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
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.