Innocent Darkness
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Innocent Darkness : The Aether Chronicles Book One

3.54 (1,112 ratings on Goodreads)
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Description

When spirited sixteen-year-old Noli Braddock and her best friend Steven V Darrow take a flying car out for a joyride, neither expects Noli to be sent to reform school to mend her hoyden ways. While at the dreadful school, an innocent wish sends Noli tumbling into the Otherworld where the handsome huntsman Kevighn wants her as the next blood sacri-fice to help restore his dying world. V arrives in the Otherworld to help Noli, but before they can return to the mortal realm they navigate the dangerous in-trigues of the Otherworld and convince the High Queen to send Noli home while dealing with their emerging feelings for one another. But if Noli lives, an entire civilization will die.show more

Product details

  • 12-17
  • Paperback | 408 pages
  • 132.08 x 203.2 x 25.4mm | 362.87g
  • North Star Editions
  • FLUX
  • Woodbury, Minnesota, United States
  • English
  • 0738732486
  • 9780738732480
  • 495,960

About Suzanne Lazear

Suzanne Lazear is the author of the Aether Chronicles series for young adult. In addition to writing for teens, Lazear gives presentations on the steampunk subgenre at conferences nationwide--resplendently attired in all the bustles and whistles. She is a regular contributor to the steampunk-themed blog, Steamed!, and is an active member of the Romance Writers of America (RWA) and the young adult debut author groups the Apocalypsies and the Class of 2k12. Lazear has her master's degree in public policy from Pepperdine University. She lives with her family in Los Angeles.show more

Review quote

"In addition to creating an intriguing world and cast, Lazear weaves real substance into her story." --Publishers Weeklyshow more

