Book Review: Darker Still

10841336By: Leanna Renee Hieber

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: November 8, 2011
Pages: 317
Source: Netgalley

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.

Jayme’s Review:

Two chapters into this novel, I had an epiphany. I was born in the wrong time period. I definitely belong to the late 1800- early 1900. Reading this beautifully written novel by Leanna Hieber confirmed this. This book is full of Victorian New York glory– from the dresses to the carriages to the customs. And in the middle of it all is the beautiful and smart Natalie Stewart, a mute girl who becomes involved with a dastardly form of magic.I really enjoyed Natalie as the main MC. As much as I love this time period, I rarely enjoy YA novels set in this time. I think this has to do with the fact that most of the MCs written for this period are in “society” and thus I get the “boo-hoo I’m rich but life is awful” vibe and I hate that. But Natalie isn’t a society girl, but rather smart, curious girl trying to figure out what to do with her life.  Her handicap rarely makes her sulk, and she picks up the mantle that was given to her and strives to wrong the right. And her romance with Lord Denbury made me swoon. I love British boys, and this British lord was no exception.The magic in the book was interesting, and I loved the fact that it was solved as logically as it could. I’ve read far too many novels that explain things with “it’s magic!” There is always some mystery with magic but I really think Hieber did an excellent job creating an (almost) believable type of magic :)My only complaint is that I read this book via my Kindle, and I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had an actual hard copy. The book is written in diary form and I would have had a better since of the time passing if I would flip easily between pages. But all in all, this is amazing book filled with mystery and cleverness.

My Review in a Tweet: Darker Still is host to a great main character, a beautiful British lord and magic. Great for historical buffs and sci-fi fans!