The Deepest Night (The Sweetest Dark #2)
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.
I have to admit, I've never been a huge fan of dragons (or drakon as they are called in this series). Mermaids? Yes. Dragons? Not so much. In fact, I'm pretty sure The Sweetest Dark was the first book I have read featuring a dragon, aside from Talking to Dragons that I read in 6th grade (a million years ago). Add that to a setting that I adore, and you have my instant fandom.
I love this series.
Why? That's a more complicated answer than I probably have time for, but in it's simplest terms it's because of the beautiful, lyrical writing. There is a certain flow in the prose that borders between a fantasy novel and some eloquent, antiqued story. I love Victorian literature, and The Sweetest Dark and The Deepest Night blend those lines perfectly. However, I did not find The Deepest Night to have the same poetic feel as the first book. At times it was there, but it wasn't as abundant as the first time around.
I also found that some parts of the plot lingered too long this time around. It seemed like more of the story was focused on Ahmed than Lora. Now, don't get me wrong. I do enjoy Ahmed, but it made things a bit slow to tell both those stories at the same time.
Overall, I think The Deepest Night suffered from middle child syndrome. It wasn't as trail blazing as the first book and is lacking the finality that the next book will have. It's lost somewhere in the middle. Necessary to move the plot along, but lacking the pizazz in the elements of The Sweetest Dark that took my breath away. But I do still recommend this series. I read The Deepest Night in one sitting; I didn't want to put it down.
The romance isn't to heavy but very sweet.
Lora’s character is strong and caring. Having accepted that fact that she is a drakon, she is patient when it comes to Mandy (Armand). She is still grieving the loss of Jesse, her love and at points it was heartbreaking, her pain was terrible. But Armand is there with her, and helps to ease some of it. Their banter and sarcasm aimed at each other had me laughing out loud. With a few new and old characters, it made for a great group of characters.
The story is told from Lora and Mandy’s POV with the occasional POV from Jesse. With the discovery that there is another drakon, she sets out to do a rescue before it comes to light just what this person is. Lora gift is becoming stronger and more controlled, which will certainly come in handy but she also has to learnt to trust Mandy because they will be working together on the rescue. Their bond is ever growing into something more, and Mandy has toned down his undying love for Lora, so it felt more genuine and in no way rushed. It is war time, so there is the constant fear of being discovered for Lora. There are battles and Lora fighting as a drakon, so the action was plenty. I would say that this ended with on a cliffhanger note, but the questions that were introduced happened during the big battle towards the end, making the ending even more excruciatingly amazing. The next book is not going to be out fast enough to know what is going to happen now.
The Deepest Night was one enthralling book, the writing is wonderful, the romance was sweet and the magic world and action combined with the history was completely spellbinding. This is one sequel that definitely lived up to it’s predecessor, making the series even better with each book. I look forward to learning even more about Lora, and Armand.
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.
Happy to say that I was very, very wrong.
Let me start with my favorite part.
The drakon. The smoke. The magic.
So beautifully crafted and whimsical. I'm completely engrossed in this world.
My second favorite part is of course, Armand.
I wasn't really impressed with him in the first book, nor was I with Jesse. They didn't stand out.
But Armand takes the cake in The Deepest Night. And he sizzles. Oh, lord. Yes. Give me more.
I'm so in love with this series and where it is going and all the twists and turns it takes me on.