Sunday, November 3, 2013

Badass Books: A Darkness Strange and Lovely

So I mentioned my life has been kind of a black hole lately. The whole month of October was swallowed by an understaffed department, unexpected new business opportunities, and more work than my mind can handle. I finally gave myself a break and let myself read. Why finally, you ask? Because Susan Dennard's A Darkness Strange and Lovely had been on my Kindle since it came out (I preordered it months and months ago).

Summary (from Goodreads)
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.

Spoilers in white. Duh.

Why I read it: If you read the first book in this series, Something Strange and Deadly, then you already know why I read this story. I fell in love with the characters--with Eleanor's transformation, Jie's brazen character, Joseph's charm, Daniel's honesty. I adored them. And the sequel did not disappoint.

ZOMG Yes: Ollie. That's really all I'm going to say because otherwise I'll ruin it for you--but this character had just as much depth as I've come to expect from Susan's stories. I also loved the continued growth of Eleanor's character. As she has come into her own secrets SPOILER: you her bother's... she has uncovered an entirely new growth arc, and it's one I love.

I think my favorite part about this story is that Susan challenges the conceptions her characters have around magic--the black and white lines--the idea that something is wrong because it has always been wrong. But then she doesn't actually come right out and tell us whether it is wrong or not. Brilliant.

I also loved how much more steam punk this story was than the first.

kthxbai: If you like female characters who are everything they ought to be because they are themselves, then you really need to read this series. Eleanor is weak and strong and quiet and loud and confused and assured and real.

Five chiweenies to Susan Dennard.