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Darkness Becomes Her

Darkness Becomes Her - Kelly Keaton I read DARKNESS BECOMES HER on a whim. It had been on my Kindle awhile after a spree of purchases from who knows when. Or maybe library last week? I have no idea, but it was on there. I opened the document and started reading, not knowing what to expect other than science fiction mixed with the paranormal. I went in with low expectations.Well, let me first just say that this book surprised me in a very good way. It wasn’t perfect, no, but this book brought the right mix of snark, excitement, intrigue, and action to keep me invested in the story.DARKNESS BECOMES HER is follows 17 year old Ari, an orphan being passed through the foster care system with little knowledge of her parents. She finds a lead that sends her to an insane asylum and then into the remains of New Orleans after an apocalyptic series of hurricanes. Now known as New 2, it’s become the home to hosts of paranormal creatures – vampires, witches, shapeshifters, and one very pissed off Goddess who has made it known she wants Ari dead.Basically, this book was pretty darn awesome. The mythology in this novel, the first in a series, was pretty damn remarkable, blending paranormal and mythological elements with science fiction. And yes, science fantasy is kind of my thing (ask my critique partners – my current manuscript that I’m working on is science fantasy to the core). But to blend the elements together is really hard work, but Keaton does it with skill that is enviable.Although I wasn’t a big fan of Sebastian and Ari’s instalove, I liked the characters on their own. Ari is a tough-as-nails girl that has been to hell and back in her life. A curse on her family has basically trashed her family tree, including her – and her fate doesn’t look good. So what does Ari do? She goes all out, throwing caution to the wind and entering a world that seriously wants her dead. She meets a pack of kids living in the remains of a house in New 2, including a girl with fangs, a 12 year old mail carrier, and Sebastian, the son of a warlock and a vampire (which makes him pretty rare himself).The world building is well done, even though I had a few questions that nagged me about the origins of the world – mythological creatures, hurricanes, state of the world outside, etc. Not big issues. The real focus of this book was on the action, or at least in my eyes. The writing is pretty basic as far as YA writing goes – Kelly Keaton also writes adult paranormal romance, and this book follows the same style as your average one of those books. It’s no frills needed and to the point, which I like when it comes to my YA paranormal/urban fantasy stories. Nothing really to focus on here.From Violet (the girl with the fangs and the pet albino alligator) to Crank (the 12 year old mail carrier) to Ari and Sebastian and the adult characters in the supporting cast, I found myself really enjoying the excitement in New 2 and biting my nails as Ari fell deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole. The revelations about her family and her fate were twisty and turning and deliciously awesome.I will fault this book for one thing. There are slow parts. I found myself skimming over long aspects about passing out, waking up, passing out again, walking through the woods, etc. That and, as I mentioned, I didn’t see any chemistry between Ari and Sebastian. But I will be picking up the sequel soon for sure! Also, RALEIGH AUTHOR! Automatic bonus points for my hometown!World Building - ♥♥♥♥While not fully fleshed out, New 2 was an interesting setting with strong descriptions and a sturdy basis for the goings on. Mythology meets the post-apocalyptic here.Characters - ♥♥♥♥I pretty much loved all the characters in this story, with the exception of some of the glossed over secondary and tertiary characters who only seem to be noted as a plot device.Instalove - ♥♥Ehm… It’s kind of instalove. I didn’t find there to be chemistry between Ari and Sebastian, but yet they’re all hot for one another pretty quickly.Assorted WTFery - ♥♥♥♥Pretty much limited to some unexplained deals with harpies and spider people and made creatures. But maybe I just missed that.VERDICT: An awesome kick butt novel, with a great heroine yet some overuse of tropes, DARKNESS BECOMES HER is a YA book I wholeheartedly suggest to readers looking for action, romance, and intrigue. A strong addition to the crowded YA urban fantasy field.