Title: The Deepest Night
Author: Shana Abé
Series: The Sweetest Dark series
The Sweetest Dark snuck up on me with its uniqueness and how well written it was. The Deepest Night didn’t quite live up to the first novel, but it was still wonderful.
Jesse is gone, he has died and is now a star, watching over Lora. Lora is reaching the end of her first year at the Iverson School and she isn’t sure where she will be going for the summer. Armand is falling in love with her, but after the pain of losing Jesse, she is shut off from those kinds of emotions. Armand changes his home from a large, empty estate into a hospital for the war wounded, volunteering Lora as a nurse to keep her close by for the summer. After being told it is her mission to rescue a captured drákon, she and Armand set out, following the stars’ voices for guidance.
In The Sweetest Dark, the romance between Jesse and Lora is intense and encompassing. It’s Lora’s first taste of love and it leaves an impression in her heart, one that can never be fully repaired. Lora spends parts of The Deepest Night feeling that hole, feeling the loss of Jesse. But she also starts to feel more confused towards Armand, not understanding how she can have that hole and have these feelings towards another.
Armand, for all his cockiness, is amazing in this novel. His confidence and devotion to Lora are apparent from page one. Abé didn’t make him feel wholly threatened by the memory of Jesse, but used it to make him work harder for Lora’s affections. He knows he is the second love, but he makes sure he isn’t second rate. I loved the little moments between them, like when he tries to teach Lora to swim. Those small moments brought a smile to my face.
The plot of this novel once again has to do with the war. Armand hears messages from the stars, telling him that he and Lora must venture into enemy territory and rescue a drákon prisoner of war. They must fly over several countries in order to find him and try not to get gravely injured along the way. They encounter a number of obstacles, but between the two of them, they find a way to keep going. The journey strengthens their relationship and shows Lora what her true feelings are.
The Deepest Night is a fantastic sequel, even if it didn’t quite live up to the magic of the first novel. It is still a page-turner and will keep you reading until late at night. There’s drama, action, and romance all wrapped up in beautiful words.
Thank you to Batnam publishers and NetGalley for an advanced copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.