Ari is a teenager who has been stuck in the foster child program due to her mother’s suicide at an early age. While life has been hard for her, Ari finally finds a good foster family to live with but she still yearns for answers to her mother’s death. At the sanitarium where her mother died, Ari finds out that New Orleans might hold some information that could lead her to the answers she desperately seeks. In this story, New Orleans has been left abandoned after a series of hurricanes has devastated the area. The only people living there are the stuff of nightmares. Ari chooses to go into the danger alone but eventually meets people she learns to trust.
Keaton has crafted a story that, at first, seems similar to other occult teen romance novels. There is a disaffected teen who doesn’t fit in thrown into a smattering of vampires, precocious pre-teens with amazing powers, ancient curses and a world turned upside down. I was afraid it would be too much like Twilight but Keaton was able to prove me wrong.
Her heroine is quite able to take care of herself due to years of abuse and neglect. The other characters are interesting and add spice to the story without taking away form the plot. I liked how the author used the idea of civilization abandoning a major city, leaving it to form a new type of existence. I was also pleased with her explanation of the origin of the curse that haunts Ari and her ancestors.
I can easily recommend this book to teens who are looking for strong female characters. Those who love Greek mythology might also like this book. It took a little bit of time before I got into the story but once there it picked up speed. Just one bit of warning, there is a fair amount of profanity in the story. While some may not find it offensive, others could be turned off by it.
Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton. Simon Pulse. Reprint 2012.