Monday, August 18, 2014

Book Review: The Deepest Night (The Sweetest Dark #2) by Shana Abe

 The Deepest Night (The Sweetest Dark, #2)

Synopsis: 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 drakon, 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 near - 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 drakon, 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 at her side, Lora will cross enemy lines on an incredible mission - one that could bond her to Armand forever, or irrevocably tear them apart.

Shana Abe delivers another enchanting romance without sacrificing plot. I loved the previous book but The Deepest Night is better in almost every way - there is breathtaking romance, thrilling adventure, and gorgeous, lush prose that I practically salivate over.

I love the whole 'quest' aspect to this story - Lora and Armand must set out on a journey to rescue Armand's brother, Aubrey, a fighter pilot now captive in a German prison camp. The last hundred pages or so are chock-full of exciting, dangerous moments - Lora and Armand fight German soldiers on the ground, get chased by German fighter planes, and almost get captured (by Germans.) 

I love that there are so many more 'dragon scenes' in this book: Lora flies with Armand across the English channel, and Turns to dragon to fight the soldiers, etc. The transition between Lora's human form and her dragon form never feels jarring or unnatural - it all flows so well that it never feels weird to read parts where Lora refers to 'my wings' or 'my tail.' This is due to Shana Abe's impeccable world-building. She makes the fantasy of the Drakon come to life. 

The romance is so much better than the one in the last book. Without spoiling the previous book, it just feels like Lora is paired with the right guy - while at the same time never forgetting the one she lost - and that's one of the interesting struggles she faces. 

Lora is so badass in this book, it's almost frightening. Armand, too, grows as a character in leaps and bounds. I love how it's never just Armand saving Lora or Lora rescuing Armand - they save each other throughout the whole book.

I cannot recommend The Sweetest Dark series enough. READ THEM!

(The third book has not been published yet. It's listed on Goodreads as 'expected 2014' but it still doesn't have a title or a fixed release date. Hopefully late 2014/early 2015? I need to read the third book now!)

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