The plot is basically what’s suggested in the blurb (for once). Eleanore and Armand set up a war hospital, then sneak off behind German lines to rescue Armand’s brother, who is a dragon like the two of them, and who didn’t actually die in battle. The story is fast-paced and enjoyable, and Abé’s prose continues to be pretty and effective. This book touched the part of me that really enjoyed Anna Godbersen’s books, the part that likes quick and addicting reads with likable (but not remarkable) characters. So I think that while there are similarities to Libba Bray, as suggested, I’d be much more likely to recommend this to someone in search of a paranormal version of The Luxe.
Personally, I really enjoyed The Deepest Night—really, really enjoyed it. As I said, it’s just plain addicting, and yeah, there are flaws, but the novel’s overall story is good, and I do enjoy both Eleanore and Armand as characters. There’s just something so compelling about this book and it’s companion, and I can’t quite put my finger on it. Really, this book is just good fun.
I will mention the “love triangle” now, because even if I didn’t mind it too much, it was pretty…ridiculous. So in The Sweetest Dark, Eleanore is in love with Jesse, and Armand is kind of this hanger-on, whose love for Eleanore is unrequited. Then Jesse dies—but he doesn’t actually die, since he’s a star and therefore immortal. Now, in The Deepest Night, it’s just Eleanore and Armand, with Jesse-the-star watching over them. And then we kind of decide that it’s okay for Eleanore to love Armand while she’s on earth, since she will one day also be a star and be with Jesse forever.
So basically, in a setup that’s rather reminiscent of Clockwork Princess (which I haven’t read, by the way), Eleanore gets to have her cake and eat it too. I’m sorry, but I really can’t take that situation seriously. I laugh every time I think about it. I don’t dislike it per se, but I’m not jumping up and down with excitement because Eleanore gets to love two guys at once.
What it comes down to, for me, is that I enjoyed the pants off of this book. Abé’s storytelling is a total blast. The Deepest Night is not perfect, but it’s completely absorbing and has momentum and well-done character interaction. I certainly recommend this book, but I highly doubt other readers would have as much fun as I did. This was a thoroughly entertaining read.