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Reviewing Wonderland

"I'm Mad. You're Mad. We're all Mad here." ~ Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland We love to share our love of Young Adult and New Adult books with the world.

The Sweetest Dark

The Sweetest Dark - Check out the full review on my blog!This story follows the life of Eleanor “Lora” Jones, an orphan in London during 1909. Although the story takes place in the past, the author gives the characters and events a modern feel. So much so, that I often forgot that this was set in 1909 until it would be mentioned. Personally I liked this aspect of the book because I am not much of a historical fiction fan. From the very beginning you feel for Lora. She is found wandering the streets alone, with no memory of her past and without the ability to speak. When no one claims her, she is sent to the Moor Gate Orphanage. Here, she eventually regains her ability to speak and learns to live in a society. All is going well, until she begins hearing things that other people cannot hear. Music. It’s everywhere. And there is a voice, a type of inner monologue that she cannot control and that has a deviously twisted personality. Lora is forced to undergo some rather radical “prescriptions” to attempt to rid her of her afflictions. This is one of those parts in the book that we are vividly reminded that it is still 1909. Yikes. The author has an amazing ability to paint a scene, her words take on a lyrical quality that had me mesmerized. One of my favorite passages was just after Lora left the Moor Gate Orphanage to start a new beginning at the Iverson School for Girls in Idylling: “Victoria station was cavernous, a fairy-work construction of wrought iron and steel and great canopies of glass, with locomotives that heaved and puffed into their slots by the platforms like groaning overstuffed beasts.” I can picture the train station as clearly as if I were standing there with Lora, smelling the must in the air and feeling the sticky warmth as the steam rolls through. Upon arriving in Idylling, Lora meets Armand – the Duke of Idellying’s son and bred into privilege. More on him later because the next person that Lora meets is Jesse. *Swoon* I love Jesse! He is wise beyond his years and so gentle with Lora as she makes her way along a path of re-discovery. Jesse is actually the person that helps Lora discover why she hears music that no one else can hear and where that voice is coming from. She is a Drakon – a person with a special ability to Turn at will into a dragon. Of course, with any really good paranormal ability, controlling it takes practice and patience. Jesse is all too happy to help Lora practice Turning, especially when she returns to being a girl, without her previous clothing intact. For those who do not follow Shana Abe’s writing, she has a complete adult series on the Drakon that you can check out by clicking her author link above. This book brings the world of the Drakon into the young adult genre in a way that is both effortless and exciting. Because I love all things young adult, I am happy to see this wonderful author bringing her abilities into the genre.