Friday, March 29, 2013

The Sweetest Dark by Shana Abe

The Sweetest Dark by Shana Abe
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Release Date:  April 2, 2013

Summary:   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.

First of all, the cover is just beautiful! It caught my attention right off and I wanted to see what this book was about. When I read the summary, I knew I just had to read it. This is a whole new kind of Paranormal, so different than the typical vamp, werewolf, fairy, or angel stories out there. Not giving away too much, the creature featured is something I have had some interest in, but the way it is portrayed brings a whole new light to something so fiercely feared.

The world Abe creates is alluring. I adored the time-period which it all took place. I haven't read anything post Victorian times, during World War One. Not only is this era brought to life, but also the landscapes of England, with the rocky shores, greenery, castles, and vibrant colors. There was so much detail at times, that I could almost smell the damp musty walls of the castle, feel the ocean mist on my face, and hear the beautiful music that called to Lora.

“Those nights, in the sweetest dark, we shared our dreams.”

I was not disappointed by the romance which was clean yet captured the passion. It was such a new twist on a love triangle, that I don't really know for sure,if it was one.

Lora Jones. A girl with a past lost and couldn't remember, was put into an orphanage, where she had to survive until she was given a chance at a private school for girls. Knowing she wasn't like everyone else is quite a burden, but yet all this makes her a girl with strength and courage.

Armand, was definitely my favorite character. A boy born into wealth, a snotty attitude and a troublemaker of sorts. His frank and boldness is what captures my heart. I was team Mandy from the beginning. But of course, Jesse... the mute, heartthrob groundskeeper at the school definitely gives Armand competition. Jesse is the kind considerate, loyal and loving man who would sacrifice it all for Lora.

Abe's writing was magnificent. I was truly caught by her words and entranced in this world of beauty and history. I bawled at the end, but I am looking forward to reading book two.

I would like to thank NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group for allowing me to read and review this Advanced Readers Copy.

View all my reviews

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