Strange and Ever After by Susan Dennard
The Skinny: Eleanor Fitt must control her growing power, face her feelings for Daniel, and confront the evil necromancer Marcus…all before it’s too late. He took her brother, he took her mother, and now, Marcus has taken her good friend Jie. With more determination than ever to bring this sinister man to justice, Eleanor heads to the hot desert streets of nineteenth-century Egypt in hopes of ending this nightmare. But in addition to her increasingly tense relationships with Daniel, Joseph, and her demon, Oliver, Eleanor must also deal with her former friend, Allison, who has curiously entangled herself in Eleanor’s mission.
With the rising dead chomping at her every move and Jie’s life hanging in the balance, Eleanor is convinced that her black magic will see her through to the bitter end. But there will be a price. Though she and the Spirit Hunters have weathered every battle thus far, there will be consequences to suffer this time—the effects of which will be irreversible. And when it’s over, only some will be able to live a strange and ever after. – From Goodreads
BFF?: I didn’t review A Darkness Strange and Lovely (DSL) for some odd reason… so I’m just gonna reference back to my review of Something Strange and Deadly (SSD). I had compared Elinor to Elizabeth Swann (Pirates of the Caribbean) in my original review. I’m still going to hold onto that comparison and say that she has progressed just as beautifully in this series as Miss Swann did in the movies. In DSL Elinor had some major growing pains. We still saw some of her stubborn, annoying behaviors but there was a definite shift in her that was reaching towards greatness. I remember getting all sorts of frustrated with her in DSL. However, in Strange and Ever After (SEA) Elinor finally reached greatness. She began to understand the gravity of her behavior, the consequences it led to, and the suffering she had caused. She also found ways to rise above it and make peace with her situation and what she knew she had to do. I loved seeing her become a take-charge kind of girl and eventually save the day. Made me so proud! <wipes tear>
Readability: Did I put this one down? I don’t think so! It kept me hooked in the best way, drawing me in but never overwhelming me.
Crush Level: 7
So… I’m not sure who I had this level 7 crush on, Daniel or Oliver. I mean, Daniel’s all capable of building things and knows his way around a tool box but Oliver… man, I don’t know. I feel this is like a Dawson v. Pacey kind of decision.
Commencement Speech: Hands down this has been one of my favorite paranormal series. I love the settings, how vivid Dennard makes them and how she brings them to life. I also love that while there is a paranormal story here, it’s not the forerunner – there’s so much more heart than I was expecting. And heartache. I just… this book. I wanted to shake my fist at it while at the same time hugging it. It’s one of those stories that I don’t know how to feel about, whether anger or hope or sadness or encouragement… I just don’t know.
One thing I loved in particular about this book was all the surprising twists. The other two have been surprising, yes, but not so surprising that I gasped. This book kept me gasping every other chapter. I love when a story can do that!
Great series. Huge favorite of mine. If you haven’t read this series yet, I highly recommend you do. Immediately.
Yearbook Quote: None! ARC!
Superlatives – Most likely to be the background story of a the Bangles music video
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