Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Review: A Darkness Strange and Lovely by Susan Dennard

Title: A Darkness Strange and Lovely
Author: Susan Dennard
Series: Book Two in the Something Strange and Deadly Trilogy
Published By: Harper Teen (July 23, 2013)
Source: Purchased
Genre: YA Paranormal/Historical
My rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
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.









It is so very hard to resist a book set in another time and place. One riddled with rich historic detail while still holding true to a darker gothic steampunkish feel. Throw in some pretty amazing paranormal aspects and you really do have one heck of a read. One that will enthrall you and hold your attention until the very last page, quite simply, you just won't be able to get enough. 

Ms,. Dennard has truly created something of a masterpiece. 

This book picks up months after the first left off and we are once again thrown right back into Eleanor's world as she tries to deal with her brother's death and betrayal, the Spirit Hunters absence and her mother's illness, not to mention the loss of her hand.

Eleanor is...well, I would like to say stronger than before, better than before but that isn't all true. She makes a lot of really horrible mistakes and learns some pretty hard things because of it and while she might sometimes appear to be weak with the magic that flows through her that she still doesn't understand, she isn't. In fact she truly has grown up a lot, has overcome a lot. And has become something fierce if not slightly jaded.

Okay so I wanted to shake her a few times throughout the story and shout at her to wake up and see what was really happening right in front of her but overall, I was proud of who she has become.

This story starts off a little slower than the first, not quite second book syndrome, but close. Or maybe it was the lack of Daniel in the first half of the story that was truly lacking and not the action at all, for things do happen on Eleanor's trip to Paris, significant things, significant mistakes and misunderstandings but not having the Spirit Hunters there with her, by her side, was a little disappointing. 

It is the second half of the book that really picks up, when things really start happening. When questions are answered, tempers flare and disaster is lurking around the corner waiting to pounce on Eleanor and her friends. That is when the real fun begins.

I truly loved this, slow parts and all and look forward to reading the final installment. I have high hopes for it and I know with Dennard's attention to historic detail, her ability to weave a tale and her amazing way of uncovering truths and half truths, it will be quite the bittersweet ride. 






*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

34 comments:

  1. I have not heard of this series, but it sounds great. Thanks for sharing. The cover is beautiful!

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    1. This is a great series, you should check it out Becca, I bet you will like it too. :)

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  2. I have to read my copy of the first book so I don't know much about it. I'm sorry this didn't really live up its predecessor but I'm glad you're still looking forward to reading the next one, despite your issues.

    Great review :)

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  3. There were definitely times I wanted to shake Eleanor too Ali, but like you said, I was proud of who she was in the end. She had to deal with some really crazy and really painful things, and I couldn't always blame her for her decisions. Can't wait to see what you'll think of book 3!

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    1. Glad you felt the same way! I just finished book three and I have no words!!

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  4. I've really been wanting to start this series, I think it's one I'll really like!

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  5. I've read the first book in this trilogy and really enjoyed it, need to get to this one soon :)

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    1. Definitely. The last one will be out soon.

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  6. I enjoyed book one and for some reason never snagged this. I am glad despite the need to shake her that there was growth in Eleanor. Wonderful review Ali :)

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    1. I hope you decide to continue the series Kim.

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  7. I haven't read this yet but I have both books two and three scheduled so I can catch up. I am glad that this shakes off the second book syndrome in the second half.

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    1. I hope you love them both Heidi, book three was...tough.

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  8. I'm glad the book picked up in the second half and that you ended up enjoying it. I still need to read the first book! Lovely review :-)

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    1. Ooo you need to read this series Lauren, I know you will like it.

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  9. This sounds good. I am glad you enjoyed it. You review is great.

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  10. I am a fan of unique settings, and I think I would love the historical/steampunk/paranormal feel to this series. I'm glad you enjoyed it, even if you wanted to shake Eleanor a few times. Thanks for the great review. I need to make sure this series is on my tbr list :)

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    1. I hope it is because if you are a fan of either genres you will really like this one I think.

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  11. Crappidy crap crap ... I need to read this but I'm just not feeling it right now. I hope my mood changes soon.

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    1. You definitely have to be in the right mood to read these for sure. Hopefully you can get to it soon.

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  12. I still have to pick this one up, but I'm so excited to (even more so after reading your review). I'm glad that despite the slow start the book really picks up. I love Daniel, so it's too bad that he's not in the first part of the book, but I think I'll enjoy it nonetheless. Amazing review :)

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    1. I love him too. He is by far a favorite.

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  13. I also love when books are set elsewhere and in another period, it's always so interesting. I confess that sometimes I want to do more than shake the heroine when she does stupid things lol. But well if her change is good overall it's what is important. I really need to try this book, it sounds great!

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  14. I have got to read this series! It's been on my tbr for FOREVER and I have at least one if not two of the books (one of them is an ARC), so I will definitely be reading them this year, just probably after June. Great review!

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    1. Thank Tressa, I hope you can get to it soon.

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  15. I have no excuse for putting-off reading this one for so long. I preordered back in the day, and not long after that discovered that Dennard is BFFs with Sarah J. Maas (my current favorite YA author), and their exploits (followed via blog posts, etc.) are hilarious, so I've been super curious about it . . . but still haven't managed to work it in. I MUST though. Great review, and thx for the motivation!

    Jessica @ Rabid Reads

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    1. Oh my gosh, I had no idea they were BFF's. I love Maas' work too! Okay now I have to check out their blogs for sure.

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  16. sounds like a very interesting series. Glad the book picked up for you in the second half!

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  17. Sad thing is, I have both books on my e-reader, but always find excuse why to skip them. They got my attention because they reminded me of The Infernal Devices and I love that trilogy.
    Did you got ARC of third sequel on Edelweiss? :)

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    1. Yep! And I read it and really liked it. I wasn't prepared for how sad parts of it were though.

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