The Sweetest Dark by Shana Abe is the first book in this new and thrilling series. Set in Victorian Age England, The Sweetest Dark is by far a more complex read than I initially thought. Lora Jones, our main character, is first introduced as a different kind of girl. She hears music no one else hears, she dreams of smoke and flight and there is a voice inside of her that has her question her true self. The book opens up with a new opportunity for the orphan, by means of Iverson, an elite boarding school on the coast. She will be the new charity student there and she will discover things about herself that she only imagined to be myth.
Like I said, at first the book appears to be a story about a girl who has trouble remembering where she comes from and why she is different. You know as a reader that she is hiding her strange abilities but the abilities themselves don’t really tell the audience what they are dealing with. Trust me the smoke and flight references could literally be anything, and I definitely did not see the overall conclusion of what Lora is until after it was stated. Anyway, at Iverson Lora is surrounded by Jesse, the groundskeeper and Armand, the son of the Duke of Iverson. Jesse feeds into her inner demons, and he has the key to unlocking the mysteries within her. Armand is important as well, he is the key to her future but also of the same mysteries. The ending left me with a lot of questions concerning Armand, Jesse, and Lora.
The writing style lent a lot to the mystery of the novel. The narrative would jump between the three characters, giving you an insight to their feelings during particular scenes. There were also moments stolen from letters, added to the narrative, giving some insight into the myth behind the story; however, never enough to be truly clear about the Lora and Armand’s purpose and existence. Hopefully as we continue to go through the series more of these mysteries will be answered. An overall sweet and brilliant tale set in a virtually innocent time where anything is imaginable but on the brink of World War I this story is more than supernatural, it lends itself to the change of innocence.
3.5/5 stars. Thanks Net Galley!