Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Book Review : Darker Still

While Darker Still l is Leanne Hieber's debut YA novel she is no stranger to Victorian era historical fiction, having written a successful adult series. With that in mind  I had high hopes for this novel.

Darker Still  is told thorugh the diary of Natalie Stewart, a mute seventeen year old girl  in late 19th century New York City. Natalie's uncertain future becomes derailed when she comes face to face with a mesmerizing painting and its cursed subject, Lord Denbury.

I liked that this novel is told in the form of diary entries, it gives the readers more intimate potrayl of the Natalie and makes her seem more real.

The plot of this novel is inspired by Dorian Gray, but Heiber has created a truly originally story

 I liked the relationship between Natalie and Denbury, it was very storybook-like, and while borders on the verge of insta-love  it has a lot more substance.

Unlike a lot of the other Victorian-era novels I've read I think Heiber had a good grasp of the dialect, that flowed well within the story

I did find the plot of this novel to have a lot of tell not show, ecspeially when it came so explaing the dark "Magic Most Foul" the explanation felt a little rushed to me.

It seemed like the I was being convinced about the plot and the logic behind how Natalie was supposed to save the day and why Denbury is traupped in the painting.After a while I  just went with it for the sake of the book. I mean it IS magic so what do I know right ?
This novel will be at home with fans of A Great and Terrible Beauty, there is a lot of magic and darkness  and mysticism but it's mostly just talked about and pieced together. It features a whirlwind romance but with a heroine who holds her own. While I will certainly be checking out Hieber's other other novels Daker Still left me wanting a little bit more.


  1. I've found that I really like stories told through diary entries or emails or texts. It gives a more intimate insight into the main character, but it can hinder the reader knowing the other characters outside of the main character's perspective. This one sounds interesting because of the time period, but I too would have been disappointed with the telling and not showing. Sounds like a decent read regardless though.

  2. Sounds like a good read. I really love Dorian Gray, so I might like it. I don't know if reading diary entries would get annoying for me though. Thanks for the awesome review :) I'm glad you liked the book!

    Krista - Nawanda Files

  3. Hmm, I have been meaning to read more historical fantasy because I love the genre, but I think I'll hold off on this one. The historical part sounds good, but the fantasy part leaves a little to be desired.

  4. I felt the same way! I liked Darker Still, but it seemed to be lacking. I think I expected it to be a bit darker, or mystical, or mysterious, or something. It is strait up the alley of A Great and Terrible Beauty fans!

  5. I've wanted to read this one for a while. I haven't read Dorian Gray, although I want to. I didn't realize Darker Still was told through a diary - but I always find that format a nice change, as long as it is done well!

  6. This book sounds so good and the cover is very pretty.

  7. You've totally made me want to read the book! I like Diary books, and I,ll probably like this one! There are just so MANY books to buy...



We love comments ! Check back as we are trying to respond to each and every comment.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...