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Darkness Becomes Her (Gods & Monsters) Paperback – January 3, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up-Fast-forward a generation. New Orleans, now called New 2, has been decimated by natural disaster. Nine prominent families have banded together to buy the city from the federal government; all that used to be New Orleans is now considered "beyond the rim," an area rumored to be riddled with supernatural beings and happenings. Enter Ari. Inexplicably abandoned by her mother soon after the city's fall, she is now a hardened 17-year-old living in Memphis. When she visits a sanitorium near the border where her mother spent her last days, her discoveries lead her deep into New 2. In search of information to help solve the puzzle of her origins, she soon realizes how intricately intertwined her fate is with that of the city and that it will be up to her to lift the curse that has plagued the women in her family for centuries. Darkness Becomes Her is part "Lightning Thief," part "Twilight," and part "Maximum Ride." Unfortunately, Keaton reveals the specifics of Ari's mother's delusion at the book's start, something if left uncovered until later would have packed a much greater punch. Yet, to write this title off as a predictable "been there, done that" experience doesn't do it justice either. For fans of any of the above-mentioned popular series, it's an excellent suggestion for a next read. Keaton paints richly detailed scenes of the New Orleans landscape and crafts fully realized, sympathetic characters. Ari's journey from loner to wary member of a band of misfits and her fall for one of them spins a compelling thread through her quest. Darkness Becomes Her will leave many readers clamoring for the next installment.-Jill Heritage Maza, Greenwich High School, CT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


“Unforgettable, complex, and unique. I could not put this book down.”--#1 New York Times Bestselling author Christopher Pike

"Darkness Becomes Her is part “Lightning Thief,” part “Twilight,” and part “Maximum Ride.” [It] will leave many readers clamoring for the next installment."--SLJ

"A page-turning story with a multidimensional heroine and an atmospheric near-future setting."--Publisher's Weekly

*"Keaton creates a New Orleans setting rife with Gothic rot and decay, and allows Ari to discover, articulate, and explore a range of political and ethical questions without ever striking a didactic note. Deft character descriptions humanize not only the creatures, but also help to individuate characters who suffer a variety of physical and emotional challenges. A great choice for a book discussion group willing to take on another round of vampires. The cliff-hanger end promises a sequel."--Booklist, starred review --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Gods & Monsters (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse; Reprint edition (January 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781442409255
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442409255
  • ASIN: 1442409258
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #521,024 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kelly is a multi-published author with six novels currently in print. She writes the YA series, Gods & Monsters (Simon & Schuster), and the Charlie Madigan urban fantasy series (Pocket Books), which are written as Kelly Gay. She is a two-time RITA® Finalist, an ARRA nominee, a Goodreads Choice Award finalist, and has landed on the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance's Okra Picks list. Kelly is also a recipient of North Carolina Arts Council's fellowship grant in Literature. She lives in NC with her family. You can learn more about Kelly at www.kellykeaton.net.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Reader 200 on March 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the read overall. There was a plot (sad that I have to say that, but so many YA paranormal books seem to lack them lately) and it moved right along. The paranormal world was well-drawn if based on all the same-old characters. I really liked the idea of a rebirth (post-hurricane destruction) New Orleans. The heroine was likeable and the secondary characters were interesting. I read the entire thing even though it definitely wasn't the best written book out there.

However, I did have a couple of real dislikes.

The profanity: The heroine is supposed to be a hard-edged, foster-child type teenage girl. She fights like Buffy the Vampire and solves her own problems rather than waiting for a hero. She also swears as part of her `edge.' Only it didn't work for me because she is also wishy-washy about making decisions (she changes her mind a lot), emotionally overwrought (passes out from over emotion kind of stuff), and falls in love so fast it makes her look stupid. And all this made her seem not hard-edged at all. So the profanity ended up being forced (like the author trying to prove how hard she was) rather than real.

The detached body parts: There really are real detached body parts in this book- it's got a Buffesque grotesquery to it. However, even better was the grammar. The best (worst?) was so funny that all my kids came running to see why I was laughing so hard. On page 178 the author intended to say that the heroine rolled her eyes after someone made a snarky comment. Then the heroine glanced over at some couples on a dance floor. However what the author put into print was, "My eyes rolled, falling onto the dancers..." (writing this made me laugh all over again).
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Missy on February 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Darkness Becomes Her went from a story that had me curious from just reading the synopsis ... to having my full and undivided attention for turning into an unexpectedly fantastic read. I don't really know how to put into words for what I feel for this book without giving too much away. The plot just kept building into layers and layers of story from the very beginning, when we first meet Ari and find out about her mom. From there, we're taken to a familiar place that isn't so familiar anymore. It's been ravaged by the hurricanes, and has become a place that you'd only read about in folklore and myth. Everything in the story is weaved together perfectly - there are no stray hairs that leave you hanging. Well, of course, until you get to the end ... then, there's a pretty big cliffhanger waiting for you, snaring you in its grasp and holding you hostage until the next book is released.

The characters in this book charmed me - every. single. one. I loved Ari, our heroine. She was strong, yet still vulnerable. The best part? She didn't act like a spoiled, whiny brat! The love interest, to me, is obvious from the very beginning. Sebastian is a truly swoon-worthy character, heritage or not, and I loved that he was so brave and fearless - even when he knew he wasn't invincible. I also love that Ari and Sebastian didn't go completely love-struck and just forget about the entire world around them. No, the tension was just a soft buzz. You knew it was there, but it never distracts you from the real story. The other characters, especially the house of "misfits", was exceedingly charming and the other characters were well-fleshed out and never deviated from themselves - no matter how rotten I thought they were. Ha.

Like I said, there was a definite cliffhanger.
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Format: Hardcover
What's better than a new series from one of my favorite urban fantasy authors (Kelly Keaton is the pen name of Charlie Madigan series author Kelly Gay)? When that new series is a Paranormal YA about Greek Mythology that is being described as is part `Lightning Thief, part Twilight, and part Maximum Ride.'

Greek Mythology is looking the next hot thing in Paranormal YA. There are at least a dozen books coming out in 2011 that play off the Pantheon of gods in one form or another and I couldn't be more excited to read them. I can't reveal the unique mythological twist that DARKNESS BECOMES HER employs without spoiling a major revelation in the book, but it's fresh and exciting and delightfully messed up in the way only a Greek tragedy can be.

Ari is the protagonists here. She's an orphan who bounced from one awful foster care situation to the next before landing with a loving couple who run a bail bonds company. They provide her not only with love for the first time in her life, but also teach her the tricks of the bounty hunter trade including impressive (yet not unrealistic) fighting and weapons proficiency in preparation of her joining the business when she turns eighteen. Those skills end up saving her life and others when she tracks down a lead about her birth mother in New 2, a semi-alternate New Orleans that was destroyed and then became home to the country's `freak' population of rumored vampires, witches, and shapeshifters.

While I understood Ari's personality, I found her prickly and bordering on waspish throughout most of DARKNESS BECOMES HER. She goes from zero to !@%&ing pissed off in seconds (*Note there is a abnormally high amount of profanity in this book than normal for the YA genre). Understandable but annoying.
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