Title: The Deepest Night (Book 2 in The Sweetest Dark)
Author: Shana Abe
Publisher: Bantam – Random House Publishing
Release Date: August 13, 2013
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.
This was an excellent book. Unfortunately, I haven’t read the first one, but I plan on remedying that soon. At the same time, though, I am almost glad that I read this book first, because I’m not sure how I would have felt about the whole Jesse/Armand thing if I had seen more of Jesse through the first book. In only having read the second book, I have an unprejudiced view of Armand, and I absolutely adore him because he absolutely adores Lora. The scene with Chloe in his bedroom? Literally about the best thing anyone could EVER say to their sweetheart. Not only was it cute and romantic, but it was heartfelt and those words were the embodiment of his emotions towards her. Which, of course, made for a whole lot of tension and confusion throughout the book, but also absolute happiness when I read the ending.
Lora was a fun character to read, too. I loved her sarcasm, her witty humor, and her deep feelings – not necessarily lovey-dovey feelings, but fierce feelings that mirror her dragon self. She feels everything to her core, and that was obvious through the writing. The style and voice really made me feel like I got to know Lora – I was confused when she was, angry when she was, relieved when she was. There were points where all I wanted was for her to scream or breathe fire because of the strength of her emotions.
The idea of the dragons was also an interesting topic for the author to explore. I haven’t read a dragon story in a while, and I loved her way of pulling the lore together – the treasure, the songs that they hear, their relationship to the stars, and especially the shape-shifting. It was unique, and makes me want to go to the beginning to see how Lora’s story begins, as well as to urge the author to make the series at least a trilogy. Another great thing about the book in general, though, was that it wasn’t necessary to have read the first book to read and understand the second book. Would I have liked more of a backstory on Lora’s origins, yes, but at the same time going into that much detail in the second book would have ruined it and been unnecessary for those who have already read the first. Also, I find it more of an incentive to read the first book when there is information missing that I want to know.
One last point: I loved the cover art – I thought it was beautiful, and the title that goes along with it is just perfectly gorgeous and embodies the spirit of the book. Anyone looking for a magical read will thoroughly enjoy this book. Happy Reading!
**Note: due to some sexual references and nudity I would not recommend this book to anyone under the age of 13.