“Do not remove the stopper, Evangeline, unless you want everything in your life to change.”
When Evangeline opens a vial that her late grandmother, an aromata, leaves for her, her life changes. People – men, women – are drawn to her scent. She meets Gabriel and Michael, one good, the other dark and alluring, who fall for her, as she tries to uncover the secret of the mysterious scent.
This book reminds me of Patrick Suskind’s Perfume, but it didn’t quite have the same level of suspense or, well, an intriguing main character. It’s not about liking the character – I don’t remember liking Suskind’s main character – but about having an interesting well-developed character. And while Suskind’s was rather compelling, Berwin’s Evangeline just didn’t really interest me.
The daughter of a single mother, she is shoved off to her grandmother every summer, and so when her grandmother dies, Evangeline is lost. She is young and naive and moves in with sweet Gabriel, who later introduces her to the dark Michael. And these two men, especially Michael, are drawn in such ways that they are distinct opposites, black and white, good and evil.
It wasn’t the right read for me. I think it has to do with the whole magic realism thing. I don’t do so well with these kinda of books. Fantasy, sure, but magic realism, not really.
However Scent of Darkness had some glimmers that interested me. Berwin hints at the seduction of scents:
“Jasmine smells like human flesh. Mix it with cumin, which smells like sweat, and you have the scent of sex. If you spread it on your body, watch out, you’ll have sycophants all over the place, people crawling out of the woodwork to be close to you.”
But I just felt like she didn’t take it far enough. I wanted more about the scents, or to be pushed or pulled further into this world. Parts of the book were a bit repetitive, at other times the setting (New Orleans), the seductive scent intrigued me. But in the end, I felt too disconnected from this book to enjoy it.
I received this book for review from TLC Book Tours.
Don’t forget to check out the rest of the tour stops:
Monday, February 4th: Broken Teepee
Tuesday, February 5th: Tiffany’s Bookshelf
Wednesday, February 6th: Olduvai Reads
Thursday, February 7th: Reflections of a Bookaholic
Monday, February 11th: girlichef
Tuesday, February 12th: Luxury Reading
Wednesday, February 13th: Let Them Read Books
Thursday, February 14th: Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile
Tuesday, February 19th: Conceptual Reception
Wednesday, February 20th: Urban Girl Reader
Thursday, February 21st: Queen of All She Reads
Monday, February 25th: Great Imaginations
Tuesday, February 26th: A Dream Within a Dream
Wednesday, February 27th: Under My Apple Tree
Friday, March 1st: Romancing the Book
Monday, March 4th: Jenny Loves to Read
Wednesday, March 6th: Kahakai Kitchen
Wednesday, March 13th: Boekie’s Book Reviews
It’s been interesting to see the different responses to this book. Nice to experience how different readers reacted. Thanks!
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book for the tour.
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