What fortune awaited sweet, timid Percy Parker at Athens Academy? Considering how few of Queen Victoria’s Londoners knew of it, the great Romanesque fortress was dreadfully imposing, and little could Percy guess what lay inside. She had never met the powerful and mysterious Professor Alexi Rychman, knew nothing of the growing shadow, the Ripper and other supernatural terrors against which his coterie stood guard. She knew simply that she was different, haunted, with her snow-white hair, pearlescent skin and uncanny gifts. But this arched stone doorway offered a portal to a new life, an education far from the convent—and an invitation to an intimate yet dangerous dance at the threshold of life and death…
Obtained: Review copy courtesy of Leanna
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Historical Fantasy
Series: Strangely Beautiful
1. The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker
2. The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker (book review)
My Rating:I am in love with a new series and author. In fact, I am so smitten, this book has received the fairy of honor rating. (Click here to learn more about this honor!)
Percy is a girl shunned by society due to her looks and her strange abilities. Upon being accepted into Athens Academy, however, she is not only accepted by the ghosts there, but she also stumbles upon a unique friendship. It is the type of friendship forged between two rejects, where loyalty overshadows all else.
But friendship is not the only thing Miss Percy Parker stumbles upon at this Academy. In fact, one particular man's mere presence flusters the poor young woman. He is tall, dark, and handsome. He's cold, and way too practical... and he looks upon Percy in disdain because of her inability to grasp mathematical concepts.
Normally, I am somewhat wary about gushing over books that I receive for free. I don't want to sound like I'm being nice solely because I've received a free book courtesy of an author. With that said, I was unsure of how to go about this review, simply because I found myself wanting to squeal about how much I enjoyed Percy's story.
This review, is of course, a positive one. But it's also so much more than that. I have been granted the privilege to read and review a book that I initially thought I would be fairly interested in, and nothing more. But Leanna's writing is so much more. It's inspiring. It's told in such a way that there is no room for questioning about mistakes--because there are none.
Leanna's woven a beautiful tale in a sophisticated language. I cannot help but be amazed by how... captivating Percy's story was. It's not often that I also enjoy the female protagonist, either. But I absolutely adored Percy. She was so shy, so easily flustered. Her fear of rejection was moving, and I found myself wanting to appear in that world to play the role of Marianna. I wanted to be her friend.
The start to this tale was somewhat slow. However, once Percy's story picks up steam, it only gets better. I cannot tell you how many times I had to put this book down, because there were things that required my attention around me. Sleep--who needs that? Food--books are my brain food, thanks. Socializing--gimme the damn book already! Remember Gollum from Lord of the Rings? I was Gollum, and The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker was my "precious." If someone even looked at the book funny, I bet you I would have hissed at them and scampered away.
I took my sweet time reading and absorbing this tale. Usually I'll power read through books--especially new ones that I think are so-so. But this? I had to savor it. When Thursday rolled around, I realized that I stretched Percy's tale long enough. I was depressed. I needed more. I still need more.
But enough about the book's effects on my life. I want to talk about Leanna's adept skill at characterization and descriptions. I've said before that those two elements to a book can redeem it in my eyes, even if the plot is sub-par. The plot here, however, is anything but. It is unique. I have never before read any book that not only dealt with history in a paranormal way, but also with Greek aspects added in. Perhaps I loved this book so much because there were so many Greek undertones (I have always been interested in ancient Greece). Since the plot is so unique, it is quite difficult for readers to instantly figure out who Percy really is, and who the villain is. I had my suspicions, and I was delighted to discover that I was correct. But never once, even when I did realize I was correct, did I feel that the plot then became predictable.
The characters were all three dimensional. I experienced Alexi's frustrations with the Guard. In fact, there were plenty of moments where I wanted to scream for him, his frustration affected me that profoundly. I mourned during the scene with Percy and Gregory.
I know a lot of you were interested with this series. All I can tell you all is that you will not be disappointed if you buy this book. In fact, I wish I had the money to just buy it for you all, it had that much of an effect on me.