Still reeling from the zombie cataclysm that took her hand and left her necromancer brother dead and his body possessed (Something Strange and Deadly, 2012), Eleanor Fitt sets her sights on Paris, where the Spirit-Hunters who had helped her are now battling its Dead.
Strange occurrences—the sound of howling dogs, yellow eyes glittering in the darkness and, most disturbingly, the on-again, off-again reappearance of her hand—and the knowledge that the evil spirit who took over Elijah’s body is after the letters he sent to her hasten her departure from Philadelphia. On the boat, she meets Elijah’s demon, Oliver, a charismatic, haunted young man who begins to teach her necromancy, which she finds intensely pleasurable—almost addictive. Unsurprisingly, her reunion with the necromancy-hating Spirit-Hunters is fraught, and it is further complicated by her ambivalent feelings toward Daniel, whom she fell hard for in Philadelphia. This outing lacks its predecessor’s focus, sending Eleanor hither and thither across Paris after the Dead and clues to Elijah’s necromantic research. A rotating cast of characters—Oliver, the various Spirit-Hunters, new French friends and acquaintances—keeps both Eleanor and readers busy, and plot transitions come thick, fast and often clunky. But pastry-loving Eleanor remains an appealing character, and Oliver is an intriguing new addition.
Fans will likely give weaknesses the benefit of the doubt and look forward to the third volume; here’s hoping it repays their faith. (Paranormal historical fiction. 12 & up)