Reviews for Darkness Strange and Lovely


Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Fall
In Something Strange and Deadly, Eleanor helped fight the reanimated Dead terrorizing 1870s Philadelphia. Now she travels to Paris to reunite with the Spirit-Hunters; (annoyingly) against her better judgment, she becomes involved with a demon and necromantic magic en route. It's somewhat refreshing to see both heroine Eleanor's dark side and the subsequent ratcheting up of her snarky banter with love-interest Daniel.

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Kirkus Reviews 2013 May #2
Still reeling from the zombie cataclysm that took her hand and left her necromancer brother dead and his body possessed (Something Strange and Deadly, 2012), Eleanor Fitt sets her sights on Paris, where the Spirit-Hunters who had helped her are now battling its Dead. Strange occurrences--the sound of howling dogs, yellow eyes glittering in the darkness and, most disturbingly, the on-again, off-again reappearance of her hand--and the knowledge that the evil spirit who took over Elijah's body is after the letters he sent to her hasten her departure from Philadelphia. On the boat, she meets Elijah's demon, Oliver, a charismatic, haunted young man who begins to teach her necromancy, which she finds intensely pleasurable--almost addictive. Unsurprisingly, her reunion with the necromancy-hating Spirit-Hunters is fraught, and it is further complicated by her ambivalent feelings toward Daniel, whom she fell hard for in Philadelphia. This outing lacks its predecessor's focus, sending Eleanor hither and thither across Paris after the Dead and clues to Elijah's necromantic research. A rotating cast of characters--Oliver, the various Spirit-Hunters, new French friends and acquaintances--keeps both Eleanor and readers busy, and plot transitions come thick, fast and often clunky. But pastry-loving Eleanor remains an appealing character, and Oliver is an intriguing new addition. Fans will likely give weaknesses the benefit of the doubt and look forward to the third volume; here's hoping it repays their faith. (Paranormal historical fiction. 12 & up) Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2013 November

Gr 9 Up--In this zombie thriller set in 19th-century Paris, 17-year-old Eleanor Fitt is left behind in Philadelphia to take care of her mentally fragile mother while the three "Spirit-Hunters" she met in Something Strange and Deadly (HarperCollins, 2012) move on to their next job of protecting Paris from the reanimated dead. However, when hellhounds and the yellow eyes of a dangerous necromancer appear to her, Eleanor quickly boards a steamer to find the Spirit-Hunters, knowing she can't fight Marcus on her own. Along the way she meets a demon named Oliver and begins to discover the depths of her own power. Upon arriving in Paris, these experiences clash with the Spirit-Hunters' adamant stance that all magic is dark and corrupting. While they battle reanimated corpses, Eleanor must also battle within herself to either embrace or deny her burgeoning powers. Eleanor is a strong female protagonist forgoing corsets, fighting dark forces, and finding her own way in the world. At the same time, she battles insecurities about her looks, her family, and her crush. Her sassy dialogue will further endear her to teens. Dennard describes amputations, mutilations, and corpses with stomach-churning realism. In addition, she does a great job of reminding readers what happened in the first book without boring those who have read it recently. Darkness is enjoyable as a stand-alone, but will especially thrill fans of Something Strange and Deadly.--Sunnie Lovelace, Wallingford Public Library, CT

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VOYA Reviews 2013 October
In this sequel to Something Strange and Deadly (HarperCollins, 2012/VOYA April 2012), Eleanor Fitt is still struggling with the death of her brother, Elijah, and the realization that he was a necromancer, as well as the loss of her own hand. When strange things start to happen, Eleanor resolves to leave Philadelphia to rejoin her Spirit-Hunter friends, who are now in Paris. On the way, she meets Oliver, her brother's demon, who begins to teach Eleanor how to use her own latent powers. Although she suspects that this is wrong, she finds it tantalizing and difficult to resist. When she meets her old friends in Paris, she finds herself hiding things from them, while they all try to discover what it was that Elijah had been doing. This book suffers somewhat from being the middle book in a trilogy--readers need to understand what went on in the first book, and many issues are left unresolved for the conclusion. Still, it is fast paced and entertaining. Eleanor, Jie, Joseph, Daniel, and Oliver are all interesting characters, and fans of the first book will want to follow up with their doings.--Sarah Flowers 3Q 3P J S Copyright 2011 Voya Reviews.

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