Our customer reviews

A steampunk faerie read? Count me in. I love the feel of the cover of this book, but after reading it, it didn't seem like the perfect fit. Melding steampunk with faeries has got to be hard to do. Steampunk tends to feature a lot of metal object and faeries tend to have that pesky allergy to iron, so Lazear took a big risk with this idea. The faerie world is mostly separated from the real world anyways, so not too many issues there. The amount of steampunk in the story was much less than I expected. It felt as if the beginning featured it and then it mostly dropped out of existence when we entered the faeries realm. I wish it would have been a bigger portion of the story as that was what made it the most unique. Something that rubbed me the wrong way was the different names - for each character. The main character, Magnolia, is called that sometimes and then Noli the rest of the time. Her friend through most of the book is one name, but then later she only goes by a nickname. Kevighn also has a nickname he is called, and V (who is not to be confused with Kevighn due to the V in his name) has two additional names as well. V's brother and sister also have multiple names. Ugh. A nickname here or there sure, an alternate name for one - ok...but these were all the largely followed characters in the story. So annoying, that I made sure to write down this fact as I was reading the book - in case I forgot to mention it when it came time to review it. (Oddly enough, this was not something I forgot about.) The ending also offered no explanation for the school Noli goes to, nor the violence and perversion that she is dealt out. It didn't seem like a portion that would be revisited in a future novel, so I don't really get it. I'm not sold on whether or not I will continue with this series. I think the writing has left me wanting. ARC reviewed by Jessica for Book Sake.show more
by Jessica
When I first heard about this book I was instantly intrigued because, as I will admit, I am a little bit addicted to anything Fae. Add a gorgeous cover and synopsis and hey presto! you have a recipe for greatness. Or do you? Well in the case of INNOCENT DARKNESS, it so happens you do! Sixteen year old Magnolia Braddock, or Noli, lives at home with her mother. She enjoys tinkering with her brother Jeff's old flying car and has a handsome best friend by the name of Steven Darrow, or 'V' as she calls him. Only thing is, much as Noli enjoys fixing things up and trying to help her mother round the house, it doesn't stop her getting into trouble - and taking out Jeff's old Pixy without a licence, failing to stop for the police and then crashing it into the garden is the last straw. Noli's hoyden ways have landed her well and truly in it this time. Her mother can no longer cope and so Noli is sent to reform school at Findlay House to straighten herself out. Her mother may never have sent her there if only she had realised just what awaited Noli behind closed doors. Whether it was the leers from the doctor, the stints she did in the Sensory Deprivation Tank or the times the horrid woman in charge nearly drowned Noli - her mother clearly wouldn't have been happy knowing these things were happening to her daughter. But of course, she'd never find out because the girls weren't allowed outside contact. No phone calls. No letters. No visits. Nothing. Noli managed to make one friend within the walls of Findlay, her name was Charlotte. She was in there because her awful Uncle abused her and her mother found out, so she thought that Charlotte would be better where he couldn't get to her. One day, the girls are in the little secluded fairy garden when a man looks through the fence and introduces himself. His name is Kevighn Silver. Little do the girls know, Kevighn is the High Queen's Huntsman and every 7 years she needs him to find a Sacrifice- this is a young girl who possesses the Spark. He goes out and finds them, seduces them and then the magic binds them and they die in order to replenish the land. This, is what Kevighn has in mind when he sees the girls that day. He knows they both possess the Spark, but will either of them go with him? After a particularly bad day at Findlay, Noli finds herself hiding in the tree in the fairy garden. She makes a wish that she was anywhere but there and that is exactly what happens. The tree transports her to the land of the Fae. She hadn't really thought that the tree could transport her anywhere, she was just thinking out loud. She certainly didn't think that she'd end up somewhere she didn't recognise and with Kevighn Silver, of all people. That's what comes with her having made a wish on the Solstice, her wish was granted, just not in any way she could imagine. Kevighn convinces her to come back to his home with him. He says he can help her. So she goes with him, but she still doesn't really realise where she is or what's going on. All she knows is she isn't at Findlay any more and she doesn't know how to get home from wherever she is. She has hopes that Kevighn has the knowledge of how to get her home. Noli asks Kevighn to help her get home and he does little to try to actually help. He just side-steps her questions and distracts her with trinkets and stories and such. He's hoping that the longer she is there, the magic will come and bind her. But he doesn't tell her the real truth about the Sacrifice, he doesn't want to scare her off. He wants to seduce her with his good looks and charm, then she will be what is needed and the land will be replenished before they all fade away and die.. But Kevighn didn't know what he was letting himself in for. Noli is not the kind of girl to take things lying down. She's feisty and she wants nothing more than to get home. There are times when he manages to distract her, but she's a girl with her own mind and she knows what she wants. Kevighn didn't expect her to be so unlike the other girls. They were easy to distract and came willingly to his bed, thus meaning they give themselves to him and without knowing it, they give themselves to the land and become the much needed sacrifice. This is a truly remarkable story that I was head over heels for from the first page. It's fast-paced and well timed. It has fun, it has action and it has two lovely boys who are very hard to choose between. I think I may just be a bit more of an advocate for Kevighn though, but that's in line with my bad-boy addiction. I can't, or don't want to believe places like Findlay House would have existed. It struck me right in my heart and my gut when the Doctor puts her through "treatments" - whether she's in the sensory deprivation tank or almost being drowned, it hurts to see and feel Noli in such a dire situation. I love all the characters and feel that they are developing at a decent rate, they aren't overly rushed. I think Suzanne Lazear knows exactly what she wants from the characters and how to get them there. Yet I think that somehow, they also play out at their own rate and take Suzanne where they want to go too. It's a delicate balance between the two and I feel she has it just right. I enjoyed the story very much, though there were times when Noli had a really rough ride and I was getting upset and frustrated on her behalf because she couldn't see what was coming. I look very much forward to the next book and to seeing where Noli ends up. Suzanne has you on the edge all the time. There's moments where you can laugh out loud, moments where you want to strangle someone, moments where you want to cry for Noli and a lot of other things that happen in between. There's stolen moments of intimacy that just add another dimension to the story. Should she just give up on going home and stay with Kevighn? Should she give in to her urges and not care that it means she's a hoyden after all? Should she give up on V or should she wait?? You are kept guessing and questioning things along the way. My heart wanted her to go with Kevighn, my head told me she shouldn't. After all, he is the Huntsman for the High Queen. All that he did for her was out of duty... Wasn't it? Whereas V, he's her best friend, he wouldn't hurt her... would he? Suzanne has fast become an author that I really rate and will look forward to reading books from in future. she isn't someone whom you can easily forget because her book packs a mean punch. She's a clever and tricky woman. In fact, I think she's a fairy because you get trapped in her land and can't seem to find an escape. Do I really want to escape is the question I should be asking myself. The answer is, no, I don't think I do! As you can probably tell, I loved this story and I am having a hard time shutting up about it. But I'll stop here and just tell you, you need to read this book. If there is any "must-buy" book this year, Innocent Darkness is it!show more
by Keren Kiesslinger
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