This month, we are so excited about the release of A Beautiful Evil by Kelly Keaton — but it was the first book in this series that really got us hooked. So today, we take a look back at what both myself & Steph had to say about Darkness Becomes Her in our reviews last year:
If you took some of today’s hottest genres in Young Adult fiction, mixed them together and added a heavy dose of Greek mythology, the results would be Kelly Keaton’s Darkness Becomes Her …
And in a world where the YA shelves are packed with paranormal stories, Keaton makes her mark […] It’s new, unique and brilliant!
There’s one other element about Darkness Becomes Her that was a real high point for me, and that’s the fact that it’s a much more mature YA book than many on shelves today. Yeah, it’s got that “14 & up” warning (which for some parents can be a turn-off), but as an adult reader, it’s refreshing to find a character in YA that is so mature. Ari is 17 in this book, but she’s only a few months shy of 18 and she carries herself much more like an adult than a teenager. Sure, she’s still figuring some things out and she definitely makes mistakes — but it’s nice to see a character mature enough to recognize and learn from her mistakes independently. Ari is a well-rounded character, with a tough past (she’s experienced some horrors in her youth) and a unique outlook on life. And much like my favorite vampire slayer Buffy, Ari knows how to kick serious butt. Not because she’s a supernatural beastie … but because her good foster parents taught her self-defense! How cool is that?
Kelly Keaton takes this concept [of Southern grotesque] 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.
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.
For the comments: Have you read Darkness Becomes Her yet? Share your thoughts in the comments below!