Sweetest Dark #2
by Shana Abe
Published on August 13, 2013 by Bantam
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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It’s 1915, and sixteen-year-old Lora Jones is finishing up her first year as a charity student at Iverson, a prestigious, gothic boarding school on England’s southern coast. While she’s always felt different from everyone around her, now she finally knows why: She is a drákon, a rare, enchanted being with astonishing magical abilities.
As war hits Britain’s shores, and Lora reels from an unimaginable loss, she finds that her powers come with grave and dangerous responsibilities. At the request of Armand Louis, the darkly mysterious boy whose father owns Iverson, Lora will spend her summer at his lavish estate. To help the war effort—and to keep Lora by his side—Armand turns his home into a military hospital, where Lora will serve as a nurse. For Armand is inescapably drawn to her—bound to her by heart-deep secrets and a supernatural connection that runs thicker than blood.
Yet while Lora tries to sort out her own feelings toward Armand, fate offers an unexpected surprise. Lora discovers there is another drákon, a prisoner of war being held in Germany. And that only she, with her newly honed Gifts, will be able to rescue him.
With Armand, Lora will cross enemy lines on an incredible mission—one that could bond her to Armand forever, or irrevocably tear them apart.
This book was provided by the publisher (via NetGalley) for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Well I’ll be damned…this book sucked me in like a black hole. Much like the first book, the beginning took some time to get through. I honestly could’ve done without the first few chapters altogether, as well as those from Jesse’s point of view. Once I got past that, I never put it down. Abe drowned me in the world of Lora and Armand (who is way better than Jesse, in my opinion). The Deepest Night was a fantastic sequel to The Sweetest Dark and left me wanting more.
We have our dragon girl Lora, back once again but now at the end of the school year. Faced with being sent to who-knows-where for the summer and not being able to return to Iverson, Lora only has a few ideas until rich-boy Armand makes the decision for her. Spending a summer with Armand? How dreadful! I was definitely excited that we got to see more of the duke’s son in this book, and even some scenes from his viewpoint. Lora and Armand have chemistry from the start, something which Lora doesn’t want to admit to right away. I liked that her new relationship was more developed. She took the time to get to know Armand despite their initial draw to each other and his obvious infatuation as compared the love-at-first-sight (or perhaps “song” would be more accurate) with Jesse.
The best part of this book? Armand! Ok, that’s not completely true but from a character-fandom standpoint, I’ve been Team Armand since the first book and was happy to see him (much) more in this book. He’s not a spoiled brat like your other typical dukes’ sons. He cares for Lora, more than she knows, and isn’t afraid to do what it takes to protect her. He’s finally found someone to be with and isn’t lonely–I was so happy for him, regardless of their romance being obvious from the last book. Instead of those chapters from Jesse’s point of view, I would’ve liked to see more from Armand’s for sure.
I found the writing in The Deepest Night was much better too. As I said, I enjoyed reading this book over the first. I felt like it flowed better and not only was the plot action-packed and fast-paced, you learned more about the characters in a way that the first book didn’t cover. There were several questions I asked myself when I finished that I hope will be cleared up in the third installment of the series (which this book definitely sets up). I’m definitely interested in learning more about the drakons and their history as some strange changes happen during Lora and Armand’s trip across Europe.
If you weren’t a big fan of the first book, don’t despair! The sequel, unlike how it usually goes, is better! Fans of young adult, fantasy, and romance will love this continuation of Lora’s story as one of the last drakons. The Deepest Night adds more action and adventure to her tale and, despite the slow start, is worth sticking with through those first couple chapters. I can’t wait to read book three!