Innocent Darkness (The Aether Chronicles #1) by Suzanne Lazear
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 will perish
Although Innocent Darkness looks like it's a Steampunk novel, it actually has very little steampunk in it. The beginning chapters explaining a world of Aether and flying crafts, but as soon as Noli is whisked off to the Faerie Realm of the Otherworld. The land of Aether disappears, and occurs very early on in the book. As the series is called The Aether Chronicles, I am almost positive that she will return to her homeland.
Noli is enrolled in a school far away from home, not wanting to leave her mother. The school for troubled girls and is ran by very strict people and she is miserable. When she is kidnapped and taken to the Otherworld as a human sacrifice. I was expecting this to be the most exciting part of the story, but I felt that once she enters this other realm the pacing and story began to fall.
Noli's character didn't really stick with me, as soon as she started begging her mommy not to make her go to the school I found her childish and very naive which didn't grow any stronger throughout the story. Normally at this point I would recommend the book to younger readers, except the author throws in some heavy subjects that are not suitable for younger readers (in my opinion)
Unfortunately this book just wasn't for me, I saw some good things in it and was hoping some of the ideas would have been broadened. I would have liked to see more character growth in Noli, but expect they have extended that to grow through out the series as a whole ( I would hope anyway)
There are some deeper subject brought up like drug use (opium) and sexual abuse.