The Sweetest Dark - Review
Title: The Sweetest Dark
Series: The Sweetest Dark
Author: Shana Abe
Published: April 2nd, 2013
Acquired: Netgalley For Review
Good Reads Rating: 3.94
My Rating: 3.5
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.
When I started reading this, I had a feeling that I was going to devour this book. 1) It was historical fiction, taking place in the early 1900s right at the start of WWI. 2) It was story about a dragons or what they are called in this book Drakons. I figured historical fiction mixed in with an interesting new concept never done before, this was bound to be good!
But alas if you noticed above I only gave this a 3.5. This just once again proves to me that even with a great idea and good intentions, an authors writing ability is so key to a story. Don't tell me the story, build it, paint it, make it come to life. I found myself bored repeatedly with this book, and couldn't wait to put it down. I am sad to say that I even skimmed the last 30 pages of the book just to get it over with.
The story is about an orphan girl named Elenor, who not only hears voices, but can also hear the songs of inanimate objects. She has been given an opportunity to go live in a castle and attend a school for privileged girls at the home of Duke. While she is there she starts discovering that her placement in this school might not have been so shocking after all. While she is there she meets one of the servants Jesse who seems to know something about what is going on with Elenor. Then there is the Duke's second son Armand, who also has a secret of his own. Through out the book these three will develop an unexpected friendship which will be tested towards the end.
One of my biggest problem with this book, was that I felt the author was doing too much at once. I wish that she had build on the idea of Drakons without throwing the historical aspect into it. All in all it did nothing to the story, but make it more difficult to follow. However, I must give the author credit for coming up with such an original idea. Another thing about this book that i didn't like, was that nothing was really explained about Drakon's or Jesse's abilities. It was just here is what they are and BAMN there they went. I did also receive a copy of the sequel to this book. And to be fair to the author, I do plan on giving it a try later on. I really hope that the writing improves and that I am able to enjoy the story more than I did the first one.