Susan Dennard is a valued friend and an amazing author. I was beyond excited to find out that I would be able to participate in this blog tour on behalf of Tynga's Reviews. Thank you so much for the opportunity!
Reading Level: Young Adult
ARC: 406 pages
Genre: Steampunk, Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Release Date: July 23, 2013
Series: Something Strange and Deadly #2
Source: From Publisher for Blog Tour
Reviewed by: Lili
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.
And to think that I thought book one was amazing. Book two was absolutely marvelous! Set in beautiful Paris, Dennard found ways to make this novel dark and compelling and impossible to put down! Now, let me go get on my knees and grovel for book three.
What continuously impresses me is Dennard's writing style. She puts such great emphasis on detail that I felt as if I was actually transported to Paris. I've never been to Paris, but I can certainly say I am dying to go. She was also able to drill the importance of etiquette during this time period into the readers, as made evident by Daniel's struggle with speaking using words that were never before in his vocabulary. It was rather entertaining, watching him catch his words because he reverts back to his usual self around Eleanor since they always bring out the best in each other. Both the writing and the historical aspect of this novel were spot on.
And then there's Eleanor. I really enjoyed how she grew. Doubly stubborn and ten times more assertive, she's even more sassy and witty, though committed and loyal. I loved her downright rebellious nature that began with her refusal to wear corsets ever again. But see, she's battling a darkness inside her, one that's both strange and entirely lovely and it's turning her world upside down. This internal battle between right and wrong, what she wants and what other wants, expectation versus reality was rather enticing and I enjoyed it immensely.
The other characters were amazing as always and now wear some battle wounds. And, somehow in some unbelievable way, Daniel became even more perfect, but what I really enjoyed was the emergence of a new character: Oliver. He was odd and intriguing and I very much enjoyed watching his friendship with Eleanor progress. They certainly do have a unique bond, but his ulterior motives were rather annoying at times. Then again, they kept me on my toes and kept me focused. If a character is equal parts annoying and completely riveting, you know you're doing something right!
But, I do have one tiny complaint, and that's the fact that I figured out the nefarious demon that is raising Les Morts in the City of Light rather quickly. And, in truth, Eleanor figured it out rather quickly too, she just didn't realize it. There were so many plot twists, but this one was glaringly obvious to me and I so wish it was not because that is what made this book just short of absolute perfection in my eyes. I mean, this book has ten times more amazing zombie scenes, more blood, more rituals and sacrifices and magic. It has more plot twists and unseen problems. It is way darker because of the addition of demons to the tale, but the biggest twist of all was the only one that I could predict. A bummer in that sense.
Absolutely dark and delicious, I could not put this one down. Dennard possesses the talent to captivate us so much so that a 400+ page book seems to fly by. I am eagerly awaiting the final book in the trilogy that has the promises of some potential romance, new discoveries, and a final showdown that may beat all other final showdowns.
Susan Dennard, you own my newly emerged zombie-loving heart.
There is a tour-wide giveaway. There will be 10 winners total and the prizes are…a Rafflecopter giveaway