Monday, February 28, 2011

Book Review: Darkness Becomes Her (Gods & Monsters #1) by Kelly Keaton

Title: Darkness Becomes Her (Gods & Monsters #1)
Author: Kelly Keaton
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publishing Date: February 22nd 2011
Length: 288 pages
Genre: YA, paranormal romance, fantasy

3/5 *** Darkness Becomes Her- An eerily good debut novel 2011 about mythology, voodoo and love! 

~ The Author ~

Kelly loves ancient history, fantasy, and mythology. She dreams of one day attaining magical powers, discovering the secret to immortality, ridding her home of pet hair, and being crowned Mardi-Gras queen. She likes pre-Raphaelite art, moonlight on snow, and MMORPGs. She lives in NC with her family, one Great Dane, and two incredibly hairy cats. DARKNESS BECOMES HER is her first Young Adult novel. She is published in adult fiction as Kelly Gay.

Author profile by Goodreads 

For further information visit 

~ The Novel ~

Darkness Becomes Her was released February 22nd 2011 by Simon Pulse. The second novel in the Gods & Monsters series, expected to come out 2012, is still untitled.

~ The Story ~

Ari can’t help feeling lost and alone. With teal eyes and freakish silver hair that can’t be changed or destroyed, Ari has always stood out. And after growing up in foster care, she longs for some understanding of where she came from and who she is. 

Her search for answers uncovers just one message from her long dead mother: Run. Ari can sense that someone, or something, is getting closer than they should. But it’s impossible to protect herself when she doesn’t know what she’s running from or why she is being pursued. 

She knows only one thing: she must return to her birthplace of New 2, the lush rebuilt city of New Orleans. Upon arriving, she discovers that New 2 is very...different. Here, Ari is seemingly normal. But every creature she encounters, no matter how deadly or horrifying, is afraid of her

Ari won’t stop until she knows why. But some truths are too haunting, too terrifying, to ever be revealed.

Summary by Goodreads

~ The Review ~

When I started Darkness Becomes Her as part of my Debut Author Challenge 2011 I didn’t expect to like this novel that much, because it sounded so sinister. In the end I was surprised of the artistic interaction between mythology, voodoo and aspects of friendship and love.

Darkness Becomes Her is set in a dystopian world in future New Orleans. Real events are mixed with fictitious, so Keaton explains the flood’s origin with supernatural powers and gives the whole scenario a very interesting new turn.
Most of the landmarks do exist in reality, but are slightly adapted to the dystopian setting if needed. Former New Orleans is now called New 2, a vast place ruled by supernatural powers and inhabited by exceptional creatures.

This novel features a wide range of different character types, starting with humans, going over animal like creatures like griffins and ending with the greatest powers of all ,the gods.
There is also a scale of hybrids that can be for example half human, vampire or witch. Keaton created so many different possibilities of character types, but the revelation of what Ari our heroine really is still surprised me. 

Ari is beautiful, strong and new to the world of New 2 and develops an interesting relationship with Sebastian who has always lived among the exceptionally gifted kids of New 2.
What I missed in this novel was depth in character relationships. Ari and our male protagonist meet each other for the first time and are head over heels after just two days. Keaton should grant her two main characters more time to adjust to their feelings for each other, especially when there is happening so much around them.

The beginning of Darkness Becomes Her is about Ari visiting the psychiatric hospital her mother died, trying to find out what happened, learn more about her past and the mother she never had. She grew up with foster parents, but she can’t just forget about her real parents. Ari wants to know why she is different to other young women. I like her persistence and thirst for knowledge.
There was so much left to learn about Ari, the beginning was confusing because we don’t immediately get clear information about setting and background. We are thrown into a conversation between Ari and a doctor, wondering what this is all about.

And it was that beginning and the writing style combined with interesting plot turns that kept me involved all the time and drew me into the story around Ari 

This novel features some voodoo elements that really grossed me out and largely contributed to the sinister atmosphere of Keaton’s debut novel. Don't be surprised to be confronted with several creepy scenes.

Keaton's debut is not following any expected or mainstream lines of actions, but creates its own.
Personal aspects of Ari’s mysterious curse play together with the constitution of society and form an intriguing new debut novel in the wide dystopian range, unfortunately with lacking depth of relationships and emotional bonds between the characters.

~ We love this book because… ~

1) mail vans are our rescue
2) we are always prepared for a spontaneous masked ball
3) searching for your past means searching for yourself
4) of a well constructed future New Orleans
5) men playing the drums are so sexy

~ The Verdict ~

Darkness Becomes Her is an unusual YA fantasy debut novel. Keaton creates an eerie dystopian voodoo scenario I never expected to coexist with a love story so smoothly. Definitely a recommendable read for fans of mythology, voodoo and dystopian novels!


  1. This is one of those novels that I can't wait to read. I'm glad you enjoyed it though it does make me sad that there wasn't much depth in the character's relationships. Thanks for the great review!

  2. Ooh it sounds spookily excellent! It was sent to my Kindle on release day but I haven't been able to start it yet. Soon I hope. Excellent review :D

  3. You have to wonder where authors get their ideas. I think that if the voodoo grossed you out, it might do the same for me.
    I don't think it's for me but I appreciate your analytical review.
    Mike Draper

  4. I probably wouldn't have picked up this book either, but it sounds really interesting. Dystopian novels are so popular right now, so it's great to read about a book with a slightly different take on this theme.

    Also, after reading almost everything by Ilona Andrews, I wonder how grossed out I'd be about the voodoo...Still, creepy is creepy. lol

  5. Hmm...this does sound like it would be an interesting read. Though with all the books I have on my list to read now, I don't know that I want to read it bad enough to pick it up. Unless you was one you told me I NEED to read. Then of course you know I would! :)