Mini Book Review: Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber

Darker Still (A Novel of Magic Most Foul #1) by Leanna Renee Hieber
Paperback, 320 pgs. *I read an ARC*
Published Nov. 8th, 2011 by Sourcebooks Fire
Reading Level: Young Adult
Source: Gift

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.

 This book was certainly an interesting concept and had a unique story line.  I liked the setting and the characters and even the story, but I never really felt wow’ed by it.  There’s not really anything I can pinpoint of not liking, I just felt a bit blah while reading it.

 It’s told by Natalie as she writes in her journal.  I thought it worked out okay, I can’t say I really had an issue with it.  It just took a little getting use to at first.  I also liked Natalie and I liked that she was mute.  That she had something that others were leery or afraid of.  She had a rough time of it and had to deal with a lot of teasing in her past.  But she’s very smart and very brave.

Now Lord Denbury,  I liked him at first quite a lot but then I started feeling just a bit like he was underwhelming to me.  Maybe it was all the talk of how handsome and perfect he was that kind of made me like him less.   And there was one point where I felt like he was not being much of a gentleman and that definitely turned me off of him more.  I think that was thrown in to make him more ‘real’ but it didn’t work for me.  It just messed up my image of him.

The other characters played their roles well and I loved the whole ‘Magic Most Foul’ aspect of the book.  I’m not sure I’d rush to recommend this one but if sounds like something you’d like then give it a try, I certainly don’t feel like I wasted my time on it or anything.
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  1. Thanks for the great review! I keep wondering whether or not I should pick this up. I love the cover, but the summary seems so-so. I know what you mean when you say you’re not Wow-ed by it. I’m glad you still liked it, though. :)

  2. I wasn’t wowed by this one either, I stopped reading it half way through when I sent it to you. I just felt a bit underwhelmed and bored while I was reading it.
    I thought you might like it more than me but I’m sorry to see you also were not wowed by the book either.

    Lol well you can regift it since you didn’t enjoy it that much.

  3. Now, it does sound interesting but I’m not a huge fan of “perfect” characters like the lord. I much prefer my guys a bit more scruffy. Sorry it wasn’t a fave — maybe a library pick for me.

  4. This books has had my eye for awhile now, I was going to pick it up this week but found something else instead. ^^ I am going to have to get it eventually though, like you said it seems like it’ll be really unique as far as the story goes.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. :)

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