Sep 15, 2013
Title: A Darkness Strange and Lovely
Author: Susan Dennard
Publication Date: July 2013
Overall: 3 out 5 stars
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.
I expected more from A Darkness Strange and Lovely. The first book drew me in and made me care about Eleanor and her misfit friends. This one was just missing something.
I still liked Eleanor, but in the first book I felt like she was independent. In this installment I felt like she played the victim quite a bit. It’s not that I feel she should’ve let the Hell Hounds eat her, but I wanted her to own it instead of feeling slighted. Of course Joseph and Daniel don’t understand, because they don’t know the situation. So explain it. I felt like that was my biggest problem with her is that she became highly secretive. Not that she was overflowing with trust in the first book, but by this point they are her closest friends. She should have faith that they will stand by her, but they can only do that if they know the truth.
Oliver was a difficult character for me. He’s a demon. But not a bad demon. Like a demon with a soul, which is just incredibly odd. Also, I felt like he manipulated Eleanor. I think he does truly care about her, but that ultimately he has his own interests at heart. I’m far more interested in Oliver, than the main bad guy. Oliver is mysterious, and I think there is much to learn about him.
I kind of figured out the main bad guy fairly early, so that was a little disappointing. However there was a person who was assisting him, who took me by complete surprise. I definitely didn’t see that one coming, and I love being surprised in books. I thought Dennard did a great job creating the settings and mood in this novel. It was difficult because A Darkness Strange and Lovely took place in Philadelphia, Paris, and on a ship. Dennard is always creative, and has a great imagination for plot twists. I always look forward to see what tricks she has in store.
Overall, this book was under-whelming for me. I enjoyed it, but just not on the same level as the first one. Eleanor grew in this book, but I’m not sure that I love the new Eleanor. I also would’ve liked to see more of Daniel and especially Jie. The scenes with Daniel were difficult, and I love that they don’t have an easy romance. Still I would’ve liked to see a little more in that department. Poor Jie got about 5 lines in A Darkness Strange and Lovely; I know it’s set up for the final installment, but she was a favorite from the first book and I would’ve liked to see more.
Overall I would give this book 3 out of 5 stars. As part of a series I think it’s essential to read it. I will be keeping a lookout for the next book, and I expect it to be so amazing that A Darkness Strange and Lovely will go down as a perfect bridge between the first and final novels.
3/5 – Worth Reading
**Please Note: This review is my honest opinion and I did not receive monetary compensation from it.**
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