Monday, January 9, 2012

Darker Still by Leanne Renee Hieber

Title/Author: Darker Still (Magic Most Foul #1) by Leanna Renee Hieber
Publisher/Date published: Sourcebooks Fire, November 1st 2011
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "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."

I was SO looking forward to this book and with all the buzz about it and all the Denbury fans out there, I'd anticipated falling in love with both the story and the guy. And then I didn't. It's not that I didn't like the book, cause I did, but it wasn't as mindblowing as I had expected it to be.

I didn't connect with Natalie, I think it might be because of the way the story was told: in diary form. And this takes away the edge of my seat experience that could have easily been there, because I know that if she's writing it down, she must be someplace safe and thus everything she relates will work out fine.

I did think it was really interesting that Natalie was mute, I'd never considered that way back when they were shunned and considered freaks. And I think the whole idea of trapping someone in a painting and then inhabiting their body and do all kinds of nasty things was amazingly evil! The only thing I never did really get is why they targeted Jonathan in the first place. I mean, I 'get' it, but it doesn't really make sense for them to have their first victim in England and then to cross to America. But maybe that's just me, I'd be a lazy villain probably ;)

I liked the romance between Jonathan and Natalie, I just didn't love it. I also felt the story moved a bit too slow for me. And the actual vanquishing of the bad guy was a little too easy in my opinion.
But I did like the story and it will be interesting to see what happens next.

My rating: 3 stars


  1. This book sounds only so-so, and it's sad because this was high on my wish list.
    I'm still intrigued by the painting stuff and the mute stuff, but it has been bumped down :(

  2. I agree that the book sounds like it has lots of potential. Too bad that it didin't live up to it. Great review!

  3. Ooo, when I started your review I thought it sounded amazing! It's too bad it was just ok for you. I can see why you were so intrigued. The Goodreads summary makes it sound great. I can see what you mean, though, about the diary-style writing. It makes it less suspenseful.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the Under the Never Sky at my blog! I loved Aria, but Perry and Roar were the highlights for me as well. And yes, Perry's brother was weird... I loved the little guy, though! That nephew is stinkin' cute! I'm SO excited for the next book!

    - Jana @