January 14, 2012

Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber

Release Date: November 8, 2011
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Pages: 317
Series: Magic Most Foul
Review Source: For review from Raincoast

Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
I was obsessed.

It was as if he called to me, demanding I reach out and touch the brushstrokes of color swirled onto the canvas. It was the most exquisite portrait I'd ever seen--everything about Lord Denbury was unbelievable...utterly breathtaking and eerily lifelike.

There was a reason for that. Because despite what everyone said, Denbury never had committed suicide. He was alive. Trapped within his golden frame.

I've crossed over into his world within the painting, and I've seen what dreams haunt him. They haunt me too. He and I are inextricably linked--bound together to watch the darkness seeping through the gas-lit cobblestone streets of Manhattan. Unless I can free him soon, things will only get Darker Still.

My Thoughts:
I totally fell in love with the premise of this book from the moment I heard it. A curse, a soul trapped in a painting, and only one girl can communicate with the trapped lord? It sounded page turning and intriguing, but unfortunately it just... wasn’t. I liked the book well enough, as in I cared about the characters and I wanted to know what would happen, but I definitely wasn’t wholly invested.

I’m wondering if the diary format had something to do with how I felt about the book. I almost felt like I didn’t really get to know the outside characters that well because of it, and yet I also didn’t even feel like I knew Natalie, our main character, all that well either, because the diary gives such a straightforward account. And then there was the romance which just wasn’t all that exciting or believable. In the end I feel like this is one of those “okay” books that had an interesting plot but wasn’t engaging enough for me to remember the characters a week or so after reading it.

The Cover:
Doesn't especially intrigue me, but it's pretty.


Find Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber on Goodreads, Book Depository, & Amazon.


  1. The premise of this one definitely had me intrigued -- sort of the same eerie feeling as The Portrait of Dorian Grey -- too bad it failed in the telling :(

  2. Yesterday when I was at a bookstore I literally stood in front of this book for 5 minutes debating whether I should buy it or not. After having read your review I am quite glad that I didn't! *Grumbles about fanatabulous sounding synopsis's*! ;)

  3. Sorry this one didn't live up to it's premise. It sounded intriguing-and the cover is pretty, but sometimes that's a bad sign.
    Hope your next book is more enjoyable.

  4. This one looks so cool - I'm very intrigued!

  5. That blurb reminds me a lot of The Portrait of Dorian Grey (which I LOVE!), but bummer to hear that the book's a bit of a let down. I've only read a few successful books written entirely in diary format--a lot of others I've tried fell flat for the reason you hit on with the other characters not being fleshed out as well.


  6. Mmm... for what I've been hearing this book lacks a bit of sense of danger because we are always being told what happened after the fact. he premise sounded awesome, though

    1. Yes, that is exactly it! I mean, you always *assume* the protagonist will make it out alive, but you're still experiencing it around the same time. But when Natalie is like "oh you'll never believe what happened, let me tell you about last night" you're kind of like "oh... ok then"

  7. I didn't realize this book was in a diary format...that can be tricky to pull off. Thanks for your honest thoughts :)

  8. Diary formats can be a bit difficult to read sometimes. It sounds like it should be a bit darker and tension-ridden than it is.

  9. AWWWW it's too bad you didn't love it! Personally I thought the cover was really cute but it can be hard to follow a book in diary format. I may try this book because of it's premise...sounds unique!!! Great review :)


    Tempest and The Eternal One's Giveaway!

  10. I'm sorry you didn't like this one too much! I was a bit disappointed, but I definitely still enjoyed it. I managed to connect with Natalie though and found her quite an unusual heroine! :)

    Great review.

  11. I'm going to have to check this one out. I love diary formatting. I'm sorry that you didn't like the book much. Thanks for the review!


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment; I appreciate each one!


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