Wednesday, August 8, 2012

ARC Review: Innocent Darkness by Suzanne Lazear

Innocent Darkness
Author: Suzanne Lazear
Publication: Flux (August 8, 2012)

Description: A hoverboard appeared in her rearview mirror. “This is the Los Angeles Air Patrol,” a voice boomed. “I command you to land your vehicle  in the name of the law.”

Noli Braddock and her best friend V’s incident with a flying auto have landed them in a heap of trouble. And when Noli is sent to a spirit-squelching reform school in San Francisco, she’s sure that her rebellious adventures are over.

Meanwhile, Kevighn Silver has been ordered by the Faerie Queen to bring a mortal girl back to the Otherworld. The magic requires a blood sacrifice every seven years, and only a mortal girl who shines with the Spark—a girl like Noli—will keep the Otherworld from complete destruction.

When an ill-timed wish sends Noli tumbling into the Otherworld, she’s more homesick than ever . . . until V arrives to save her from an untimely demise. But who exactly is V? And if he helps Noli escape, who will save the realm of Faerie from utter annihilation?

My Thoughts: Don't judge this book by its cover! If you are expecting a steampunk story as evidenced by the cover model's clothing and the flying whatever, you will be disappointed. If you want an historical fantasy with a plucky heroine, a romance, and various members of the fae, this is quite a satisfying story.

Noli Braddock and Steven Darrow, who is called V by Noli, are best friends despite their different social classes and his father's disapproval. When they are caught in an unregistered flying auto, Noli is sent away to San Francisco to a special school for hoydens. There she experiences all sorts of abuse as the headmistress tries to mold her into a proper young lady. She does manage to make to make a friend in Charlotte who is a fellow student. One day, after being waterboarded, Noli finds her way to an ancient oak tree, makes a wish, and finds herself in the realm of faerie.

V and Noli's social positions are much more different than Noli knows. V is an exiled prince of faerie who came to the human realm when his father refused to give up his kingdom to become the consort of the High Queen. V's father was exiled but his children - V, James and Elise - chose to come with him. The children can go back to faerie but don't want to have to deal with the High Queen since she chose being queen over her children. 

V gives Noli a sigil of his house to protect her. She thinks it is to protect her from the aether that caused earthquakes in San Francisco. She doesn't know that by accepting it V has claimed her as his which provides her with a different kind of protection. 

Meanwhile, Kevighn Silver-Tongue has been looking all around San Francisco to find a young human woman who has Spark. He needs to seduce her and bring her to faerie to be a sacrifice. Every seven years a young woman with Spark has to die so that all of faerie can live. 

Kevighn finds Noli in faerie and attempts to seduce her under the guise of helping her find her way home. Noli resists him and insists on going home. Kevighn falls in love with Noli but he still has to find a way to get her to accept being the sacrifice because the queen has demanded that he find one. 

When V comes to faerie to try to rescue her, the situation escalates. Noli is torn between the love she feels for her best friend and the attraction she feels for bad boy Kevighn. V has to find a way to rescue Noli both from being the sacrifice and from having to stay in faerie forever. It looks like the only way is to bargain with the High Queen. But no one smart bargains with the fae...

The was a well-written fantasy with lots of likable characters. I really liked that Noli was not a typical vapid society miss but was interested in mechanics and botany. And, even though she loved her mother, she wasn't able to fit herself into the good girl mold. I think other readers will identify with Noli and fall in love with V. I know that I am rooting for them and can't wait to read the rest of the books in this series.

Favorite Quote:
As if faeries were real. Science had disproven them a thousand times over. But that was V for you, believing in the fantastic even in the face of science. She'd miss him so much. He meant so much to her. Sometimes she liked to imagine what it may have have been like had her father not disappeared and she'd actually be considered a possible match for him. V was one person who'd never laughed at her wanting to go to the university.
I got this eARC from Flux via NetGalley for review. You can buy your copy here.


  1. I was expecting steampunk from the cover - if I had bought it, I probably would have been disappointed. LOL - there is absolutely nothing on that cover that says fae, or fairie.

    At least the story is good. :)

  2. What a great review. I was thinking I had an idea what this book was like based on the cover- but your review showed me how wrong I was. Sounds like a fantastic book!


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