Monday, February 25, 2013

Scent of Darkness

Author: Margot Berwin

Source: Publisher

Released: January 29th, 2013

Summary: (goodreadsEvangeline 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.

Review: A tangling web of events occur in this New Adult Fiction novel, so rapidly that the reader may be left questioning what exactly was it that happened? Evangeline starts out an ordinary girl her age. A troubled relationship with her mother causes her to feel very alone when her beloved grandmother passes away. But an interesting twist begins her relationship with the hot waiter/medical student she saw one time. Except it isn't necessarily the type she wants.

Evangeline's flaws become rapidly apparent and her low self-esteem is almost palpable. She does not adapt well and refuses to admit to reality. Although the magic of scent is woven in to seem realistic, at times it is so closely woven that the reader wonders if it may not all just be in the unreliable head of the narrator. Evangeline evokes frequent sighs of annoyance from the reader through her senseless actions and infatuation with the power the scent provides her.

The scent really carries her rather than the other way around. Her newfound sexual power is misused and she entangles herself with a parasitic undesirable when she has hoards of men to choose from. And she forgets about who she claimed to love. She embodies the sentiment that it would be better for her to be loved than for her to love someone more. In short, Evangeline is lousy.

The prose was incredible! The writing elicited emotion and the descriptions brought a delightful sensory experience to this novel. It almost feels like the author wasted her talent in writing a piece with so little sensible plot. It was as if the label "New Adult" was a mold she was trying to break into. I've heard the term "College Erotica" thrown around to replace NA, and sadly this novel could easily be construed as so.

Margot Berwin is an amazing writer. The words were so beautiful at times that heartstrings were pulled. Tension and emotions are precisely described and the book was vivid. Berwin just chose to tell the story of a not-so-interesting college girl in need of counseling. Despite the negative reaction to the main character, this is still a recommended novel for those who love art and especially the art of writing.

Rating: 1 2 3 4 5


  1. Thank you so much for this review! I'm the author and I'm really thinking about this one. I'm glad you liked my writing tone and style. I worked hard on that! I never thought about genre at all while writing. I don't think that's a good idea--but maybe I should have. I learned the term New Adult only after the book came out and people started saying it to me. Then I joined the New Adult club on goodreads to see what it was all about but it still doesn't seem like this book. Anyway...fascinating review for me to read....
    Thanks again,
    margot berwin

    1. Thank you so much for visiting and taking the time to write a response! As a reader, I can only pull from my own experiences, so it is really good to hear about the approach you took in writing this novel. It provides a more holistic view.

      Your writing is absolutely stunning. I think that because of that, this book will resonate with me for a very long time and I certainly look forward to your future projects!


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