The Dead have left Philadelphia, and so have the Spirit-Hunters. Eleanor has been left behind to care for her ill mother, selling everything her family owns in order to pay her hospital bills. Rejected by the love of her life and missing a hand, she is now more than ever an outcast. So, when Marcus, the evil Necromancer who took possession of her brother Elijah’s body comes back to hunt her down, she’ll have no choice but to pack whatever belongings she has left and flee to Paris, where the spirit-hunters have taken residence under new employment.
However, Le Morts, which is the name the French have for the dead, are more vicious than ever and seem to be under demonic control. Eleanor, along with her old friends, and some new ones as well, among them Oliver, a charming (and possibly british, given his constant use of the word “bloody”) man with eyes as yellow as Marcus’ himself, will have to figure out a way to stop le morts, before the corpses overrun the city and Marcus’ evil plans with the Black Pullet get to be unraveled.
This is the second installment in the series by Susan Dennard, and on my second time reading it, I’ve gotten even more hooked to this story than what I already was, and I didn’t even think it possible! This is one of those books that, if you really wanted, you could read without its prequel and you’d feel like you weren’t missing anything because it’s that good. Eleanor keeps demonstrating that she is just as resourceful and clever on her own, as with the spirit-hunters on her side. She starts to discover all the dormant power deep within herself and, with the help of Oliver, she’ll start to learn to control it and use it to her advantage in her quest to defeat Marcus. However, in the words of the great Robert Carlyle in his extraordinary portrayal of Rumplestiltskin in ABC’s Once Upon a Time; “All magic comes with a price!” and Eleanor will have to decide if that price is worth paying in the end.
Rereading this series has been a wonderful experience. I’ve rediscovered the characters in a more alert way and have found some very interesting details such as Oliver’s secret love life, what links one character to another in past circumstances, but most of all, I relived the excitement and the fear of A Darkness Strange And Lovely’s immediate dangers. One of them in particular, gives me chills every time I even think of “it,” and rereading it was every bit as exhilarating as it was the first time.
This time around, I won’t drool over Daniel Sheridan as I usually do. Anyone who read my Something Strange and Deadly review knows how much that fictional man means to me. All I’m saying is this, if someone like Eleanor deems him worthy of her, to the point of inspiring this quote: “I loved him, and I would not let him walk away—not this time,” then he must be doing something right and the only way to find out what, is by reading the trilogy.
Alas, I hereby recommend this book, and the entire series, to everyone who reads. Trust me, you won’t regret it.