Tag Archives: A Darkness Strange and Lovely

A Darkness Strange and Lovely (Something Strange and Deadly #2) – Susan Dennard

A Darkness Strange and Lovely (Something Strange and Deadly #2) – Susan DennardTitle: A Darkness Strange and Lovely (Something Strange and Deadly #2) by Susan Dennard
Publishing Info: July 23, 2013 by HarperCollins
Source: Anderson's Bookshop
Genres: Historical Fiction, Paranormal, Steampunk, Young Adult, Zombies
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: March 30, 2014
Related Posts: Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly #1), A Dawn Most Wicked (Something Strange and Deadly #0.5), Strange and Ever After (Something Strange and Deadly #3), Truthwitch (The Witchlands #1)

    With her brother dead and her mother on the verge of insanity, Eleanor Fitt is utterly alone. Even the Spirit-Hunters - Joseph, Jie and the handsome, enigmatic Daniel - have fled to Paris. So when Eleanor begins to hear the vicious barking of hounds and see images of haunting yellow eyes, she fears the worst - that the Dead, and the necromancer Marcus, are coming for her.
To escape and search out the Spirit-Hunters, Eleanor boards a steamer bound for France. There she meets Oliver, a young man who claims to have known her brother. Though friendly, Oliver entices Eleanor with necromancy and black magic, yet as long as she can resist his powerful temptation, she'll be fine. But when she arrives in Paris, she finds that the Dead have taken over the city...and there's a whole new evil lurking. With the body count rising, Eleanor 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.

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A DARKNESS STRANGE AND LOVELY has been on my “can’t wait to read” list pretty much since it came out last summer and I FINALLY read it months later. Well, better late than never and hey, there’s a bright side because now the series will be more fresh in my mind for when the last book comes out this summer!

It had been a while since I read SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY and I forgot to refresh myself before I started A DARKNESS STRANGE AND LOVELY so something I really appreciated was a brief refresher from Susan Dennard about what happened in book one. It was done so well, including dialogue between two of the characters to really recap the events of book one in a way that didn’t feel repetitive and was still and important part of the story. The book surely didn’t start off slowly either — right off the bat, a LOT is set up to preface the rest of the book and set the tone of the whole novel and I was really excited to get going!

So as we know, the Spirit-Hunters are off in Paris and naturally, Eleanor ventures off to the only place in the world where she feels like she really belongs… Off to France we go! Since the series is already set in a historical time period, the difference between the United States and France didn’t have a largely different feel for me personally (I like France, but I’m not a Francophile so I can take or leave the setting) but I did enjoy the different atmosphere and different aspects of France that ended up playing important roles in the story itself! I was glad we caught up with the Spirit-Hunters fairly quickly because I really enjoy the team dynamic a lot and of course, I was anxious to see how things would turn out with Eleanor and Daniel!

There’s also a new character, Oliver. Given that I love all Olivers, I knew I would instantly gravitate towards his character and I really, really liked everything that he added to this layer of the story that is the Something Strange and Deadly series. Oliver is mysterious and a little bit dangerous (INSTANT like, right here) and he also encourages Eleanor to explore her abilities and really just think for herself… Although he also does it in a way that sort of makes me not trust him. DO I TRUST HIM??? I battled with it the whole book and I almost still don’t know. Eleanor’s friendship with him is in direct conflict with her partnership with the Spirit-Hunters so there is some major drama, concern back and forth, and a whole lot of “who can we really trust?” that had me reeling the whole book, never quite sure what to expect.

I really loved how the series grew and progressed in this book. Questions were answered, more popped up, and the series really reached a point where I’m ready for it to all be resolved in the final book and I can’t wait to see exactly how that happens! I really only have one minor issue with the series so far and that’s the language — I’m still not quite connecting with it and some of the dialogue and time-period jargon feels a bit forced at times, but still keeps the book moving and really puts you in a different place! I haven’t been totally “wowed” by it but I’m anticipating an epic conclusion and I’m excited to see how it all wraps up!

