Living in the Deep South along the Gulf Coast, I’m drawn to books that are set here, so when I discovered Kelly Keaton’s book was set in a post-apocalyptic, hurricane-ravaged New Orleans, I was hooked. Add in some vampires, voodoo and Greek mythology and I am eating from the palm of your hand!
In her review, Sara described Darkness Becomes Her as:
… a unique and compelling blend of themes from various genres: the supernatural, southern gothic, dystopian and Greek mythology.
And she’s totally right, but I’d also add Southern grotesque, which is a characteristic of Southern gothic. Grotesque characters are often supernatural, and have “cringe-inducing qualities” although they have “enough good traits that readers find themselves interested nevertheless.”
Kelly Keaton takes this concept and stretches it to the Nth degree, making her central characters a supernatural group of misfits among misfits. The result is a kick-ass, gritty, creepy, lush story that makes the Southern setting as much a character as the (non-)human ones. It’s like she took every cool part of “gothic” and stuck it in a blender, creating a smoothie of literary awesomesauce.
The Mardi Gras sequences are perfect, as well, and perfectly timed since the celebrations along the Gulf Coast are winding up to a fever pitch right now.
Ari — the female lead — has the punky grit of Katniss (The Hunger Games) and Evie (Paranormalcy); Sabastian (ohhh, Sebastian … and his dad, too!) has the dark mystery of Varen (Nevermore); and the adults in the Novem remind me very much of the Conclave of Shadowhunters (The Mortal Instruments.)
Seriously, it’s everything awesome in one book. And it would get tedious, except Keating keeps the plot moving at breakneck speed. It never gets bogged down and the mythology is never over the reader’s head.
If I don’t get my hands on an ARC of the next book in the series, I will be waiting outside the bookstore with my nose pressed against the glass the day it comes out.
I liked it that much.