Review: Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber

Darker Still 
Author: Leanna Renee Hieber
Release date: November 8, 2011
Published by: Sourcebooks/Scholastic
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Miss Natalie Stewart hasn't uttered a word since the death of her mother when she was just 4 years old. Her father has never pushed her to speak again and has allowed her to be her own person, but when the mesmerizing painting of Lord Denbury arrives in New York City she find she too is deeply drawn to it. When she pushes her father to acquire it for the Metropolitan Museum of Art she meets the new owner of the painting, Mrs. Northe, and soon forms a closer friendship with her then she has had in years with anyone. As Natalie is drawn closer and closer to the painting by Denbury's eyes pulling her in, she touches the painting and finds herself falling into a world of mystery, darkness and the paranormal...will she be able to save the beautiful Lord Denbury? How can she save anyone when she can't even speak out loud? Will she overcome the darkness before it overcomes her and the ones she loves?

My thoughts: I ADORED this book! And I'm so MAD at myself for not picking it up sooner! It's smart, scary, mysterious, full of intrigue and snarky socialites, seances, ghosts, demons and just plain brilliance!!! I absolutely cannot wait for the next book to come out this November. I didn't realize until I was reading Darker Still that I haven't read a story in first-person point-of-view in a long time and thoroughly enjoyed it. Natalie's point-of-view was fascinating but also added a seriously scary element since she's cannot utter a sound or warning if she needs help! Plus, there were a couple extremely creepy nightmares that I somehow read both times while I was lying in bed in the nighttime which completely freaked me out! I think my imagination is just too intense! Jeesh!

The cover of the book is completely gorgeous and drew me in immediately! The description made me think of Wilde's Portrait of Dorian Gray, which I read a long while ago, but has left a permanent mark on me! What a deliciously dark story! Hieber did not disappoint! If you like Gothic tales, impossible romances, paranormal mysteries and the late 1800's of New York City...then this is for you! What a well written and completely imaginative tale that kept me on the edge of my seat from cover to cover! Hurry up November and get here so I can read book 2 in this deliciously dark Magic Most Foul series! Bravo Hieber, Bravo!

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