Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber
Magic Most Foul #1
Release Date: November 8th, 20122
Number of Pages: 317
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
I was obsessed.It was as if he called to me, demanding I reach out and touch the brushstrokes of color swirled onto the canvas. It was the most exquisite portrait I'd ever seen--everything about Lord Denbury was unbelievable...utterly breathtaking and eerily lifelike.There was a reason for that. Because despite what everyone said, Denbury never had committed suicide. He was alive. Trapped within his golden frame.I've crossed over into his world within the painting, and I've seen what dreams haunt him. They haunt me too. He and I are inextricably linked--bound together to watch the darkness seeping through the gas-lit cobblestone streets of Manhattan. Unless I can free him soon, things will only get Darker Still.
Darker still is a mix of both romance and mystery. Set in a Victorian era, this book is clearly inspired by The Picture of Dorian Gray, and other gothic novels of that time. The book was interesting. It had some strength and some weaknesses. I did overall enjoy it, but it was far from love.
One of the things I did like about the book is that it wasn’t about a young lady in distress. No, Natalie is the one trying to save Lord Denbury. That I like, especially since it is set in an era where women aren’t usually the heroes. No, Natalie is the only one who can save her beau, a man she is enthralled with from the moment she sets eyes on his painting. That did annoy me. Instant love can be a little annoying, since it is completely overdone these days.
One of the things that made me question Natalie’s character is how easily she seems to trust people. She trusted Lord Denbury as soon as she meets him, and same time with Mrs. Northe. Am I the only one thinking that Lord Denbury seems to fall for her so fast, yet their romance seems kind of boring? After all, he has been stuck there for a while. Wouldn’t he be looking to enjoy life more than fall in love? There is something about him that I don’t quite trust. I can’t really explain why, but there are little things that made me wonder if there wasn’t something else about him…
I find it hard to put words on how I felt about this book. If you’re looking simply for a gothic romance, you’ll probably enjoy it. Me? I was looking for something more. There was also the way the novel was written that got on my nerves. It was supposed to be in a diary format, but most of the time I felt like it was a regular first person narration. After all, I don’t know many people who would write dialogues in their diaries (Maybe I’m the only one that think that though, we never know…)