Review: Darkness Becomes Her by Kelley Keaton
A great mix of action, the paranormal, and the sense of not fitting in.
Ari is different. Not in the standard I-don’t-fit-in-on-high-school kind of way, but visibly different. Her straight silver hair cannot be cut or dyed, and her eyes stand out. She hasn’t had the most standard upbringing either; after being left by her mother she’s had foster home after home, before finally settling down with a couple that teaches her how to fight and handle a gun.
The story begins with Ari trying to find out who her biological mother is. This leads her to the ruins of New Orleans, that now, after two catastrophic hurricanes, is called Area 2. Area 2 is bought by nine families of power, the Novem. It has become the epicentre of everything paranormal and the outcasts. Ari hopes to find who she is here, or better still, what she is.
First thing that comes to mind while reading Darkness Becomes Her is that Ari is so mature for her age. She doesn’t pay attention to the normal-teen stuff. While this could be a put-off, in this story it works. Her early matureness can easily be explained by her lack of a innocent childhood. We don’t get a lot of background, but enough to see that Ari’s life has not been easy. One thing that shocked me a bit is Ari’s language. I’m used to the cutesy fluffy YA-heroines that say things like “Oh my!”. Ari’s favourite profanity seems to be “fuck” though. I’m not really a fan of foul language in books, and the word was used quite excessively, but that didn’t bother me personally. I can understand that this might offend some readers though.
What made me love this book so much is it’s oddness. The setting, the characters, everything is different from the ordinary. It goes hand in hand with the dark edge of the story. The plot is a daring mix of paranormal creatures we know and understand (like vampires and shifters) and an interesting view on the Greek mythology.
I had only one complaint that made me reluctant to give this book a 5-star rating. The plot moves extremely quick, which overall I only appreciated, because this kind of book has to move fast to keep momentum. But that also meant that the romance between Ari and Sebastian was completely incomprehensible at times. Just when I thought I understood what was going on, they did something that left me frowning and scratching my head in utter confusion. Luckily, towards the end it got more understandable for me so I wasn’t condemned to stay in that uncomfortable state.
You will either love this book, or hate it. It depends on what your expectations are. Don’t expect this to be a cute girl-meets-guy story with some paranormal elements and mythical creatures. A whole new world is created in Darkness Becomes Her, and I cannot wait to see what happens next with Ari!
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.