Review: Scent of Darkness by Margot Berwin

Scent of DarknessFind on Goodreads. Purchase on Amazon.

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.



On Tuesday, I did a teaser for this book (posted a short quote). Remember that? Well, here is it again:
“The room was still warm, and with my scent on the rise I feared that he would linger, unable to pull away, and I did not want our first meeting to include his lips on my face. But I had nothing to worry about.” -Scent of Darkness (page 90)

I love this author’s writing! Her choice of words and how she uses them really caught my eye. The first sentence above, for example: it’s really a simple sentence, but the author uses words like linger and short phrases like with my scent on the rise (rather than something like, “With my smell growing stronger…”). I just really enjoyed it, and it kept me reading.

The problem? That was the only thing that kept me reading.

The main character, Evangeline (Eva), was a lady that lacked willpower. She accepted her fate, and the answers came to her. She didn’t fight. She didn’t even try. Evangeline: Oh, I did something horrible? It’s ‘kay, I’m under a lot of stress, I’ll be forgiven. In the meantime, where is that boy I kissed that my boyfriend found out about? Mmmm, he was yummy.
The characters were all like that. Naïve idiots. I really couldn’t connect with any of them.

Now, I expected there to be a little action. You know, searching high and low for answers.. nope! I had it wrong! Funny, that was the only surprise I got in this book! *laughs dryly* Everything was so predictable it almost hurt.

There was insta-love galore, but Evangeline seemed unstable anyway, so I let it pass.

There were some really quotable moments in this book, quotes containing really great life lessons. They just didn’t hit as hard because I couldn’t relate to the person telling them to me.

Spot-on writing, rock-like characters, a huge lack of surprises.. this book wasn’t for me, but the author might be.

I also feel I have to add another vague example for Evangeline: in the story, she meets this guy. She’s soo attracted to him, this is what she says.., “I knew there were no ifs. No point in wondering if we were going to have an affair. If it would be good. Or if I even wanted to go ahead with it. I was simply thinking of how it would be.”
Yes, so.. you already have a boyfriend who loves and cares about you, but you’re just givin’ in to those delicious, ancient desires. No qualms at all, really.

She let people use her, people she knew wanted to suck her dry, and day after day she went back again.



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