A Darkness Strange and Lovely by Susan Dennard (Something Strange and Deadly #2)
Published HarperTeen 2013
Genre: Young Adult Steampunk
Format: Hardback from the library
From here, there will be spoilers from the first book! If you have not read Something Strange and Deadly, the first book in the series, do not continue with this 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.
Okay…so, I was extremely excited for this book. I loved the first one – it was just so original compared to anything that I have ever read or heard about. Therefore, I was excited to see how the sequel would live up to the first book in this series.
This book picks up a little bit after the events of the first book. There is a little bit of the first chapters that take place in Philadelphia, but the majority of the book takes place in Paris, France. I really liked this change in setting. It added for so much more adventure and new things that could happen. Zombies are such a small genre, so I really enjoyed having a new setup in France. However, I did feel like it was a little different from the first book. There is still an overall main goal – to find Marcus, but the majority of the book was more concerned with a new villain who is raising the dead in Paris.
Eleanor is so much stronger than this book. She really grows up. One of the major influences in this is Oliver, Elijah’s demon. Eleanor starts practicing necromancy, also like her brother, and this is something that really changes her. Weather this is for better or worse is kind of left hanging, so I hope we get to see her full adjustment between choosing the dark or light magic. She really grew up a lot through this experience. This is also a really good book because of her. She’s not a normal heroine and I really liked that.
Susan Dennard writes an amazing story. Sure, it is a little predictable at times, but the action scenes are really fun. All the characters are well fleshed out. I really liked the new characters of Laure and Oliver, but the other minor characters were also given more background. I really love the romance between Eleanor and Daniel, so I wish we got more of that. It was the same thing as in the first book – lots of waiting for a big kiss at the end and then everything ruined by the end of the book. So that happens. I hope that finally gets repaired in the last book. However, I heard there was a major character’s death at the end of the last book! So, now I am filled with anxiety until July.