Monday, July 29, 2013

A Darkness Strange and Lovely (Something Strange and Deadly #2) by Susan Dennard - Ashley's Review

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Title: A Darkness Strange and Lovely
Author: Susan Dennard
Year Published: 2013

My Pre-Reading
My Something Strange and Deadly Review
My A Dawn Most Wicked Review

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.


Review: Ohmygosh you guys. This book. Like I don't even think I have words to describe how amazing this book was. I was up so late finishing it because I just couldn't put it down. I didn't think it was possible, but this book might be even better than the first one. I'll try to keep things as spoiler free as possible...

I absolutely love Eleanor, and I love how different she is in this book compared to Something Strange and Deadly. She's stronger, braver, and willing to do whatever it takes to protect herself and those she loves. She does make some bad decisions, but who doesn't? I do think that the Spirit Hunters were all very quick to judge her though, and that kind of annoyed me. I mean, give the poor girl a break and let her explain herself.  

Speaking of the Spirit Hunters, I thought it was interesting that they really weren't in the book as much as I expected. Don't get me wrong, they're there, and they're important, but it just seems like they had a bigger presence in SS&D. This book felt very focused on Eleanor, and it worked very well. I just missed them. And I was very sad not to see as much of Daniel as I hoped. I adore him and the scenes he was in, and it's obvious how much cares for Eleanor. Seeing him all dressed up and trying to act like a proper gentleman made me laugh too, because it was just so out of character - at least the character I knew before. I think it makes it all the more endearing when he slips back into his normal habits though. 

I could go on about the characters all day though, especially Oliver, Laure, and all of the other new people we're introduced to. Even the minor characters are so well developed that I feel like I know them all. Dennard does an excellent job expanding the world she's created, and seeing Paris through Eleanor's eyes was really cool. And I really enjoyed the irony of the darkness in the City of Light. And learning what the Darkness that is Strange and Lovely is! Figuring out where the title comes from in the book is one of my favorite things ever.

Although this book takes place over the course of maybe a month (it might be longer, but it feels like about a week), everything is very fast paced and flows so smoothly. I never felt like things were dragging or that we were given detail just for the heck of it. Everything is important, and if you play close enough attention, you can definitely figure out all of the twists and everything without it taking away from anything. I literally could not put the book down, and never wanted it to end.

I'm so sad that now I've got to wait a whole year again, but that just gives me time to read these books all over again. I definitely recommend this to anyone who has read the first book. If you haven't started the series yet, do it ASAP! Especially if you are looking for a new twist on zombies, a strong heroine, romance with a very swoon-worthy boy, adventure, action, a little bit of steam punk, and a dark story with comic relief. I would most definitely give this one a 5/5, and can't wait until I can get my hands on the conclusion to this trilogy! I will certainly be doing a re-read later this year too. One of my favorite books and series by far!


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