The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker

I can’t tell you how glad I am that I stumbled across this book!  I was in the mood to go searching for some new Victorian historical fiction, and came across it.  I was aware that there was a paranormal element to it, which was ok with me.  When I started reading, I was a little surprised by just how prominent the paranormal/fantasy aspect was – and with a stack of library books due back shortly, I briefly considered putting it down in favor of something else.  Boy, am I glad I stuck with it instead.

Percy Parker is a young girl in Victorian London, and very unique.  Brought up in a convent, shy and timid Percy is an albino with the ability to see and communicate with ghosts.  Add in her extraordinary language abilities and the visions that come to her a night, and Percy knows she is anything but normal.

When she enrolls at Athens Academy in London, she meets the brooding and mysterious Professor Rychman.  Although she finds him intimidating, she is very much drawn to him – but he has  a secret of his own.  Since childhood, Alexi Rychman and five others have made up The Guard, a group of six who protect London from the spirits that inhabit it.  With a Prophecy that they will soon find a seventh, and Alexi’s belief that she will also be the woman he is meant to love, tensions in The Guard are high.  Percy is a great new character, and I found her very easy to relate to – maybe having always been a bit shy myself helped with that.

I loved Hieber’s style, and while cross-genre novels like this may not work for everybody, this one combined all of my favorites and it absolutely worked for me!  Victorian historical fiction with a Gothic edge, fantasy, and a romance with great characters (who also have great chemistry!) made such a great combination.  The first half was a little on the slow side, but once I hit around page 150, I was hooked and didn’t want to put it down!  I’m very much looking forward to the sequel due out in May, and I’ll be on the lookout for more from Hieber in the future.

Fallen by Lauren Kate

Yeah, I totally read this one for the cover.  I mean, look at it.  Gorgeous!

The book itself though, not so much.  It was a relatively entertaining, quick read, but on the whole it didn’t do too much for me.  I really like the concept of fallen angels, but I feel like so much more could have been done with it.

I suppose the biggest problem I have is the characters.  The only ones who have any personality are Arriane and Penn.  None of the other characters – Luce and Daniel included – seemed remotely real.  Luce doesn’t do much besides feel sorry for herself and moan about how misunderstood she is, how she doesn’t belong in a place like Sword & Cross, etc.  She wasn’t all the bright either – I mean, you figure out that this guy you’ve been seeing is essentially a violent control freak, so when he leaves you a note telling you to get in the car and the driver will take you to him god-knows-where, you actually go?  Really? I’m pretty sure this is the type of situation my parents were referring to when they told me “Don’t get in the car – if you do, you’ll probably never be seen again.”

Ok, enough ranting about Luce.  It got better towards the end, with some surprising twists and others you saw coming – and once Luce finally figures out what’s going on, some of the fallen angel stuff gets pretty cool.  There’s enough romance in this with the same sense of mystery that Twilight has that I think it will do well – especially with all the hype, upcoming sequel, and a movie on the way already!

Fallen Angels, anyone?

As I’m sure you noticed (like you could avoid it if you tried), vampires have been it this year. The paranormal trend (in YA especially) doesn’t seem like it’s going away anytime soon. Not that I have a problem with that, there’s some pretty cool stuff out there. But I’m not the only one who’s noticed that fallen angels seem to be on the rise (ha. ha.)

Exhibit A:
Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
I haven’t gotten around to reading this one yet, and from reviews I’ve read it can be rather love it or hate it.  I get the impression that Patch is rather Edward-esque – he’s either the man of your dreams, or a control freak that you should stay far, far away from.  Once my copy comes in from the library, I’ll let you know my take on it.

 

Exhibit B:

Fallen by Lauren Kate

I first saw the cover for this over the summer, and just love it.  Gorgeous.  It just came out this week (although no libraries in my system have it yet…grrrr).  Apparently Disney has optioned film rights for it already…just one more reason to be on the lookout for more angels.

 

Exhibit C:

Angel Star by Jennifer Murgia

Not crazy about the cover art on this one, but I came across it on Goodreads…from the description, it seems to fit the upcoming trend nicely.

 

 

These are just the ones I’m aware of; have you come across any others??