Title: The Sweetest Dark
Author: Shana Abe
Publication Date: April 2013
Format: E-Book - EPUB
Source: ARC via NetGalley
Lora Jones has always
known that she’s different. On the outside, she appears to be an
ordinary sixteen-year-old girl. Yet Lora’s been keeping a heartful of
secrets: She hears songs that no one else can hear, dreams vividly of
smoke and flight, and lives with a mysterious voice inside her that
insists she’s far more than what she seems.
Raised in an orphanage in a rough corner of London, Lora quickly learns
to hide her unique abilities and avoid attention. Then, much to her
surprise, she is selected as the new charity student at Iverson, an
elite boarding school on England’s southern coast. Iverson’s eerie,
gothic castle is like nothing Lora has ever seen. And the two boys she
meets there will open her eyes and forever change her destiny.
Jesse is the school’s groundskeeper—a beautiful boy who recognizes Lora
for who and what she truly is. Armand is a darkly handsome and arrogant
aristocrat who harbors a few closely guarded secrets of his own. Both
hold the answers to her past. One is the key to her future. And both
will aim to win her heart. As danger descends upon Iverson, Lora must
harness the powers she’s only just begun to understand, or else lose
everything she dearly loves. (Goodreads Synopsis)
The Sweetest Dark was an enjoyable read with an interesting plot and good characters. It was great to see a change in supernatural creature from the usual YA fare.
The prose was not thrilling but was readable and easy-going and Abe got the pacing just right. I would have liked to see a little more character development for Armand, but this is only the first book in the series and no doubt that will come in future instalments. I enjoyed the historical setting with just the barest hint at steampunk.
The standard YA components are all here, but the choice of dragons as the supernatural element gives the book a fresh feeling.
I am now reading the sequel and will review that later this week. I was also interested to see that Abe has previously written adult novels, so I will try to check out one or two of those in the future.