- Mass Market Paperback: 324 pages
- Publisher: Leisure Books (August 20, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0843962968
- ISBN-13: 978-0843962963
- Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.1 x 0.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #847,587 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker Mass Market Paperback – August 20, 2009
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed
From Publishers Weekly
Six young men and women are called to protect the living world from the dead in Hieber's Gothic romance debut. Mysterious powers give Alexi and his peers the mission of keeping the restless dead in line and seeking a prophesied seventh guardian. Miss Percy Parker, an albino orphan with a talent for languages, fills none of their expectations, but Alexi is drawn to her all the same. Hieber draws Victorian London as beautiful and grim, with depictions of Jack the Ripper as a nightmarish many-headed hound alongside charming descriptions of the Athens Academy, Percy's boarding school, and Greek mythology that smartly draws together various elements of the story. The supporting characters are nuanced and appealing but given short shrift by the narrow focus on Percy and Alexi, though future sequels may give them more room to play. Hieber's debut shows great potential, and readers will want to revisit her intriguing world.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"A strangely beautiful tale indeed! An ethereal, lyrical story that combines myth, spiritualism and the gothic in lush prose and sweeping passion. The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker will keep readers guessing and greedy for more as they desperately turn the pages. This Dark vs. Light battle in Victorian London will send a shiver down your spine one minute and put a smile on your face the next. I can't wait to read what Hieber has in store for future books!" —USA Today Bestselling Author Kathryn Smith
Top Customer Reviews
I think my favorite thing about this book is the incredible romantic tension that develops between meek Percy and arrogant Alexi. Have any of you seen North and South (the BBC production of Elizabeth Gaskell's novel, with Richard Armitage and Daniela Denby-Ashe, not that Civil War miniseries from the 80s)? You know how the tension between Margaret and Mr. Thornton builds and builds and builds with no release in sight, and when there finally is a release, you're practically panting even if it's just a kiss? Well, I spent every page of this book from the moment Percy met Alexi in that state. It's really a fantastic take on the destined-to-be-together storyline; I was surprised that I liked it so much because I usually don't care for that type of romance. It just worked really well in this context.
Percy is an unusual heroine for me to like, because she is very meek and uncertain. I lean toward the tough chicks, and while Percy does have incredible inner strength, she is very timid on the outside. There were a few times when I wanted to shout at her to stand up for herself, but she does come through when it really matters (and I cheered). Alexi, on the other hand, pushes all of my brooding hero buttons. I have to admit that I pictured the aforementioned Richard Armitage as Alexi; a Twitter conversation with the author revealed that she imagined Alexi as Alan Rickman when she started writing the novel. Either way, he's brooding and isolated, having devoted his entire life to seeking out the Prophecy revealed to him when he was a teenager, and he's the perfect picture of a lonely romantic hero.
I think the thing I found most fascinating about this novel was the mythology that surrounds the characters. Alexi and his five companions were chosen as young teenagers to serve as the Guard, and they were granted specific powers that would allow them to police London and send dangerous spirits packing. Alexi has spent the twenty years since that time struggling to balance his beliefs as a scientist with the memory of the goddess who appeared to them through a portal in the air. I won't give away the mythology itself, but it was well-integrated into the story and was definitely an interesting twist on what could have been a simpler ghost story.
The only complaint I have is that the end seemed to happen really swiftly, and I wish it had been drawn out a bit more. But otherwise, I absolutely loved this book and would definitely recommend it.
What I Like: The gothic spin on a traditional Victorian London setting. The dark, gloomy and terrifying atmosphere of classic gothic storytelling fits perfectly with this book, whose story takes place in the year 1888, the year of Jack the Ripper. I also liked the interpretation of the ancient tale of Persephone and her abduction by Hades, which forms the backbone of the book's storyline.
What I Don't Like: The author's repeated use of 'regal' and 'noble' to describe the appearance of Professor Alexi Rychman. 'Regal brow', 'noble face', 'regal this', 'noble that', ad infinitum, ad nauseum. Enough already, we get it, he's a handsome dude! I know Ms. Hieber is emulating the traditional gothic guidelines in describing her hero, but one or two 'nobles' or 'regals', combined with the futher descriptions of the character swooping, stalking, pacing and prowling, is quite enough for us to understand he is the hero, in all his brooding, mysterious, tormented, waiting-to-be-saved-by-his-one-true-love glory. Ease up on the descriptors and move on! I also quite dislike the book's subject, Miss Percy Parker herself. She has been raised in a convent, where modesty and self-effacement is all that, but her mewling, whining, whimpering, cowering, cringing, apologetic, servile attitude is so far beyond modesty, it creeps into the sado-masochistic realm ("please, hurt me, for I deserve no better"). Yeesh! Annoyance is not a strong enough word to describe the feeling her behavior engenders in me. We, as readers, are given to understand that the lack of self-confidence in Percy comes from her unique appearance when instead she is merely falling prey to the tired cliche of a Beautiful Heroine Unaware of Her Beauty. Her continual assumption that her snow-white hair, milk-pale skin, and near-colorless eyes brings nothing but revulsion to people grates on the nerves and, frankly, made me want to smack her. I know the Victorian era was several decades before the "Let Your Freak Flag Fly" movement was popular, but, still... Woman up and grow a backbone already! When she finally does grow a backbone, it comes so late in the tale and it's such a half-hearted attempt at confidence that it doesn't seem worth the effort. Lastly, the density of the other characters as regards to Percy and her role in the story was so frustrating, I came close to throwing the book at the wall. Despite many clues, one of which the equivalent of a ginormous neon sign, as to Percy's importance, the characters' heads remained firmly up their arses. Ostensibly, this was to create a dramatic denouement at the finale of the book, but their behavior was so unbelievable that instead of a gasp of surprise and empathy at the reveal, I blurted out "Well, duh! That's what happens when you have your heads up your butts." It was a ham-handed approach to creating dramatic tension.
However, despite all these failings, I felt a strange (strangely beautiful?) compulsion to keep turning the page. It was the kind one feels when watching a train wreck, the horrified fascination which comes when one knows something will end badly but has to watch anyway.
It was truly a pleasure reading Ms. Hieber's tender love story with her version of Greek mythology mixed with the paranormal. The plot was well rounded and the ending gives you a nice closure but I have a few questions lingering that I hope will be answered in the next book. Your not going to find anything too terribly dark or forbidding in this book, though the evil ones were evil enough to fulfill their part in the setting of this book. It was a wonderful journey reading this book and I'm looking forward to next book in this series. Yes, I would definitely recommend this book.
If your still not sure about reading this book, I suggest that you head over to Leanna Renee Hieber's website and read the prologue and excerpts: [...]. I was hooked from reading just the prologue and I'm betting you will be too.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I enjoyed the story quite a bit!Read more
The story starts with six kids, barely entering their teens.Read more