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I Belong

Early Review: The Deepest Night by Shana Abé

Title: The Deepest Night

AuthorShana Abé

Genre: YA Paranormal

Series: The Sweetest Dark (Book 2)

Publication Date: August 13, 2013

Format: Hardcover, 320 Pages

ISBN-10: 0345531736 (Bantam Dell)

ISBN-13: 978-0345531735 (Bantam Dell)

Reviewed by: Anjelica


A rich portrait of post-Victorian England, The Deepest Night seamlessly blends thrilling romance with riveting history and adventure—perfect for fans of Libba Bray and Lauren Kate.

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.

Quick & Dirty: Jesse is gone and there’s nothing that can bring him back so Lora has resigned herself to a life of heart shattering loneliness until Armand helps her put the broken pieces back together.

Opening Sentence: I am dead.

Excerpt: No

The Review:

It is not uncommon for sequels to be considered less than the original. The Deepest Night is a great novel with the same beautiful details and wonderfully developed characters, but I didn’t feel the plot was all that it could have been and the new relationship that formed, while seemingly unsurprising, seemed a little forced.

Abe created such a beautiful and unique universe in the first book of this series that some of it seemed a little repetitive in the sequel. Learning about Lora’s dragon gift was fun and exciting and I was cheering for her to learn it all with Jesse as her teacher and Armand as her reluctant classmate, but with Jesse gone and Lora’s abilities nearly perfected, watching Armand go through nearly the same struggles as Lora, it all seemed a bit tedious to read through because I already knew what should happen. Abe tried to make it a little different by having Armand struggle in all the ways Lora didn’t but the struggles were short lived and a little dull.

Speaking of Armand, Abe did a brilliant job developing his character as he struggled with his own personal battles like thinking his brother had been killed in battle only to learn he had in fact been taken prisoner. Also, Armand was forced to take up a leadership role in the community when his father was sent to a mental hospital after his attack on Iverson in the previous novel. Armand grew in a lot of ways in the sequel that I wouldn’t have really expected in the original. His love for Lora, while heartwarming, seems wrong compared to the love and pure passion between Jesse and Lora in book one.

Abe did such a beautiful and fantastically exciting job on The Sweetest Dark, it feels like The Deepest Night was a bit of a let down by no fault of her own really. She created characters that people can bond with and really love, therefore, Jesse is who I feel belongs with Lora instead of Armand. Abe is a fantastic writer and I enjoyed both of these novels immensely, but I hope she let’s the series end here.

Notable Scene:

I was asleep. It was quiet and dark. Then I was awake, and it was quiet and bright. But it was raining wood all around me. A plank struck me hard and silent on the arm; hay swirled everywhere in a straw storm, sticking to my hair, my eyelashes. Where there had been a roof overhead before-surely there had been one?- there was now a gray cloudy sky. Armand was standing above me, impassioned, his lips moving, but he wasn’t making any sound. It was the most curious thing. He reached down, hauled me upright. He grabbed the knapsack and pulled me with him toward the open doors of the barn, which hitched back and forth and back and forth as though a brutal wind had them in its grip. I began to cough on the hay. Again, no sound. Breaking free from the walls of the barn, I realized that everything as bright because it was daylight still, and I was deaf because a bomb had just carved a crater only feet from our shelter. It was a sizable crater, too, deep enough to prevent a man from climbing back up should he fall in. Singed rocks and dirt formed spokes around it, a black smoldering starburst. Armand had my hand still. We were running for the woods at the edge of the pasture when the next shell went off, farther away but still near enough to send us both to the ground.

The Sweetest Dark Series:

1. The Sweetest Dark

2. The Deepest Night

FTC Advisory: Bantam Dell/Random House provided me with a copy of The Deepest Night. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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