Also, so much is thrown into the plot that the story lacks reality and everything gets thrown at the reader far too quickly. The reader barely has time to absorb what has just taken place within a scene before the next scene sends the plot in another direction. It was also very weird how the Greek god mythology was tossed into the plot, felt very out of left field. The suspense was mediocre but the action throughout the novel made up for it. I like when Ari fights her way out of the cell she’s been locked into after being kidnapped. Pretty cool!

Darkness Becomes Her, even with its various flaws, manages to pack a pretty good story. The series has potential to be edgy and different in a wow-that’s-really-amazing-kind of way if the story is expanded more and has time to build without being rushed.

I am interested to read what happens next with Ari and the gang, especially after how the first novel ends. I just hope the characters are better fleshed out and the pacing has more fluidity.

All in all, a book I would recommend to fans of fantasy and Greek mythology, if I were given a chance to.