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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.
I normally wouldn’t read a book like Innocent Darkness, but I’m also a sucker for a boarding school story, which is where Noli is sent after a race through the sky in a flying car.
This book is marketed as steampunk, but I’m not totally convinced it should be – there are surely some steam punk moments, but we are much more in the land of fairies and fantasy than we are in gears and goggles (that may sound ridiculous, but I will admit now that I have never read a steampunk book. When Steve asked what I was reading I showed him and he said “Oh like Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld” and I told him good job :) ).
The story at the boarding school is short lived, but I sure did hate the lady in charge there. Some of the elements reminded me of Return to Oz, where Dorothy is sent to get “therapy” because of her “dreams.” (Have any of you seen that movie? It’s one of my ALL TIME FAVORITES.) After Noli is introduced to Kevighn, the story starts to move a little faster as she leaves the reform school and starts to figure out Kevighn’s motives.
My favorite part about this book wasn’t actually Noli (who is a strong girl character, though slightly hard to connect to) – instead, it was V, or Steven, Noli’s next door neighbor. I am a bit partial to the name Steve since that’s my husband’s name, but I also love that V is more than he appears within the first few pages.
Overall I enjoyed Innocent Darkness more than I thought I would, but this could be because it wasn’t as steampunk as I was expecting. I’m not chomping at the bit to read another steampunk book, but I think this could be a good introduction to the category, since it worked pretty well for me.