June 4, 2013

Review: The Sweetest Dark

The Sweetest Dark (The Sweetest Dark, book 1) by Shana Abé

the sweetest dark

Genre: Paranormal YA
Edition Reviewed: eBook
Amazon: Hardback | Kindle
Goodreads: The Sweetest Dark

For fans of Lauren Kate and Libba Bray, The Sweetest Dark is filled with thrilling romance, exciting adventure, and ancient magic. Shana Abé brilliantly captures the drama of post-Victorian England, while unfolding a passionate love story that defies time.

“With every fiber of my being, I yearned to be normal. To glide through my days at Iverson without incident. But I’d have to face the fact that my life was about to unfold in a very, very different way than I’d ever envisioned. Normal would become forever out of reach.”

Lora Jones has always known that she’s different. On the outside, she appears to be an ordinary sixteen-year-old girl. Yet Lora’s been keeping a heartful of secrets: She hears songs that no one else can hear, dreams vividly of smoke and flight, and lives with a mysterious voice inside her that insists she’s far more than what she seems.

England, 1915. Raised in an orphanage in a rough corner of London, Lora quickly learns to hide her unique abilities and avoid attention. Then, much to her surprise, she is selected as the new charity student at Iverson, an elite boarding school on England’s southern coast. Iverson’s eerie, gothic castle is like nothing Lora has ever seen. And the two boys she meets there will open her eyes and forever change her destiny.

Jesse is the school’s groundskeeper—a beautiful boy who recognizes Lora for who and what she truly is. Armand is a darkly handsome and arrogant aristocrat who harbors a few closely guarded secrets of his own. Both hold the answers to her past. One is the key to her future. And both will aim to win her heart. As danger descends upon Iverson, Lora must harness the powers she’s only just begun to understand, or else lose everything she dearly loves.

Filled with lush atmosphere, thrilling romance, and ancient magic, The Sweetest Dark brilliantly captures a rich historical era while unfolding an enchanting love story that defies time.


****Review copy received through Netgalley for an honest review.****

After the last page turned I could hear a haunting melody still weaving its way through my mind. To this day I can say only two other books have ever done that to me. I admit that The Sweetest Dark didn't have the intensity of those two titles, the point is that this book did sing.

Abe is an author I've heard many wonderful things about, yet I've been putting off for fear of being let down. Yeah, I do that a lot. The writing style reminds me of some of the most magical epic fantasy writing I've read, but mixed with a posh style of solid Historical Romance.

With the words "Those nights, in the sweetest dark, we shared our dreams." the tone of the romance is set (plus the basis for the title). It's beautiful and heart wrenching. The sweetness of first love and the bitter shock of loss. This book deals with grief, war, death, fear, madness, and the cruelty of humanity. That's not to say that the magic of simple acts and pure emotions doesn't balance it out. Not to mentions the magic of dragons and stars.

Many fans will know what's going on and probably be leaps ahead of first time readers. For first time readers the mystery of what dragons, or "drákon", truly is will just barely be answered. There's many questions and hints of what happened to the drákon race, are there only two left in the world, and so much more. My head was spinning with the possibilities.

Adult only readers should find comfort in the maturity of this YA title. Abe does a beautiful job and fans shouldn't be too upset about the age difference here. After this glimmer of the drákon world I know I'll be checking out her adult series. Fans of fantasy can not miss this title, especially fans of dragons. Don't be mislead thinking this books is "just" another YA historical romance soap opera. It's so much more.

Sexual Content: Mild sexual content, and some sexual talk. This is a historical setting around the time of WWII so it’s like elegant sexual content.

5/5- Fabulous, a beautiful obsession!

Previous book(s) in series:
Reviewed on BW: Amazon: Goodreads:
The Sweetest Dark (1)
The Deepest Night (2) 

The Sweetest Dark (1)
The Deepest Night (2)
The Sweetest Dark (1)
The Deepest Night (2)


Dazzling Mage said...

I am DYING to read this one now. Been reading a lot of positive reviews and I'm excited to get my hands on it! Great review!

Shera BookWhispers said...

Ha-ha! Glad to get your attention on this one.

Hope you enjoy it!

Warwick NY house cleaning click here said...

This book was a breath of fresh air to me. It was such a beautiful piece of YA fiction. It had the same romantic quality to it that I feel with Anne of Green Gables. The book moves smoothly and flows so effortlessly that you feel every once of the story.