Monday, 2 September 2013
The Beautiful and the Cursed by Page Morgan
Goodreads Summary : Ingrid Waverley is a young woman to be reckoned with. Faced with her brother's mysterious disappearance after an abrupt move to Paris, she is determined to discover what has happened to him. Soon she and her sister Gabriella are drawn into a Parisian underworld more terrifying than they could ever have imagined, but watching over them are two impossible (and impossibly handsome) young men. Luc is a 'Dispossessed', an ancient gargoyle whose sworn duty it is to protect the humans who inhabit his abbey. Nolan has secrets of his own too. He is a member of the Alliance - a shadowy group dedicated to keeping Paris safe from the demonic forces that threaten to destroy it.
Secrets, danger and hidden powers stalk the girls in this beautifully imagined paranormal romance that will keep readers gripped from beginning to end - and one thing is for sure - you'll never look at a gargoyle in the same way again..
My Rating : 4 of 5 stars
My Review : The Beautiful and The Cursed was one of my most anticipated books of the year, and it, clearly stood up to my expectations. Gargoyles are a new horizon of YA fiction, an interesting dimension added to the territory flooding with werewolves, vampires, or fairies. Not to mention the off-springs of The Hunger Games.
Set in the city of lights, the city of dreams, Paris in 1899, the story follows 17 years old Ingrid and her 15 years of sister, along with their mother, in search of her missing brother Grayson. The story might seem a rip-off of Clockwork Angel, though fear you not, it’s nothing like that. It’s completely an original plot of its own.
When the family arrived in a rotting, crumbling church abbey aka their residence, the sister find out things are more complicated than they though. Like Grayson, more people are vanishing every day, and there is a supernatural force causing every disappearance. The more they delve into the mystery, the more got close the danger awaits them.
I was wholly impressed by the writing. It was beautiful, with great flow and touch of Victorian literature. The mythology incorporated with gargoyles was nicely done, and well developed, no barrage of info dumps were fired at us. Although what kept me from giving the book a full five stars was a little lack of details related to the new terminologies introduced, such as the Underneath, the Dispossessed, Dusters, the Alliance etc.
The setting was also beautifully inlaid throughout the book, and I certainly immersed in the gothic environment the author creature. The labyrinthine passages of the abbey, ancient architecture and inanimate grotesque gave me goosebumps.
Each character was also well-written. Ingrid made a likable heroine, to whom I could relate myself with. She was stubborn, careful and dauntless, but most definitely not stupid. Her each step was calculated, and she knew what to do next. I loved her love and devotion to her brother, and so was Gabby.
For a 15 years old girl, Gabby was mature and possesses a great inner fortitude beyond her age, though he was bit brat, short-tempered and impatient, which, in my opinion added a flavour to her character. Without the different traits of a human nature, a character becomes flawless but dull and boring. And in this case both the characters were believable, and in contrast to each other, made a great team of sisters.
As for the romantic interests, I was swooned by Luc, the charming, occasionally brooding gargoyle guardian Luc. And through the book, I found my cheering for both Luc and Ingrid.
And Nolan, Gabby’s love interest, was arrogant and domineering, but that was fine with me. I found his occasional quarrels with Gabby funny, a relief from the constant seriousness of the plot.
The book is recommendable for anyone who is looking for an avenue to escape from the conventional paranormal fictions. The Beautiful and The Cursed is worth trying and time.
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