A Darkness Strange and Lovely - Susan Dennard

tl;dr - | ✭✭✭✩✩ | This book had a little bit of sequel-syndrome. I enjoyed it, especially the Parisian setting, but overall it wasn't as entertaining to me as the first book. I will definitely continue to the third book, though! Worth a read if you loved the first and want to continue the series. 

Description - With her brother dead and her mother in an insane asylum, not to mention the Spirit Hunters leaving for Paris, Eleanor is feeling very alone. Knowing Marcus is out in the world and coming for her, Eleanor makes the decision to follow the Spirit Hunters to Paris. On the steamer she meets the mysterious Oliver who claims to have been friends with her brother. Unsure whether she can trust him, she decides to keep him close and enlist in his aid to help her track down the spirit hunters when she arrives in Paris. Once they arrive, however, they learn the dead are taking over the city. Eleanor must make a decision, one that could affect her relationship with the Spirit Hunters forever. 

So, Eleanor is back. Oh my sweet, sassy Eleanor. The story opens up a few months after the events of the first book (i think?). Her mother has gone crazy with the news that Eleanor's brother died, and Marcus has begun sending threatening message to Eleanor. Knowing she is no longer safe, she flees to Paris to look for the insufferable Daniel, Jie, and Joseph. Hurray for more books set in Paris! This makes me happy, always. 


So, I was really quite wary of Oliver. I didn't know if we could trust him, I didn't know if I liked him, and I certainly didn't like how he would pop up at the worst moments ever (ahem outside the Louvre ahem). And that may have been part of my problem with this book... Oliver became a huge part of it and not really liking him made it frustrating at times. Otherwise I really enjoyed the story - Paris, the mystery behind the dead rising so much in the city, Daniel's... self improvements. One thing that did bother me about Eleanor in this book was how she would constantly face something dark and sinister, but then decide she didn't want to deal with it right then. She would deal with it later. Which of course, causes all kinds of problem. And was really frustrating. Oh, you're blacking out and having memory problems? Nahh, don't tell anyone. Just deal with that later. 


So it was moments like that, plus Eleanor's descent into.... well. I guess darkness, that was frustrating. Her sass became a negative thing in this book at times, and it was sometimes hard to watch her downward spiral. I read this about a month ago, so unfortunately i am having a hard time remembering other specifics as to why I wasn't as impressed with the book. I remember enjoying it, but not liking it as much as the first book. It was still an enjoyable read though.