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Innocent Darkness

(The Aether Chronicles #1)

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  1,230 ratings  ·  232 reviews
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 wil
Paperback, 408 pages
Published August 8th 2012 by Flux (first published August 1st 2012)
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Average rating 3.57  · 
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Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
Innocent Darkness is a story about Noli, a girl who lost her social status and her chances for a good marriage when her father disappeared, and is forced to go to a boarding school for troubled girls, from where she is later taken to Faery to become the human sacrifice that will save the entire realm. She is found and taken by the queen’s ruthless huntsman Kevighn. He somehow falls in love with Noli even though she’s just one of many girls he’s kidnapped and brought to his queen to be killed. No ...more
Mar 13, 2012 rated it did not like it
I had such high hopes for this book, but unfortunately, I did not like it at all. I really struggled to finish it, and I felt the characters and the dialogue were very irritating. And sorry, this book is NOT recommended for steampunk fans.

I really wanted to like this book, but it was not what I was expecting - and not for the good either. The cover was awesome - spunky yet exotic at the same time - but the cover was in no way a representation of Noli at all. And she sure didn't dress like that (
Feb 21, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: magick, faerie, 2012-dac
How does the saying go? “Good Steampunk is hard to find?”

Ok. So maybe that’s not precisely how it goes, but sadly, that fact doesn’t make the statement any less true.

I’ll admit, Innocent Darkness first caught my eye because of it’s cover. Adorned with gears, a dirigible, the obligatory corset/pocket watch/brass-’n-leather goggles combo, and a rebellious looking heroine ready to flout Victorian-era conventions, this cover said to me, “Hi there. I’m steampunk. Grab a cuppa and read me.”

And I said
What a promising start to a debut novel. I was transported back in time to the turn of the 20th century Los Angeles, a place where hover boards and zeppelins fly in the sky. Our heroine, a “sparky” girl named Noli repairs cars and other gadgets. Noli takes her best friend V (Steven) on a joyride in her lovingly restored flying car. Of course, the ride or rather the flight, did not end well and Noli and V crash land in her backyard. Noli is detained for flying without the proper license. She is f ...more
Aug 15, 2012 rated it it was ok

Sixteen year old Noli is sent to boarding school after getting in trouble. Her mum hopes that her time at boarding school will help her become a lady and increase her chances of finding a husband. Noli hates boarding school, she makes a wish to escape whilst unknowingly sitting in a faerie tree, the wish sends her to the Otherworld.
Kevighn Silver, a huntsmen from the Otherworld is tasked with finding a mortal girl that has 'Spark' (talent/genius) so she can be sacrificed to stabilize th
Kimberly Sabatini
Mar 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mg-ya
Recently I went to a writer's conference where everyone was debating what the "next big thing" in YA literature was going to be. Some people argued that contemporary is on the rise and it was also suggested that steam punk has yet to see it's day. But what everyone seemed to think was the most probable was a mash-up of some of our perennial favorite genres--a blending of some of our best loved reads. The first thing that came to mind when I heard this was INNOCENT DARKNESS--a steam punk faerie t ...more
*headdesk* Why oh why do I do this to myself? I knew about halfway through that this was going to be one of those books that I was going to regret reading, but did I stop reading? Nope! That's because I still have this ridiculous need to reach the end of a book in the vain hopes that the story will get better, the characters will be less annoying, that it will stop being so gosh darned feeble and tedious. BUT THEY NEVER DO!!!

To be fair this book started out ok. It was never going to be amazing,
Sep 15, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, fantasy
I am an avid reader of young adult novels, and not ashamed to admit it. Once you are past the age where reading level is the main factor in what you choose to read, it doesn't make sense to me to worry about whether you are reading books aimed at a much younger audience. For the most part, I hold young adult novels to the same standard as the adult ones, rarely thinking, "I would probably have enjoyed this more if I read it as a teenager." That thought seems patronizing to me; I had discriminati ...more
Jun 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Innocent Darkness is a fantastic novel. This is the way I like my Steampunk: with just enough steam machines and gadgets that I know I'm reading one without it taking over the storyline. I also love fearies, so this was a wonderful addition. Lazear's writing is impressive. I was so intrigued that I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. Glued to the pages, I couldn’t get enough of these great characters. Noli is the kind of girl main character I really do enjoy. She’s strong-willed, confident and ...more
Oct 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this book. Seriously. I love steampunk. I love faeries. To find an author that had the vision to combine the two?? I'm in serious fan-girl mode, people! SERIOUSLY.

Okay, let me try to talk myself down a little bit here...become a little more coherent. LOL. Let's see. Why did I LOVE this book? Well it starts out with a girl who refuses to become the perfect little society Lady taking a flying car for an illegal joyride...awesome. Then she gets sent to a reform school (read punishments and
Sarah Elizabeth
(Source: I own a copy of this book.)
16-year-old Noli isn’t prepared to be sent to a horrible reform school when she crashes her father’s flying car that she has spent years repairing. Finley House is a nightmare though, and whilst wishing that she could be anywhere else, Noli accidentally finds herself in the land of Faerie.
Can Noli make it back to her own world? Or will someone else make use of her first?

