Sunday, December 23, 2012

Book Review: Innocent Darkness

TITLE: Innocent Darkness
Book 1 in the Aether Chronicles
AUTHOR: Suzanne Lazear
PUBLISHED: August 2012
GENRE: Steampunk, urban fantasy, faeries, romance
PREMISE: Noli gets sent to reform school after one too many hijinks and then gets whisked away into the world of the fae.
MY REVIEW: Sigh. Ever have a book start out so promising only to have it jump quickly into the clicheville pond a few chapters in? That was me and this book. I had such high hopes for this too. I mean steampunk! With faeries!
Noli also started out really promising. I mean I adore female characters who rebel against society's restrictions on women. But then suddenly she's judging other women for not being as awesome as she, then there are one too many emphasis on her so-called "innocence", then the real kicker is just how naive she is. I mean this is a girl who's interested in science, right? So naturally you would think she'd be somewhat in the know about how kissing someone arouses them. But nope. She and one of her beaus (yes, one of, because of course there is a love triangle) start kissing all hot and heavy and he pulls away and she's all mortified and asking what's wrong. Really, author? REALLY? I thought this girl was in her late teens, not ten. Then it falls quickly into sexist territory (so much for that positive feminism in the first few chapters) where the guys fighting over her must totally protect her and she basically does nothing but sit around and be innocent and this of course is her best quality. I've seen better developement for females in Disney movies.
The plot does sort of exist and kind of ties up nicely but that is not enough to erase the poor quality of the plot, all the cliches, as well as the poor female characters in this book. Basically this is one giant book of cliches with unself aware sexism thrown in for good measure (I say unself aware because I get the feeling the author intended for Noli to be a strong female but missed). Very poor debut I'm sorry to say because this could have been a awesome book.
WHO SHOULD READ: Um...steampunk fans who don't mind weak female characters who do nothing, Twihards
MY RATING: Two out of Five weepy protagonists

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