A Darkness Strange and Lovely by Susan Denard

Genre: Fantasy
Secondary genre: historical mystery
Format read: hard copy
Series: Something Strange and Deadly vol 2
Positive rep: biracial, epilepsy
Rating: planchet-4

I loved the first book in this series, and immediately ordered the second when I finished it.

It then sat on my shelf for a year, but who’s counting?

I don’t want to give away too much plot since this is the second book in a series, but the story starts out with our heroine, Eleanor, at her lowest point. A new amputee, she’s still struggling to adjust. In addition, her mother has been committed to an insane asylum, and she’s had to sell just about everything left in the family home to pay the bills. Even worse, she’s been shunned by society and her best friend.

And that’s before a homicidal maniac and a pack of hell hounds come after her. With her friends, the Spirit Hunters, across the pond in Paris, her only hope might be a mysterious young man named Oliver–who also makes no bones about the fact that he’s a demon. If she wants to survive long enough to get help, Eleanor will literally have to choose the lesser of several evils.

It was so great to be back in this world, but there were a few things that kept me from giving it five stars. For starters, based on the first few chapters, it looks like we’re going to get some great disability rep and fat rep. But then Eleanor uses magic to get her amputated hand back, and we find out the only reason she’s considered fat is because she’s stopped wearing a corset.

I love the characters and the way the plot kept me guessing. It was also so hard to tell who was right and who was wrong as the characters question the nature of what, exactly, makes someone evil.

While it wasn’t quite as good as I’d hoped, I will certainly be looking up the third and final book sometime soon.