Review: Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber

Genre: paranormal, historical fiction, romance Age Level: young adult Series: Magic Most Foul #1
Genre: paranormal, historical fiction, romance
Age Level: young adult
Series: Magic Most Foul #1

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.


What a fascinating idea for a story! I loved how it was inspired by The Picture of Dorian Gray a novel I enjoyed. I should stress that is inspired by and not influenced by, for Darker Still is a rather original story. It is filled with romance, mystery and horror with a very unique concept.

Darker Still is written in the form of diary entries which immediately appealed to me. Diary entries are in some ways even more personal that a first person narrative, as the character is spilling their deepest secrets. It also keeps the pace of the story fast as only the important events are mentioned in as much detail as necessary.

Natalie’s character is wonderfully developed. After witnessing a horrible accident in her youth, she became mute, and it was fascinating to see the world through the eyes of someone who is unable to speak. She is stubborn and brave and independent, caring not what society thinks of her.

Mrs. Northe is a fantastic character as well, motherly and sophisticated. I loved the spiritual aspect of the novel, though at certain times things bordered on being cheesy. Lord Denbury, or Jonathon, is amazing. I wish I could meet someone like him. He’s supportive of Natalie, caring, funny, charming, smart, witty, courageous… not to mention extremely good looking. Their relationship is insta love, but before you groan, it actually works in this case and their relationship still develops as the novel progresses.

Though undoubtedly dark and spooky, this isn’t a book that should be best read in daylight. It’s the kind of book, for me at least, that is perfect for a light read. The plot moves quickly, it isn’t very serious or complex and it is almost effortless to read. I have a feeling the next book will be slightly darker and am looking forward to reading it!

Have you read this book? What did you think? I’d love to hear from you!


2 thoughts on “Review: Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber

  1. I really liked this one as well! It caught me off guard at just how creepy it really was. I hadn’t read (and still haven’t) The Picture of Dorian Gray, although this book really made me want to! I’m excited to read the rest of the series. Great review!

I love hearing from you and will always reply!

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