A Darkness Strange and Lovely by Susan Dennard

A Darkness Strange and Lovely by Susan Dennard

Release Date: July 23, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Series: Something Strange and Deadly, Book 2
Rated: YA 14+
Format: Hardcover
Source: Borrowed
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads Website

Read my review of Something Strange and Deadly HERE

With her brother dead and her mother insane, Eleanor Fitt is alone. Even the Spirit-Hunters—Joseph, Jie, and the handsome Daniel—have fled to Paris. So when Eleanor hears the vicious barking of hounds and sees haunting yellow eyes, she fears that the Dead, and the necromancer Marcus, are after her.

To escape, Eleanor boards a steamer bound for France. There she meets Oliver, a young man who claims to have known her brother. But Oliver harbors a dangerous secret involving necromancy and black magic that entices Eleanor beyond words. If she can resist him, she'll be fine. But when she arrives in Paris, she finds that the Dead have taken over, and there's a whole new evil lurking. And she is forced to make a deadly decision that will go against everything the Spirit-Hunters stand for.

In Paris, there's a price for this darkness strange and lovely, and it may have Eleanor paying with her life.

Before I start go on to give my thoughts on this book, can we please just appreciate how gorgeous the cover is? I mean that dress and steampunk-ness alone would have made me read this book. I’d read Something Strange and Deadly ages ago and I was a little afraid that I wouldn’t be able to remember what had happened in the book. Reading reviews of the first book from other bloggers and readers brought me back up to speed for the most part, but I found myself missing key scenes. Reading this instalment was a little challenging because of this as I couldn’t remember who characters were, who had died and what was the standing relationship between a couple of them. However, as the book went on, there was some recaps as to the events that occurred during the previous book and that helped me to understand where on EARTH I was concerning the story’s timeline with reading A Darkness Strange and LovelyI really enjoyed this book– I haven’t read a paranormal book in a while, and one about zombies in an even longer time. Steampunk is something you don’t come across often in YA, but I’m so glad that it’s growing because it’s a cool twist on history by introducing new inventions and such.

Eleanor still somewhat annoyed me from time to time in this book, but in some ways, her character has also improved. I like that she’s a little more headstrong and confident, has actually taken charge of her life and done what is necessary to live alone. The whole “Miss Fitt” thing still bugs me because she mentions it EVERY TIME somebody calls her that (misfit. Yes we get it.) because she clearly thinks the whole world is making fun of her and has nothing better to do. I really loved Oliver’s character. His involvement in the book is much greater than I imagined but I enjoyed it. Of course, even the Spirit-Hunters! Joseph, Jie, and Daniel (swoon). The relationship with Daniel is a little awkward at first, but oh gods, DANIEL IS THE LOVE OF MY LIFE.

There were a couple twists along the way, some were very easy to guess. I like that we also got to learn more about demons, as they’re both important in this book and the next. The setting was interesting as well, and now I find myself wanting to go to Paris – yes, the descriptions of les morts did not hinder me. I actually understood the French in this book so now I feel pretty accomplished about it! But it’s really basic French, so those who never learnt it can get a sense of what’s being said.

A Darkness Strange and Lovely was dark, suspenseful and terrifyingly beautiful, and I can’t wait to read the next book. Dennard’s sophomore novel was enchanting, and while I’m sad to be heading into the final book, I have high hopes for what’s to come.

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