- The Aether Chronicles #1
Release date: August 8th 2012
Published by: Flux
Genre: Young Adult/ Steampunk
Find it on: Goodreads, Amazon
Wish. Love. Desire. Live.
Sixteen-year-old Noli Braddock's hoyden ways land her in an abusive reform school far from home. On mid-summer's eve she wishes to be anyplace but that dreadful school. A mysterious man from the Realm of Faerie rescues her and brings her to the Otherworld, only to reveal that she must be sacrificed, otherwise, the entire Otherworld civilization will perish.
This book was everything I thought it would be, but at the same time it surprised me. I was expecting a great - but not awesome - book about faeries and a great world-building, and Innocent Darkness was exactly that. However, some other aspects of it caught me by surprise, like the love triangle and Noli herself.
Maybe it's because I'm used to reading books about faeries that have a strong heroine (I only have Eugenie Markham and Meghan Chase as a reference, come on!), but Noli's delicate, insightful nature was completely unexpected, and pleasant all the same. She was different, wild and still feminine, and this balance of personality fit the world-building perfectly. The mythology surrounding faeries is dark and alluring, and Noli was a perfect main character. A bit naive sometimes, but not enough to make me angry. Put it in a simple way, she was a remarkable heroine, and I really liked her.
What I'm feeling torn about is the love triangle. I loved V, Noli's best friend - he was cute, caring, and fierce at the same time when it came to her - but throughout the book, he fell into the same category as every other guy of a love triangle that I have ever read about. Dark, flat, and silent most of the time, without a deep personality or reasonable motives, who thinks that making a decision that affects the main character without consulting her is okay. All right, this is a historical fiction, and back in the 1800s, men did make decisions without asking the women first, but I'm tired of reading a love story that doesn't have equality. I get it that V has more experience than Noli, but for once, I'd like the guy not to fall in the same Edward-esque cycle of brooding and being mysterious without a reason to.
I didn't like Kevighn at all, and I really hope Noli won't run after him. Please, give me a break, the guy tried to confuse Noli and use her as a sacrificial lamb, and I'm supposed to feel for him? Okay, he changed and suddenly fell in love with Noli, but he still tried to kill her - and even after admitting that he was in love with her, he was still thinking about her as the sacrifice... as if Noli being the girl he loves was nothing more than an unfortunate issue! Yes, faeries are supposed to be heartless, but this won't work for me. If Noli has to end up with someone, please, let it be V. He's way better than Kevighn. At least he genuinely cares for her.
The world-building was interesting, if not amusing. I have a certain familiarity with faerie books, and it was fantastic to see these creatures through a different point of view, a different story with another essence altogether. Innocent Darkness was a very good debut, and I look forward to its sequel. I hope the story will impress me more; it certainly has the potential to do so!