- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: DP; Reprint edition (May 2, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1428511458
- ISBN-13: 978-1428511453
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 85 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,102,475 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker Paperback – May 2, 2011
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"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
About the Author
Leanna graduated with a BFA in Theatre, a focus in the Victorian Era and a scholarship to study in London. She has adapted works of 19th Century literature for the stage and her one-act plays have been produced around the country. Her novella Dark Nest won the 2009 Prism Award for excellence in Futuristic, Fantasy or Paranormal Romance. The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker won double 2010 Prism Awards for Best Fantasy and Best First Book, the 2010 Orange County Book Buyer's Best Award (Young Adult category) and the rights have been sold for adaptation into a Broadway musical theatre production currently in development. A member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Romance Writers of America and International Thriller Writers, she’s thrilled to have been named RWA NYC’s 2010 Author of the Year. A member of actors unions AEA, SAG and AFTRA, Leanna works often in film and television. A devotee of ghost stories and Goth clubs, she resides in New York City with her real-life hero and beloved rescued lab rabbit Persebunny.
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It's a historical paranormal romance, I guess you could say. Sort of like The Parsol Protectorate series, but not as "steampunk-ish", meaning not a lot of that advance technology, but the story was still wonderfully told.
There is Greek mythology intertwined with the story but not like I was expecting. It was surprising and yet hard to explain without giving away spoilers, so I won't.
There is definitely some mystery and intrigue in here as well. Spies and secret societies in some respects! Totally loved it, was very thrilling. The pacing was set at a good pace. Not overly fast or slow. It didn't drag, I don't recall ever coming across a dull moment. I only wanted to know more and more!
I'm already diving into the second one as I write this and have the third one to review early as well so I'm pretty excited and glad that I waited to read these since I can read all 3 back to back! A very thrilling series so far with also a kind of modern day fairy tale element mixed in as well, despite it being 1888!
I am SO glad it did.
I couldn't put it down. I just couldn't tear my eyes away from the story, and I can NOT remember the last time I read a book in which the romance between the leads, Percy and Alexi, provided me such a roller coaster ride of emotions. Hope and frustration, love and bitter disappointment, disbelief and disdain, agony and pleasure, all encompassed the ride that was the coming together of the sheltered Miss Percy and her forbidding and commanding Professor. And around this sweet, sweet romance is the ingenious and original story of six people chosen to fight the darkness and maintain the balance between the living and the dead, releasing the souls of the wicked from their taunting and capture of the souls of light. Six people with their own hopes, dreams, fears, and passions who work together despite class and circumstance, chosen and filled with the gifts of once immortals. And the mix of Victorian England and Greek mythology - which could have been SO discordant - was seamless and flawlessly executed.
I loved it - even when the story was frustrating me to no end, for the blind faith in the faithless and the rigid code of propriety so far beyond the ken of a progressive, modern woman. I loved it even when I wanted to stomp on the delicates of the professor himself for his cutting words. I loved it even when I yearned to see a more steely, worldly spine supporting the all too self-effacing Percy. I loved it for its depth of character and sweeping romance, for the taut wending of a notorious killer into a mythos of evil and potential world-ending damnation. I loved it for the glimmer of brilliance in the conception of secondary and ancillary characters whose lines may have been brief, but whose presence were intrinsically valuable. This was a book that I shouldn't have been able to stomach, and yet, in large part due to the expansive, intelligent writing and sheer commitment of the author, I found myself captivated by this exceedingly strange, and hauntingly beautiful tale.
I will be anxiously awaiting the sequel, The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker, due out in April of 2010. In it I hope to see a further strengthening of one Percy Parker, and further hope to see more story development for the five friends of Alexi that make up the rest of his coterie.
Fast forward to 1888 and the children are now grown and a force to be reckoned with. Warned that they will be tricked and have to second guess situations that come in to play, they see ghosts: both good spirits and bad. And there is something bad out there....really bad....evil with a capitol E who has helpers.
And so the story continues with clues of a romantic adventure and an introduction to a mystery with a continuing mythical undertone. Ms. Hilber wants to share secrets with you, the reader. Like mysterious passages and hidden compartments, this narrative is finely crafted and multilayered. If you are like me you'll have to go back several times while reading their story to verify a clue about what happens in the future. The big question is, "When will Prophecy come?".
A wealth of folktales including murders (who IS Jack the Ripper?) provide a strong connection between The Guard and Miss Percy Parker. An orphan, she was raised by nuns. Hints of albinism, Percy is unusual looking. She has learned to avoid humans to keep from being taunted. Now 18 years old she is sent to Athens Academy to continue her education. Events unfold at a leisurely pace at this old English estate-turned-school where Percy meets Professor Alexi Rychman, the leader of The Guard.
This is a fantasy that some may find slow-reading but don't be daunted. Remember, it is Victorian times. Dark and gloomy at moments the novel has some cloak-and-dagger characters, veiled messages and morals to fight for. THE DARKLY LUMINOUS FIGHT FOR PERSEPHONE PARKER is the second book in this series. THE PERILOUS PROPHECY OF GUARD AND GODDESS is a prequel but, I understand from others, that it is best to start with this first book.