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“The View from Goodreads” is a new featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

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Eleanor // Character Obsessions: Spirit-Hunters, Elijah’s letters, magic.
I really enjoy Eleanor’s spunk but sometimes she’s a bit stubborn for my tastes! I do have to say that if I was in her place, I would probably do the same things about learning how to handle magic and I would be all over trying to use it just like she did. I do like that she takes action and honestly, I see a lot of similarities between the two of us, except she’s probably more bold than I am!
Daniel // Character Obsessions: Germany, learning, inventing, lookin’ sharp.
I’m kind of sad I didn’t get to see more of Daniel and more Daniel-Eleanor interaction. The missed opportunities and failure to communicate grew a bit frustrating and I’m sure they’ll work out their differences in the next book but one of my “second in a series syndrome” issues is when couples are essentially physically separated or sort of broken up in book two. I know they have issues, but I wanted the romance to progress and grow instead of fracturing.

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Kept Me Hooked On: Zombies. Who knew I would enjoy zombies so much? I just love the magical subplots, family involvement, and a sort of Ghost Busters team for the zombie age.
Left Me Wanting More: Romance. I really wanted to see Daniel and Eleanor together! That was one thing that I really longed for throughout the book and really could have just pulled it all together just a little bit more. Romantic glue, if you will.

Addiction Rating
Read it!

I really enjoyed this as the second book in the series! I had a couple small issues, but still really enjoyed it and I can’t wait to finish out the series with STRANGE AND EVER AFTER this summer!

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(Click the cover to see my review!)

        Born Wicked       Cruel Beauty

Book and a Beverage Author Edition | Susan Dennard

Book and a Beverage

Welcome back to BOOK AND A BEVERAGE!

I’ve been hosting the Book and a Beverage feature for a while now and I really wanted to expand the feature to extend to authors in 2014! I’m so excited to share these author Book and a Beverage posts with you and as always, many many thanks to the wonderful authors who participate!

Give a big welcome to author SUSAN DENNARD!

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Name:  Susan Dennard
You know her best as the author of… Something Strange and Deadly, A Darkness Strange and Lovely, and Strange and Ever After coming out this summer!

      

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READING:
What are you reading? I am rereading an old favorite fantasy series of mine by Kate Forsyth—the first book is The Witches of Eileanan.
What’s important that we should know about this book? Would you recommend it? I definitely recommend it! The first book is a tad weaker in terms of prose (aren’t all debuts?), but the series is REALLY incredible. The characters are just so rich and the world so sweeping. I love it. (Especially the slow-burn romance!!)
What are your top three books you would recommend to other people? Oy, it really depends on what the person likes to read! I suppose the three most common recs I give are: Sabriel by Garth Nix (even though I like Lirael more, the first is amazing and you have to read it to get to book 2. :)), Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell (I have read and reread this book more than any other on my shelf), and A Room With A View (this book’s heroine was a huge inspiration for Eleanor).

WRITING:
What can you tell us about your current work in progress? It’s an epic fantasy called TRUTHWITCH (see the Pinterest board here: http://www.pinterest.com/stdennard/truthwitch/) that’s set on a continent ruled by three empires, where everyone is born with magic and the Twenty Year Truce in a centuries long war is about to end.
Are you a pantser or a plotter? A bit of both, really. You can actually read a super in-depth series on my process, here: http://susandennard.com/2013/10/11/how-i-plan-a-book-part-1/
Do you have a favorite spot to read/write? I like to write (by hand in a notebook!) on my couch with my dogs beside me OR at my standing desk (with my teeny-tiny, internet-free laptop). As for reading, I’m a bed-reader. No place better than under the covers!!

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What are you drinking? Water. I actually probably pound too much water in a day. (I have to pee constantly. Yikes.)
What’s your favorite thing to drink while reading/writing? I LOVE coffee when I work, but I’m trying to cut back. I’m down to 1 cup a day (and it is so sacred—I have a whole ritual around that one precious cup) and then herbal tea the rest of the day.

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If you were to co-author a book with someone (anyone!), who would it be? I already get to coauthor with my dream writer—Sarah J. Maas. You can read our free space opera here: http://thestarkillerscycle.tumblr.com/ 🙂
Which character from a book would you say you’re most like? Uh…..*blinks* I have no idea. But I can tell you who I wish I was: Childermass from Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell (yeah, I know he’s a dude. Don’t care. I want his skillz.).

Thank you SO much, Susan! Holy holy holy cow, I get more and more excited the more I hear about The Truthwitch! If you haven’t read Susan Dennard’s series yet, I highly recommend these books! They’re fun, smart, and action-packed!

I hope you enjoyed getting to know a little bit more about Susan Dennard on Book and a Beverage! Find her at the links below!

Website // Blog // Twitter // Goodreads // Facebook // Pinterest

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