This book wasn’t what I was expecting, but I did enjoy it.

Noli was an interesting character
Keren Hughes
Mar 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 call
Oct 19, 2011 rated it liked it
*Genre* Steampunk, Romance, Young Adult
*Rating* 3.0

*First thoughts*

Innocent Darkness follows the exploits of 16 year old Magnolia (Noli) Montgomery Braddock. Noli lives for excitement, and has an affinity for bringing flowers back to life and making them flourish. She would love to study Botany at the university. Unfortunately, she lives in a world (1901 Los Angeles) where women can't have full operational driver’s licenses without being escorted by an older gentleman. They also don't have equal
Mar 07, 2012 rated it liked it
The cover of Innocent Darkness called to the cover whore inside me and she immediately had to have it. I mean look at it~ in all of its steampunk finery. As the first book in the Aether Chronicles I went into this book expecting a steampunk novel with a fantasy twist. What I got was a young adult fantasy with a steampunk mention. I am noticing a trend in YA novels that seem to cross multiple genres and I am personally not happy about it. It waters down the genres and has me as a consumer leery a ...more
Oct 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Egalley thanks to Flux Books

Pretty good read which strongly reminded me of Melissa Marr's fae series. However, I think the cover misleads you in a lot of ways. I thought this would be steampunk, but it's only slightly steampunk-ish.

Noli is a young mechanic and a daughter of an impoverished lady, who is strongly opposed to her doing any sort of manual work. When she gets into trouble flying a car she just fixed without a permit and a license, the police gives her a choice - to pay for her crimes
M. Andrew Patterson
Apr 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: paranormal, steampunk
Absolutely loved this book. Having never read steampunk in novel format, I wasn't sure what to expect. Can I just say that this was an awesome introduction. I have now added words like "Dollymop" to my vocabulary (which is an awesome word, but I wouldn't call a woman from the Victorian era that or you'll get slapped!) and my other favorite "Hoyden".

The language, technology, and story were so well crafted and believable. I can only imagine the immense amount of research that went into this book.
May 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Suzanne Lazear nailed her debut novel! It is the perfect combination of Steampunk and Faery Tale! The characters are amazingly written and the world Suzanne has created really comes to life in your mind. I highly recommend reading Innocent Darkness! (Also, Noli is just an awesome heroine.)
Jun 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
As posted on booknook - YA and Fantasy book reviews

I was first drawn to this book by the cover. I think it’s gorgeous and really interesting. I love the depiction of Noli and immediately wanted to read the book! Unfortunately, the cover art is a very poor representation of what this book is about. There is very little steampunk and Noli doesn’t even dress like the girl on the cover. She mostly wears fancy dresses and was appalled at the idea of wearing a sleeveless dress.

The beginning of the boo
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Noli Braddock likes to tinker, as one does when one's a bright girl in an alternate steampunk version of 1901 Los Angeles. She and her friend Steven take her flying car for a joyride and get in trouble. Unfortunately, it's not Noli's first time in trouble and she's sent to a horrific boarding school in San Francisco where she'll be made into a proper young lady.

Meanwhile, there's trouble across the aether in the realm of faerie. They need to bind a bright young girl to the magic so she can be sa
Lizzie Stone
Dec 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Oh my gosh I loved it! Recently I've only been reading books because I have to for school assignments but this one caught my eye and I binged it in a day. Will probably start the second one way too soon because I love V!!! ...more
A hoverboard appeared in her rearview mirror. "This is the Los Angeles Air Patrol," a voice boomed. "I command you to land your vehicle in the name of the law."

Noli Braddock and her best friend V's incident with a flying auto have landed them in a heap of trouble. And when Noli is sent to a spirit-squelching reform school in San Francisco, she's sure that her rebellious adventures are over.

Meanwhile, Kevighn Silver has been ordered by the Faerie Queen to bring a mortal girl back to the Otherworl
usagi ☆ミ
Okay, so, this one's another hard one for me to nail down in order to review. There was a lot I liked about it, and on the other hand, there were a few bits that just didn't quite ring true. However, I did find it compulsively readable, and by the end, I knew I was going to be reading that second book. "Innocent Darkness" is a fun look at alternate history, and will probably be great to get younger readers started on the steampunk subgenre.

"Innocent Darkness" is pseudo-Steampunk, or maybe proto-
Dark Faerie Tales
Sep 26, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed-by-emmy
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: Though the novel starts out as a promising steampunk, it quickly becomes another paranormal love triangle with some confusing contradictions in the story line.

Opening Sentence: ”Still working, Noli?” V’s voice startled her, making her bang her head against the undercarriage of the automobile.

