Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
First published: November 8th, 2011
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.
My Rating: 4.0 / 5
This was a very refreshing and fast read. It's characters are very intriguing and the plot kept me turning the pages to find out whether everything will work out. Leanna Renee Hieber managed to create a beautiful historical setting which sucked me in immediately and her characters made it impossible to stop reading.
I usually don't read (murder) myteries often, but this is the genre I'd use to describe Darker Still. But Leanna Renee Hieber has combined this with even more genres by adding a paranormal twist and setting this book in a historical New York. And this combination worked perfectly for me, making me want to be part of this world to get to know its characters even better.
Darker Still's main character Natalie has been described as very strong despite her muteness by many bloggers and I can completely agree with them. She's a wonderful character and reading her diary entries is a lot of fun. It is interesting to witness her encountering other people and having to deal with her handicap, always hoping to be able to be a part of society and friendships nonetheless.
Her relationship with Lord Denbury is lovely as well. He has been described as a perfect gentleman and, again, I can only confirm this claim. At times, I felt incredibly sorry for them, but with Natalie's help he managed to not give up and always continued hoping for a happy ending. I'd love to find out how their story will continue, because I've definitely grown fond of them.
The other characters in Darker Still are very diverse: I love Mrs. Northe who is such a great help for Natalie. Of course I don't like the demon possessing Denbury's body, but I also couldn't really warm up to Maggie, Mrs. Northe's niece. Her selfishness and superficiality are very pronounced and don't make her likeable.
Sometimes I felt like the plot wasn't moving fast enough, making me want to skip a few pages. But at the same time I was too scared to miss an important detail and was very happy when the pace picked up again soon. All in all, I really enjoyed Darker Still and would recommend it to everyone who might be interested in such a well written mysterious paranormal story.
Have you read Darker Still? What did you think about?
Do you plan to read it?