Friday, May 31, 2013

SCENT OF DARKNESS

Everyone has a unique scent.

Title: SCENT OF DARKNESS
Author: Margot Berwin
Genre: Urban Paranormal
Publisher: Pantheon
Released: January 29, 2013
Pages: 240

I'd like to thank the author for providing me a copy with this book in return for an unbiased review.

Favorite Line/Passage:
I walked down the long, wide, sweeping staircase to the first floor. She must have had it built in this way because she came from the South, where the width of a staircase had meaning. The stairs themselves probably missed her southernness and her slow, northeastern gait, feeling their own graciousness going to waste. 


Description: Evangeline is eighteen years old when her grandmother gives her the ultimate gift-a scent she has created just for her. From the moment Eva places a drop on her neck, her entire life changes. Previously unnoticed, she becomes the object of intense desire for everyone around her. Men dance close to her; women dip their noses deep into her hair; even the cats outside her bedroom cry to be near her. Gabriel, the quiet student Eva has admired from afar, falls head-over-heels in love with her. But soon the gift begins to control Eva's life: strangers follow her around, sniffing and touching her at every turn. When Eva meets Michael, an artist who barely registers her smell, Eva wonders if he is the one person who can love her for herself. Or is her scent impossible to escape? A bewitching, wildly imaginative novel steeped in the mythology of perfume, Scent of Darkness seduces the reader's every sense.

BRING ALONG +1

My Splats: a sensual tale that bewitches the mind, tantalizes the heart, and stimulates the idea of a person's scent and how it truly effects others.

The premise of scent intrigued me from the start. We've heard of pheromones and how they invisibly affect people, but I'd never thought of scent and its abilities. Many vivid descriptions were used throughout the book to draw the reader into the plausibility of this theme.

Mentions of the Bayon and New Orleans, Cypress swamps and marshes carry an eerie and mysterious scent of its own. The reader is drawn to more intrigue as the setting deepens, permeating a strange yet teasing aroma.

Eva has a soft, distant, and almost guarded relationship with her grandmother. Although there is current action between the two, most was given in hindsight and Eva remembering specifics about her grandmother. The story soon amped up with mystery, using Eva's memories and a bottle of scent her grandmother had made just for her. This scent seems to become apart of her, drawing attention to her and making her irresistible to her boyfriend, Gabriel, and a strange male character, Michael--Gabriel's landlord.

Michael seemed quite charming, at first. But, to be honest, soon he gave me the creeps. He was one of the people you'd meet in a grocery store line and just know you should stay away. But of course, Eva soon becomes entangled with him, but in a way you'd never expect. I won't give it away, but it is a bit strange--creative, but strange.

There was something distant about Eva though, like a piece or ingredient about her was missing or a more intimate thread between Eva and myself. In the author's defense, this could have been her intention. Leaving the characters on the surface for most of the book made me calculate my own conclusions, kind of the same way we do in life.  And as the story progress to the final 30 pages, I realized that might have been it afterall. Once I reached that point in the story, all three characters deepened, as each shared with the reader what he/she had learned about the world and each other.

Gabriel made up a bit for those misgivings, at least for me. I liked the safe sense he gave me as I read and how much he truly cared for Eva. To this end, questions about life, death, and the in-between braided through Eva's thoughts and actions.

There was something deep and profound about this read, an element about life unseen and what that means. It even made me ponder how that applies to me, to each of us.

In the end, I'd say it was a solid read and I'd recommend it to older YA readers, the age categorized as New Adult, and readers who enjoy pondering life and its meanings.

What are your thoughts on this whole scent thing? 

4 comments:

  1. A long time ago I read a book called Perfume which was very interesting, and a bit creepy. Your review of Scent of Darkness reminded me of that book, which, I think was made into a movie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh, I'm going to have to look into that. It was creepy, yes. But in a I-want-to-keep-reading-with-a-hand-over-one-eye sort of way. There was a lot intriguing about this idea; kept me reading.

      Delete
  2. This sounds like a really neat story.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sounds like a great read and new take on the senses. And I adore the setting.

    ReplyDelete

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