Innocent Darkness by Suzanne Lazear
Summary: Noli fixed up an old flying car and took it for a joy ride with her best friend, V. Unfortunately, they are pulled over, and Noli’s punishment is to attend reform school in San Francisco. The school is absolutely terrible, complete with an evil headmistress. Noli will do anything to get away—even take a faery huntsman up on an offer that may cost her life.
My thoughts: Though Innocent Darkness is set in a steampunk alternate history, I felt that Suzanne Lazear’s voice was a bit too anachronistic. I found myself forgetting that Noli was supposed to come from the early 1900’s because of Lazear’s writing style. Innocent Darkness could easily be set in the present, and it gives that illusion until a word like dollymop pops up, or someone mentions corsets. If a story is to be set in a historical period, it should give that feeling all the way through, not just at sporadic moments. The steampunk background seemed more gimmicky than helpful to the story to me, so I was disappointed with its execution.
That being said, Suzanne Lazear’s voice is a very readable one, and because of that Innocent Darkness is easy to pick up and read for hours. Readers looking for a quick, fun book will enjoy Innocent Darkness. Noli is a spunky protagonist who is just too much fun to follow around. Skilled at troublemaking, Noli will delight fans of girls who break barriers with pride.
Innocent Darkness also features a love triangle, and luckily it’s one that doesn’t totally involve two guys going caveman and fighting over one lucky gal. Both love interests have their merits—one certainly more than the other—but they don’t push Noli too hard to be theirs. The choice is ultimately Noli’s, which is the way it should be.
If adventures in faeryland are your thing, check out Innocent Darkness. The mythology might not be fresh, but the story is fun and exciting enough to keep you hooked.
For those who like: faeries, love triangles