The Sweetest Dark by Shana Abe


From Goodreads:

“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.”

I have mixed feelings about The Sweetest Dark.  I am a fan of Shana Abe’s Drakon books and looked forward to her YA addition to the series.  I did not get the same feel for this as for the adult books.  It was slow to build and did keep me guessing about what was to come.  There was a good use of an alternative history set in World War I in England.  The main characters were fascinating.  Sometimes it was hard to see who was the good character and who was the bad one.  Most characters were neither black nor white which made the reading much more interesting.  I don’t want to do a spoiler so just let me say I look forward to seeing what happens in the next book.  I am not sure what Shana Abe is setting up with this book.

Random House published The Sweetest Dark by Shana Abe in 2012.

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