Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse (February 22, 2011)
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.
Ari is a freak among the norms, and when she arrives in New 2, she slowly comes to find that she also might be a freak among supernatural freaks too. From foster home to foster home, Ari has been abused and ridiculed about her looks and not being able to fit in tends to weather a girl down. Stumbling upon the kids in the Garden District veers Ari's journey to find out about her biological father a bit off course. Uncovering the truth about New 2--the independent, yet partially revitalized New Orleans--and all its many facets comes as not too big of a surprise after hearing all sorts of preternatural rumors outside The Rim.
It's only when Ari really starts digging into the curse pass down the female line of her mother's biological family that things start to heat up real fast. There's vampires, witches and demigods aplenty but when there's a real goddess around--one that tends to caress the evil tactics of the gods--there just has to be a god-killer to, right?
It's no secret that Keaton has a gift when it comes to writing. If you've ever read her adult series, you'd be captured in the first chapter. The overtones of that amazingly and concisely descriptive writing definitely shines its light in Darkness Becomes Her. Keaton was not afraid to throw in a heroine with a touch of monster in her blood and an attitude--and "bad" mouth--to suit her. Ari, short for Aristanae, was dark-fully crafted. I was entranced when I was able to view through her eyes the world and misfortunes it has thrown at her. Developed background on her alone would have made for an captivating read. Her foster parents and all the kids and motley of powerful adults introduced were a breath of fresh air to read about; all individuals that contributed to the main plot skillfully. Most did lack some background knowledge that would have been helpful to personalize them and give their uniqueness some flare.
The plot was utterly bewitching, and while the pacing had me second-guessing the two battle scenes' timing because of its unpredictable staggering progression, the events that lead up to that cliffhanger ending just ensnare you enough to keep your heart pounding even after you've read the last word.