Monday, August 13, 2012

Innocent Darkness by Suzanne Lazear A Review

Innocent Darkness

by Suzanne Lazear
Goodreads Summary:
Wish. Love. Desire. Live.

Sixteen-year-old Noli Braddock's hoyden ways land her in an abusive reform school far from home. On mid-summer's eve she wishes to be anyplace but that dreadful school. A mysterious man from the Realm of Faerie rescues her and brings her to the Otherworld, only to reveal that she must be sacrificed, otherwise, the entire Otherworld civilization will perish.

I have to say that this book was nothing like I expected it to be, but that wasn't a bad thing. I think the cover is a bit misleading for those looking for a real steampunk novel as this one is what I'd call "light steampunk." That's fine for me, I don't think I can get past the intricacies of the machines and just a brief introduction into the steam engines and zeppelins is just fine for me. But if you're expecting hardcore steampunk, this is not the novel for you.  

Why would I recommend this novel? It's utterly it's own fantasy world. It takes the otherworld and turns it on it's ear. Suzanne Lazear only kept a very few things that I've read about faeries in her story. It might as well be a totally different world, and it is really. The courts are air, fire, water and earth joined to a central court but there is still a darke court. You still can't trust a faery. EVER!  They need BLOOD SACRIFICES! That's the first time I've read that. And let me tell you, even the nice guys, they admit, they need it. She built an incredibly fascinating otherworld. But first, she built an incredibly fascinating alternate Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Noli, short for Magnolia is a very strong character. Most of the story is told from her point of view, but not all. She has amazing resilience. She tinkers with a flying car until she finally gets it running only to crash it minutes later and gets hauled into the police station for driving without a license. In this world, early 1900's Los Angeles, women have no rights. Can't drive, vote, but Noli wants to go to University to be a botanist. Socialite women, like they used to be before Noli's father disappeared in the San Francisco earthquakes, never even held jobs. But now, Noli's mother has a dress shop. Noli tends the house and the gardens and tries to keep up the outside of the house. But the machines call to her. When she's sent to reform school for girls, she bears their punishments which are very cruel and unusual, until a particularly brutal night. When she finds herself in the Otherworld, she's very smart about it. She is not a character you'll throw your hands up in frustration about. She is extremely sensible.

Steven, V., for short is the boy next door, literally. He is a contradiction if there ever was one. He always is cautious with Noli, telling her to behave, remember she can't get in trouble, be careful etc. And unlike Noli's mother who believes Noli is at a nice school for boisterous girls, he knows she's at a terrible school. He worries about her constantly, but he's hiding a huge secret. One that is revealed and when it is....well let's say the steam in this novel doesn't just come from the engines!

I loved that some of the chapters were from some of the POV of some of the men in the book.  There was some small amount of predictability, but that may change. I certainly didn't see the ending happening. My only complaint is that I'll have to wait so long for the next book in the series!  There was no big cliff hanger ending, so thanks to Suzanne Lazear for that! This one is definitely one that I'll be eagerly awaiting the sequel to and any little novellas if any come out!

Recommended for older YA readers due to mature themes. 

Thanks to Flux Publishers and NetGalley for the E-ARC for review. I was not compensated for my review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.


  1. i'm so jealous you've read this already, heather! so glad to hear it's good!!

    1. Really loved it but it is not innocent!


  2. Oh this does sound unexpected. The fae and steampunk are an unusual combo in itself. Hm... I do think I need to add this one to the wishlist!

    1. Yes, you'd like this one, I think. It's a bit different than anything I've read. Not hardcore steampunk, not so innocent, torture, blood sacrifice, more torture, sex, not for the faint of heart!

  3. Awesome! I'm looking forward to this one.

    1. Okay, I know you love Steampunk. This is very light on Steampunk. So, don't want you disappointed. Very light.

  4. I def agree this is very light steampunk. But I enjoyed it. And the faerie realm was awesome!

  5. "Let's say the steam in this novel doesn't just come from the engines!" Lol, tell me more! I already have this one on my wishlist because I love steampunk so it's disappointing to hear that this one only has a light dose of it; the cover is misleading then. But, I also love fantasy and the worldbuilding in this one sounds fantastic.

  6. Sigh, you've read my review on this one and you definitely liked it more than I did. I got annoyed with the characters multiple names/nicknames all over again!!! Something so simple that rubbed me the wrong way, that's why everyone has different favorite books though. What works for one misses for another!

    - Jessica @ Book Sake


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