Monday, September 2, 2013

Book Review: A Darkness Strange and Lovely by Susan Dennard

Monday, September 2, 2013
A Darkness Strange and Lovely (Something Strange and Deadly, #2)
*Warning: If you haven't read the first book in this series, this review may contain spoilers for Something Strange and Deadly*

Genre: Historical Fantasy
Publisher: HarperTeen
Series: Something Strange and Deadly #2
Age Group: Young Adult
Website
Source: Bought
Following an all-out battle with the walking Dead, the Spirit Hunters have fled Philadelphia, leaving Eleanor alone to cope with the devastating aftermath. But there’s more trouble ahead—the evil necromancer Marcus has returned, and his diabolical advances have Eleanor escaping to Paris to seek the help of Joseph, Jie, and the infuriatingly handsome Daniel once again. When she arrives, however, she finds a whole new darkness lurking in this City of Light. As harrowing events unfold, Eleanor is forced to make a deadly decision that will mean life or death for everyone.
Where do I even begin with this review?

A Darkness Strange and Lovely met my expectations and then some. It's a wild ride of necromancy, betrayal, trust, hope, despair, the Dead (or les Morts), romance, and so much more. And just like last year with Something Strange and Deadly, I'm left anxiously waiting for the next book.

Unlike SASD, which is set in Philadelphia, this book takes place in late 1800s Paris, which I loved. It's the perfect setting for the Spirit Hunters to do their work with all of its ancient beauty and elegance. (It was also nice to leave Mama Fitt behind. I mean, I said that she's mostly justified in her expectations, but it's great to see Eleanor out from beneath her mother.)

Since Eleanor has been on her own for awhile, she's a very different character from the one we met so many pages ago. At her core, she's still made of the same stuff (bravery, kindness, loyalty, intelligence), but she's tougher. She also begins to dabble in necromancy which results in this twisty internal battle PLUS an external battle with her friends. All of this conflict kept me turning the pages, to say the least.

But Eleanor isn't the only one who has changed: Daniel is practically unrecognizable (at least at first). To be honest, Daniel's attempts to fit in with the upper crust are adorable and saddening all at once. Despite his identity crisis, the aforementioned romance is present once again and oh my goodness it is even more heartbreaking. Nothing is ever easy for Daniel and Eleanor and since they're one of my favorite literary couples, I spent a lot of the book biting my nails off. I don't know how to explain it exactly without spoiling it or becoming incoherent. I suppose you'll just have to go read the book. ;)

Allison is another character who has transformed, largely because of her brother's death. She has a lot of potential for the next book and I can see her becoming one of my favorite characters, surprisingly enough.

There are also some new characters who bring with them interesting twists. Oliver (a man- kind of- who claims to have known her brother) is charming, but can he be trusted? Laure (a girl Eleanor meets on the way to France) is fun, but only briefly introduced. However, I think there's more to her than we see in ADSAL.

Basically, I can't wait for more. I can't wait to see how else Eleanor develops, what happens with her and Daniel, what happens to one vital character that I can't mention because of spoilers... I could go on and on. I'll end with saying if you haven't read A Darkness Strange and Lovely yet, please, go get a copy now!
*5 stars*
A Quote from the Book: "You are strong and independent, I told myself as I unlocked the door. Capable and clever. No males needed.” 
Okay, how much do you guys love Eleanor and Daniel? 

14 comments:

  1. I highly enjoyed the first in this series -- so different, so enjoyable. I definitely felt for Daniel, trying to fit in with the upper crust and being snubbed again and again. I'm interested to see how he's changed (along with the rest of the cast of characters).

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    1. Didn't you just want to give him a hug?

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  2. I loved this book, but I did want to smack Eleanor and Daniel a bit. Talk to each other! And it was cute what Daniel was trying to do. And the "empty" box...it was just so sweet and sad! I'm worried about all the necromancy stuff and where that is all going to lead. Can't wait for the next one! ~Pam

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    1. The "empty" box made me want to cry for Daniel! Too sweet and heartbreaking!!

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  3. Still need to read it! I'm going to order it, but I want to see if there's an option to get a signed copy first. (I'm such a sucker for signed copies, but me living in the Netherlands kinda gives me limited options...) However! I so want to read more about Daniel!
    *frustrations! haha*

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    1. Signed copies are the best, but I can see how the international shipping thing might be a problem. If I hear of any place you can get one (that won't be exorbitantly expensive), I'll let you know!

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    2. Thanks! that would be awesome! I know Schuler Books has them, regular price... but (here's my ever lasting problem) they don't ship to the Netherlands. So thanks for being on the lookout ;)

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    3. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you! It stinks that they don't ship to the Netherlands!

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  4. This book looks so good! I have been wanting to read this one for a while now. I'm glad you enjoyed it so much. I need to get my hands on a copy of it.

    Thanks for the great review

    Michelle @ Book Briefs

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    1. Hope you love it when you have the chance to read it!

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  5. The best part of the book is when they all get back together. It makes me so happy and the novel just feels more complete.


    Aly @ My Heart Hearts Books

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    1. Yes! I loved the first part, but having them all reunited is the best. It feels like Eleanor is coming home. :)

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Your comments brighten my day. :)