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Monday, September 2, 2013

NICOLE'S REVIEW + Novel Nails #6: A Darkness Strange and Lovely bySusan Dennard

Title: A Darkness Strange and Lovely
Author: Susan Dennard
Format Acquired: Hardcover
Publication Date: July 23 2013
Publishing House: Harper Teen
ISBN: 9780062083296
Source of Copy: Fully Booked


With her brother dead and her mother on the verge of insanity, Eleanor Fitt is utterly alone. Even the Spirit-Hunters - Joseph, Jie and the handsome, enigmatic Daniel - have fled to Paris. So when Eleanor begins to hear the vicious barking of hounds and sees images of haunting yellow eyes, she fears the worst - that the Dead, and the necromancer Marcus, are coming for her.

To escape and search out the Spirit-Hunters, Eleanor boards a steamer bound for France. There she meets Oliver, a young man who claims to have known her brother. Though friendly, Oliver entices Eleanor with necromancy and black magic, yet as long as she can resist his powerful temptation, she'll be fine. But when she arrives in Paris, she finds that the Dead have taken over the city...and there's a whole new evil lurking. With the body count rising, Eleanor is forced to make a deadly decision that will go against everything the Spirit-Hunters stand for.

In Paris, there's a price for this darkness strange and lovely...and it may have Eleanor paying with her life.

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


The Spirit Hunters have fled Philadelphia to head to Paris, leaving Eleanor stuck taking care of a mother who disapproves of her. She's sold all her belongings save a few serviceable dresses plus the furnishings of her home - tables, chairs, anything that will get her some money - all so her mother could live out her life comfortably. But seeing Marcus again leaves Eleanor frazzled and she has no choice but to seek out the Spirit Hunters because she can't possibly stop Marcus all by her lonesome. 

In this book I saw how much Joseph hated necromancy which Eleanor was strangely drawn to - which in turn was the cause of a serious amount of tension between the two. And yes, I did like how Dennard made necromancy into something that isn't all about raising the dead and sacrificing people and whatnot. Like a tool, necromancy can be used for either good or evil which makes the title of this book oh-so-fitting. 

I had a few problems with Eleanor in this book, she came off a little selfish and a little bit too absorbed with her love life but I managed to work through that. I would also like to add that she's a little bit... careless and reckless in this book and there are certain scenes where I just wanted to shake her a little bit and ask her just why in the world she thought it was a good idea to do the things she did.

I also got reacquainted with Daniel but I'm not exactly sure how to feel about him. I mean I like Daniel and Eleanor together but I just wish they'd clear all the romantic tension in the air, kiss a little and go on to fight zombies. Not that the book lacked action but it's pretty obvious they both got the hots for each other.

A new character named Oliver is introduced to us. He's a demon and he used to belong to Eleanor's brother. Initially I feared that he would be another love interest - as if the drama between Eleanor and Daniel weren't enough - but all my fears were for naught. No love triangle here. He helps Eleanor learn her powers and rescues her from tense situations time and time again and I just HATE what Eleanor forces him to do. Poor Oliver. I'd give him a hug if I could.

As for the plot, I suppose it's decent enough. Fighting zombies and demons, rescuing a few people, saving the city, look for Marcus, add a little romance and voila. But seriously speaking A Darkness Strange and Lovely is quite enjoyable. Personally, I would have preferred more dead bodies and maybe more zombie action that involved severed limbs and a little decapitation but that's probably just me. I'll still be picking up the next book in case any of you are wondering, despite my initial disappointment, because I need to know how Oliver's doing. 



"Novel Nails" is a feature of the blog that showcases nail art inspired by books and their covers. Nail art will be created by either Michelle or Nicole and will be featured alongside their reviews.

Hi! It's Nicole again. This week's Novel Nails feature will be Susan Dennard's A Darkness Strange and Lovely. I couldn't resist because have you seen the cover for this book? It's too pretty. I just loved the colors used so I took the gorgeous purple and green-blue shades and used them for this feature.

This was actually pretty easy to do. I used a base of NARS Superstar and topped it off with diamond shaped glitter applied using the dotting tool.

Here's a close up of my nails. 

Matchy-matchy with the book.

NARS Superstar from the Andy Warhol collection, my dotting tool and glitter.

So I hope you liked this mani. For more book related manicures, art stuff and general shadiness you can find me on Instagram nicolereadsbooks. 

It would be super awesome if you guys showed us your book related manis too. Just #thetwinsread to show us!



  1. I haven't read the first book so forgive me for skipping the review part but LOVE THE NAILS SO PRETTYYYYY

    1. Thanks Dianne!! You should definitely give this series a try. :)