Published by Harper Collins on July 23rd, 2013
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.
Why, oh why do I wait to read the rest of the books in a series I like?!?! It’s like a sickness! The whole time I was reading A Darkness Strange and Lovely I was thinking about how I could have known this story far earlier! Ah well, at least it meant I had Strange and Ever After on hand!!
I mentioned in my review of Something Strange and Deadly that the “Hungry Dead” thing creeps me out. That is still the case in A Darkness Strange and Lovely (100%!!!) but, yet again, the story overcomes my squeamishness. Not only did the events of book one raise the stakes crazy high, we have now moved from Philadelphia of the late 1800s to Paris!! Gah! Yes please, set all the books here!!!
However, the setting alone cannot carry the story. It’s a good thing Susan Dennard writes some pretty fantastic characters! Eleanor, of course, but also all the Spirit-Hunters and the new characters we meet in this book. I particularly love Oliver! His character is interesting in and of itself. What I really enjoyed was the way his character affects Eleanor. He doesn’t fit into the ways she’s made sense of her world since meeting the Spirit-Hunters. HE introduces more gray areas where she saw black and white. That always makes things more intense!
Basically, if you haven’t picked up Something Strange and Deadly you’re missing out. Romance, humor, mystery and action! Susan Dennard sure knows how to tells a great story!