Monday, November 11, 2013

The Beautiful and the Cursed by Page Morgan

After a bizarre accident, Ingrid Waverly is forced to leave London with her mother and younger sister, Gabby, trading a world full of fancy dresses and society events for the unfamiliar city of Paris.

In Paris there are no grand balls or glittering parties, and, disturbingly, the house Ingrid’s twin brother, Grayson, found for them isn’t a house at all. It’s an abandoned abbey, its roof lined with stone gargoyles that could almost be mistaken for living, breathing creatures.

And Grayson has gone missing.

No one seems to know of his whereabouts but Luc, a devastatingly handsome servant at their new home.

Ingrid is sure her twin isn’t dead—she can feel it deep in her soul—but she knows he’s in grave danger. It will be up to her and Gabby to navigate the twisted path to Grayson, a path that will lead Ingrid on a discovery of dark secrets and otherworldly truths. And she’ll learn that once they are uncovered, they can never again be buried.
One of the things that appealed to me the most about this book, right away, (besides the pretty cover and the gargoyle storyline) were the reviews I’ve read for it that mentioned the superior writing. Okay, I’m lying. It was mostly the gargoyle storyline. I know the cartoon has been mentioned in other reviews for this book already, but come on. Gargoyles was one epic cartoon back in the day.

I kind of feel like the only reviewer not to be impressed with the writing. I do like a good gothic romance. I also love that it took place in Paris. The setting was phenomenal. I really felt like I was there. However, I felt like the author might have been trying too hard. It was a few too many metaphors and similes for my taste. I get that Morgan was trying to sound like a writer of the time period she was writing. But, I seriously think all of the metaphors took away from the period setting for me. They kind of distracted me and kept pulling me out of an otherwise addictive book. And maybe I wouldn’t have hated the metaphors quite so much if there weren’t so many about the color of Luc’s eyes. By the fourth mention of Luc’s eyes, I considered putting the book down.
However, I’m glad I didn’t. The metaphors dwindle a little bit by the end of the book. The last quarter of the book is one action sequence after another, and there frankly wasn’t enough time to talk about eye color. And I’m not saying that the whole book needed to have more action either. I kind of liked the build up. I loved getting to see Paris and slowly learning about the gargoyles, the angels, and the demons that run amuck in it. I’m glad I got to fully immerse myself in this world before too much murder came into play.
And there was plenty of murder, blood, violence, and suspense. Also, Ingrid had a supernatural power at her fingertips, so to speak. This certainly made her a more interesting character. At first, I wasn’t too impressed with her. She was kind of the boring, but pretty sister. But as the book goes, I loved seeing how strong she was, how brave.
I thoroughly loved her sister, Gabby, from the beginning. She was like Marianne in Sense and Sensibility, though maybe not quite as romantic. And Gabby, despite not having any powers or super twin connections to her missing brother, was always willing to fight for what she wanted. And then there’s dreamy Luc. He’s a character to swoon over, surely. I love his story. Though, what he shares with Ingrid is a bit instant for my liking.
Page Morgan is definitely a reader of Austen. The family workings are very Austen-like. And the relationship between the sisters really did add to the historical feel. The book ended with a bit of a romantic cliffhanger. And I still have some unanswered questions about Ingrid and her twin. I will definitely be continuing with the series. The characters were fun. The setting was beautiful. The story was intriguing. I’m just hoping for more answers, less metaphors, and more genuine connections between love interests (that’s not instant or based on purely physical attraction…and smell). This gets an 8/10.

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