Friday, November 25, 2011

Review: Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber

From Goodreads: New York City, 1882. Seventeen-year-old Natalie Stewart's latest obsession is a painting of the handsome British Lord Denbury. Something in his striking blue eyes calls to her. As his incredibly life-like gaze seems to follow her, Natalie gets the uneasy feeling that details of the painting keep changing ... Jonathan Denbury's soul is trapped in the gilded painting by dark magic while his possessed body commits unspeakable crimes in the city slums. He must lure Natalie into the painting, for only together can they reverse the curse and free his damaged soul. 

My Rating: 3.5 hearts

Thoughts on the Novel: Set in New York City, Leanna Renee Hieber’s Darker Still is a slow-paced but seductive novel that draws the reader into a world full of magic that’s centred on beliefs about spiritualism – a subject I’m not at all familiar with but liked learning about.

Although the setting and the overall atmosphere of the book was what I loved most about Darker Still, I also liked that Hieber chose to create a unique protagonist. Since Natalie is a mute, the book is narrated through her journal entries and so allows the reader to forge a deeper connection with her. Smart and witty, I loved that Natalie refuses to be a damsel in distress and doesn’t hesitate to create her own opportunities while also appreciating all the things that she’s been given.

The relationship between Natalie and the charming Lord Denbury in Darker Still starts off deliciously tense. I kept waiting for them to just kiss already! After that first kiss though, the romance lost a tiny bit of its appeal because it progressed faster than I would have liked, especially considering that the story is set during the Victorian era. Still, it was definitely passionate.

A great beginning to what I’m sure will be an enchanting series; Darker Still was released by Sourcebooks Fire on November 8, 2011. 

Comments About the Cover: I like that you can tell that Natalie is starting to go into the painting. Where is the handsome Lord Denbury though?  

In exchange for an honest review, this ARC was received from the publisher (Sourcebooks) for free via NetGalley.


  1. I really loved Natalie as well, and I haven't read many books that are written in journal entry format so I liked how different it made this one for me. I agree things with Denbury progressed fairly quickly after the very slow build up, but by that point I was dying for them to get together so I didn't mind so much.

    And maybe we'll get Denbury on the cover of the next book? That would be nice:) Fantastic review Zahida!

  2. OhI didn't know it was written in journal entries! That's really original. I've only heard great things about this one so far I can't wait to read it!!

    Xpresso Reads

  3. oh no! A relationship should not lose it's appeal so fast in the first book! That's bad!

  4. Wow! 4th review of Darker Still I'm seeing around the blogosphere today :) I think that's a sign that I ought to pick it up soon! :D

    Fab review, darling :) Love how detailed and honest it is!


  5. Though I'm disappointed that the romance lost a bit of it's magic after the kiss, Natalie does sound like a truly unique protag, and I'm a big fan of diary entry story telling, so I think I'd still ant to give this one a try.

  6. Oh no, hearing the rapid romance after that kiss makes me a bit worried, but I'm really intrigued by the set up for this book. And thanks for the heads up on the series. I was under the impression is was a stand alone.

    p.s. Thanks for catching the error on my post. I clearly should not do a blog post when I'm on a full stomach. *blushes*

  7. Oh lord! I love passionate romance nor fast falling in love stuff if it goes along a great story. I will check this one out. I have mostly seen good reviews but nothing fantastic. Yet, I love that you said this is a great beginning for an enchanting series! The second one will probably be better! =D I really want to give this one a try! thnx for the great review my dear ^.^ muah!!!!!!!!! =D

  8. Love love love the cover! <3 I saw this at the bookstore. I was going to buy it but I thought I should read reviews first. I'm also obsessing over historical YA lately. So I'm really going to buy it when I go there again. Thanks for the review!

  9. I really want to read this book. I've ehard great things about it. I'll be checking it out asap. However teh relationship thing si a bit of a bummer. Thanks for the review!!!!


  10. I liked Natalie a lot, but the slow pacing killed me. I agree about the romance, too.

  11. Not sure how I would feel about the journal entry style of writing. Might find it a bit annoying. Natalie sounds great though!


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