Paperback, 343 pages
May 2nd 2013, Hot Key Books
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...
Source: Olivia + Hot Key Books (Thank you!)
The ambiance of The Beautiful and the Cursed was unforgettable. Cold, gloomy, slightly creepy in morning and creepier at night with the tang of a hundred disastrous and startling possibilities in the air, this story world left its mark in my mind.
What I appreciated most in The Beautiful and the Cursed was the paranormal element: gargoyles. To be honest, this is the first gargoyle-related novel that I’ve read. Seeing les grotesques in a different light was refreshing. Their connection to the Angelic Order was something that I would never imagine. The Dispossessed were cursed creatures, bound to protect people albeit unwillingly. They harbored bittersweet feelings: grateful for not being sent to hell but not so excited to feel the intense pull to protect their humans.
Ingrid was admirable because of her persistence and optimism. She was determined to find her twin, Grayson, no matter what other people said, no matter how much discouraging things she heard and no matter how much everybody thought that what she wanted to do was irrational and impossible. In her search for clues about the whereabouts of Grayson, she found otherworldly creatures and abilities, a secret organization and unearthed secrets instead. Her transformation throughout the novel was one of the highlights for me.
Luc, our resident gargoyle, was not the usual YA guy. Although he was the brooding type, he was more mature, responsible and undeniably enigmatic. Luc and Ingrid’s relationship was a strained in the beginning. They performed a dance of pull and push. Eventually they were drawn towards one another in dangerous circumstances and sparks flew.
Gabby, the younger Waverly sister, was overly curious, daring and bold. In the middle of her investigation, she bumped into Nolan. Scottish, mischievous and clever, he was both annoying and charming. Their relationship started with back to back banter and palpable annoyance, with their always-clashing perspectives. As they got pulled deeper and deeper into the mystery of Grayson’s disappearance, they both started falling, seeing beyond the arguments.
Although I was a bit distracted with the onslaught of character introductions in the beginning, to the point that I was struggling to remember who was who, I eventually adjusted and enjoyed the story. The writing was very movie-like to me. The Beautiful and the Cursed was written in such a way that would be suited to movies. The successive presentation of the story from various points of view, that I consider the reader’s ‘glimpses,’ was quite cinematic.
The Beautiful and the Cursed is atmospheric, romantic and cinematic. With dual romance, twists and turns and otherworldly revelations, this gem will keep readers entertained. Readers of paranormal will enjoy this breath of fresh air. It’s high time that we reserve a spot for gargoyles on our shelves.
I really enjoyed this. I recommend this!