Circa 2012, a massive storm turned New Orleans into a “natural” disaster zone, and the US government ordered an evacuation. Nine wealthy families banded together to form the Novem, and bought the land. People live in New 2 at their own risk, and the area is said to host supernatural beings.
Ari Selkirk is a foster teen in 2027, with naturally teal eyes and waist-length white hair that cannot be changed. (In other words, she’s a “special snowflake”.) The women in her family are cursed to give birth and commit suicide all before aged twenty-one, and Ari is close to eighteen. She’s in New 2 to investigate the origins of the curse and how to remove it. She joins a band of misfit kids, gets involved with the Novem, and battles a Greek god.
With mental illness, genuinely spooky kids, and Mardi Gras, Darkness Becomes Her should easily find a place on any reader’s wish-list. The particular kinds of creatures in the prison cells are genuinely surprising. Less so are the vampires, shape-shifters, and witches elsewhere in the novel. Young girl Violet is rather uniquely creepy, while Athena is the designated big baddie with no shades of grey. And Ari is more powerful than anyone expects, adding to the “special snowflake” vibe. New 2 seems somewhat cliché or stereotypical, so doesn’t feel fresh or exciting.
I rather like this novel, yet I feel disappointed. And I’m not even PMSing.