Thursday, December 10, 2015

Throwback Thursday: A Darkness Strange and Lovely by Susan Dennard

Some of you may know that I originally had my own blog, Beauty but a Funny Girl, prior to joining Bookish (now Bookish Lifestyle). I was thinking the other day about all those reviews I left behind when I transferred and thought they should get some love too - no matter how badly written and newbie they come off! So I present to you: Throwback Thursday Reviews! Every once in a while I'll post an old review from Beauty but a Funny Girl, unedited in terms of content, with the exception of any spelling or grammatical mistakes. It's definitely going to be fun and interesting to see how my tastes and writing style have changed over the years!

Something Strange and Deadly #2
Young Adult, Romance, Steampunk
Publication.Date:July 23, 2013
Pages:406 (hardcover)
Published By:  HarperTeen
Website:Susan Dennard 

A Darkness Strange and Lovely on Goodreads
My review copy:

Where to get:

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.


Originally posted August 1, 2013 on Beauty but a Funny Girl

Sooz and I need to have a conversation. We have many things to discuss:
  1. Who do I have to fight to get book three?
  2. What are you doing to me?
  3. When are Eleanor and Daniel going to get their shit together?
  4. Where is book three?
  5. Why can't I have book three now?
  6. How do you sleep at night, knowing your readers are suffering? (In a good way)
  7. Most importantly: GIVE ME BOOK THREE! Please?
 I read A Darkness Strange and Lovely in a day. One day. I plopped my butt on the couch and there I stayed. The only time I had to take a break was during dinner - I'm still forbidden to read during that time, but luckily Joe took over the cooking.

I hadn't read Something Strange and Deadly until last July, I read that in a day too. When I was stalking Susan online I found out that she was coming to a town 30 minutes away for a signing! I was so stocked! She is one of the sweetest people I have met and I'm so glad I have a signed book by her! I lucked out in my timing on this, but this just means that I now have to wait quite a bit for book three. No mere weeks in between reading sessions this time.

There is nothing about this world that I don't like. I love the characters (new and old), the setting, the mystery and intrigue behind the plot, Eleanor's stubbornness and refusal to listen to those around her, the romance!

Eleanor travels to Paris, where the Shadow-Hunters currently are, as Marcus has been creeping around Philadelphia. I do feel bad for Eleanor has her life has essentially turned to shambles. She is utterly alone, with the exception of Mary, and has next to no possessions. Once Marcus does make his presence known, she spends her emergency fund to get to Paris and meets Oliver and Laure on the boat over. Side note: Sometimes I wish we still traveled by boat.

I could take or leave Laure, but I love Oliver! He is such a unique character and continually cracks me up. He's sarcastic and witty, and honestly and truly cares for Eleanor. (As a sister, folks. Susan isn't introducing a love triangle here. *sigh of relief* Besides, I'm not sure who could complete with Daniel.) I knew I was going to love Oliver in an early scene on the train ride to Paris:
"Tell me what everything is," I ordered, my face smashed against the window.

Oliver scooted beside me and pointed. "There's a house, there's a house... that looks like a boulangerie, and there's another house."

I glared at him. "I mean the famous places. The Arc de Triomphe or the Louvre or Notre Dame or-"

"All the places that aren't beside the train tracks." He snorted. "Patience, El. You'll see them in good time." (138)
The romance here is much like it was is Something Strange and Deadly. It's subtle. There is more tension as Daniel and Eleanor have already meet, which just makes it more frustrating! Whenever the two are together you just want to yell at them to shut pan and kiss! There is are one two three scenes between them that are my absolute favorites: in front of the fountain, below the Paris Opera House, and inside Madame Marineaux's house in the end. I must have been grinning like an idiot when I read them - and I'm pretty sure I'm grinning like an idiot now. But it's totally okay because it's Eleanor and Daniel.

Eleanor is just as stubborn in A Darkness Strange and Lovely as she is in Something Strange and Deadly, if not more. There are times when Joseph will tell her one thing and Oliver another and she just does what she wants. I wanted to shake her at times and inform her that she doesn't know everything and is far too new in this world to act like she does. She comes more into her necromancy in this novel and I'm very curious to see how it'll play out in the next book, especially since it didn't end well for the other two people (Marcus and Elijah).

I love the narration of these books. Eleanor is snarky, amusing, honest, and deep. She has these awesome layers that round out her character so well and suck you into her story. She is not a woman of her time, in a good way. She stands up for herself, doesn't bother with social issues, and does what she believes should be done.

This amazing series will keep you hooked from the very first page. The characters are intriguing and multidimensional, the world vivid and magical (literally and figuratively), the narration beautifully done, and an all around phenomenal series.

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