The Review:

At the very beginning of the novel we learn our heroine’s a troublemaker. Fighting the constraints of Victorian California society, she tinke
Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids
A fascinating debut that's one part steampunk, and one part fantasy mixed with magic, fey lore and romance.

Innocent Darkness was a fascinating read for me, because of the unique mix of elements and lore that Suzanne includes in her story. While Noli's story starts out feeling more Steampunkish, than fantasy, the story quickly takes a turn towards fantasy, and introduces readers into the faerie realm about a third of the way in, thus ending the story's ties to being a steampunk. Normally I would
Molli Moran

I haven't read very many steam punk novels, but after I finished the debut book from author Suzanne Lazear, I can definitely say that I will be making an effort to read more! Innocent Darkness is equal parts delightful, enchanting, sinister, and curious, and definitely put me in a mood to delve deeper into the steam punk genre. I loved the clever way Lazear mixed fey mythos - both traditional, and her own flair - in with the notion of an alternate 1901 Los Angeles, with air ships, hover-crafts,
Elisabeth Wheatley
I have had this book sitting on my shelf since last autumn and have been letting it loiter around collecting dust for months. I confess that the reason was greatly due to another steampunk I read and didn’t enjoy very much. I don’t have a lot of experience with the genre (this is the second one I’ve tried), so I wasn’t sure if it was just that book or not. Turns out, it was just that book. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this one and I plan to pre-order the sequel!

The plot:

I thought this
Feb 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Sweet is the first word that comes to mind when it comes to describing INNOCENT DARKNESS. There’s something sweet and innocent about the main character and the story that makes the transition from the mortal world to the fae world almost believable. Almost everything about the novel is original, whether it’s the characters, the setting or magic. As a debut novel, I think the mash-up between steampunk and fairy is unique and works very well to create an engaging story.

Magnolia, or Noli as her fri
Mar 29, 2012 rated it did not like it
When your favorite part of the book is the front cover, that's a pretty big sign there's a problem. But well, some books just don't fit you. And unfortunately Innocent Darkness didn't fit me. I'll try to make this quick, so it's not a super duper crazy rant.

I loved the idea of Steampunk meets Faeries. However in this case, I feel like the fey aspect overrode the Steampunk so much that they didn't work well together. The development of the Steampunk aspect was very little and almost seemed to be
Jul 30, 2012 rated it it was ok
This curious tale set in an alternative world in the early 20th century has romance, magic, a touch of steam powered technology and some brutal reality. Even in these enlightened times there were restrictions on women. So, when Noli, Magnolia Braddock, and her best friend V, Steven Darrow, take up a Pixymobile she had repaired there are disastrous effects. After a high speed chase with the police, she wrecked it and was sent to a boarding school for young women of high spirits. But the school wa ...more
V.J. Chambers
Aug 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance, fantasy, ya
I picked up Innocent Darkness last week, but I didn't get around to reading it until last night. I couldn't put it down.

There's very little not to love about this YA read. To begin with, you've got a spunky lead who doesn't want to be proper. Got to love stories like that.

Secondly, there's a whole very Jane Eyre sequence in a boarding school/reform school. (Honestly, that's the element in the blurb that made me pick this up.) The truth is, of course, that Noli really isn't a bad girl. She only l
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Apr 25, 2015 12:33PM  
Totally YA bookwo...: Innocent Darkness 1 3 Jul 09, 2013 01:47PM  
Vaginal Fantasy B...: Possible book idea 23 260 Jul 23, 2012 06:56AM  

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Suzanne Lazear writes books that end in "punk." She is the author of the the elfpunk series THE SECRET LIVES OF ROCKSTARS and the steampunk dark fairy-tale series THE AETHER CHRONICLES. She likes cupcakes, cute boots, and hanging out with her family. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter and will one day make a working cupcake cannon.

She always plays with swords, is never describe

Other books in the series

The Aether Chronicles (3 books)
  • Charmed Vengeance (The Aether Chronicles, #2)
  • Fragile Destiny (The Aether Chronicles, #3)

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“Miss Gregory took nearly everything. Her clothes. New girls don't have the privilege of wearing their own clothes. Her books. Socrates, Plato, Shakespeare? Much too stimulating. No wonder you have Ideas. Certainly, you don't wish to become a bluestocking! 3 likes
“No, I didn't thank them, but I forgot with you. I still see you as V, as my best friend, not some prince, even an exiled one. It still sounds so strange."
"I only want to be V when I'm with you. Though I have to say," his eyes met hers as a smile played on his soft, kissable lips. "I'd like to a be a little more than your best friend." Taking her hand, he kissed her palm, a slow, lingering kiss that left her gasping for breath even though his lips were nowhere near hers.
"What?" The word caught in her throat.
"Did you dream of me, Noli?" His lips brushed her ear. "I dreamt of you."
"I did. They were..." Her toes curled at the memory of her dreams, those kisses. "Pleasant."
"Pleasant? I seem to remember them being far more then merely pleasant." His green eyes danced in amusement.”
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