Monday, November 18, 2013

Book Review: The Deepest Night by Shana Abe

Pages: 320
Genre: YA Fantasy/Historical Fiction
Pub. Date: August 13, 2013
Source: LibraryThing Early Reviewer
Series: The Sweetest Dark (Book #1)
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "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. Beautifully written, deeply romantic, and filled with daring adventure and magic, The Deepest Night is a mesmerizing novel of the enduring pull of destiny, and the eternal strength of love."

Lora is a charity student at Iverson, a boarding school in England, and her position there is precarious.  It's summertime and all the girls are going home for break, but Lora is an orphan and may be sent back to a wretched orphanage.  Thankfully, Armand, while his father is away at a psyhiatric hospital, is turning his estate into a military hosptial and instead of Lora being sent away, she is going to stay on as a nurse there.  Of course, Armand concocted this plan as he has strong feelings for Lora as well as a deep connection with her.  As it turns out, someone important in Armand's life is a prisoner of war and they've come to realize that the only way to save him is the rescue him by using their special powers as a drakon.  The Deepest Night is a beautifully written sequel to The Sweetest Dark and fans of historical fiction as well as fantasy will appreciate this novel.

As I have said before, Lora reminds me very much of a character in a Dickens novel, a character whom is struggling due to their unfortunate background, but has so much potential.  She is an orphan and an outcast at Iverson, but is a drakon, or dragon, and has garnered the attention of the very rich Armand, a fact that annoys the other girls to no end.  Lora is still trying to get over some events from The Sweetest Dark, especially when it comes to the events surrounding Jesse.  On top of that, she is trying to figure out her feelings for Armand in The Deepest Night, but never really gets to a solid conclusion before they are sent on a mission to retrieve a prisoner of war in Germany.

After reading The Sweetest Dark, I was really intrigued by the character of Armand or Mandy and I was so glad that he played a stronger role in The Deepest Night. He reminded me a bit of Chuck Bass, whom I love!  His father plays more of a role in this book as well, especially since he is in a psychiatric hospital and claiming to speak with Jesse.  This makes for an interesting twist in The Deepest Night as Jesse was truly missed.  

The best part about this series is the beautiful writing. Abe does a fantastic job bringing the time period, 1915, to life as well as the gothic undertones of the boarding school. It's such a vivid and captivating setting. It's one of the main reasons I continued with the series as I love post-Victorian England.

Although I didn't like The Deepest Night as much as The Sweetest Dark, I still plan on continuing with the series and I hope that Lora gets her happy ending. 

6 comments:

  1. I really missed Jesse as well when reading this book. Getting to know Armand better was interesting. I love, love, love the beautiful writing and descriptions in the story the most! Great review!

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    1. Me too. Jesse was definitely missed. There's no doubt about it though...the writing is so vivid and beautiful! Thanks for visiting, Christy!

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  2. I've never really looked into this series before so I don't really know what it's about. I'm intrigued. :)

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    1. It is surprisingly good and well written, although I will admit I liked book one better. If you like fantasy and hist. fiction, definitely check it out! Thanks for visiting!

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  3. I like Armand and enjoyed his character in this book. He reminds me of Adrian Ivashkov from the Vampire Academy/Bloodlines series which could be part of the appeal! I also liked the action once it finally picked up. I actually didn't miss Jesse. In the first book I kept thinking "Twinkle, twinkle, little star..."

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    1. Ha! You are so right...he definitely reminds me of Adrian too. Haha. I liked the character of Jesse, but you are right about the while "Twinkle" factor. I wonder if he will "play" more of a role in book three. Thanks for visiting, Christina!

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