The Sweetest Dark by Shana Abe

the sweetest darkI received a free Advance Readers Edition of this book.  I never read her Drakon series before this book, but from what I understand, this series exists in the same “world” as those, but this one is written for young adults.  I don’t think I have read a book with characters who could change to dragons before except for a novella in Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Were-Hunter series, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  As it turns out, this book is sort-of alternative historical fiction, set in England during the first World War, and is not set on another planet somewhere in the author’s imagination, and for me this makes the book much better as I am not a big sci-fi fantasy reader.

The book follows Lora Jones, a seventeen-year-old orphan who seems like everyone else, but hears music from metals and gemstones, and an occasional voice who speaks to her.  When she had spoken of this as a child, they put her through some brutal “cures” for her mental problems at the orphanage, so she had learned to not mention it to anyone.  Lora receives a scholarship to an elite boarding school called Iverson as their charity case for the year, and so is able to leave the London orphanage for the southern coast of England.  As the only poor student there, Lora is ridiculed by some and left somewhat on her own overall.  She meets and befriends two boys, one the groundskeeper Jesse, and the other Armand, the son of the duke who finances the whole school and her scholarship.  Once she meets them, her life will never be the same as she learns and begins to embrace what she truly is.  And, as has become common in many adult novels after the success of the Twilight series, both boys want her heart; a plot device which I find I am growing a bit tired of.  While they are not vampire and werewolf, neither of these boys is entirely human either.

Overall I found myself totally immersed in the story of these characters.  I read the book in about two days, and will probably pick up the next book in the series.  If you are looking for a new YA series and don’t mind if the characters aren’t totally human, give this one a try.

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