Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Beautiful and the Cursed (The Dispossessed #1)

The Beautiful and the Cursed (The Dispossessed #1)
Page Morgan
$18.99, Hardcover
Delacorte, 2013

Genre: Paranormal, Horror

Age: 12+

Description: When Ingrid Waverly accidentally, it appears to her, sets her best friend’s house on fire (without the aid of matches let alone any type of fuel), she is forced to flee London and head to Paris with her mother and her younger sister, Gabby. They are to inhabit a new house found by Ingrid’s twin, Grayson. However, when they arrive they discover that the house he found for them is in fact an old abbey. A creepy old building their artist mother loves but Ingrid and Gabby are scared of, especially with its horrifying gargoyles guarding the roof. No one but Ingrid seems to be concerned with the fact that Grayson is missing and a number of lovely young Paris ladies have been viciously killed—apparently torn apart by a creature with large fangs and long claws. The only person who seems to share her concern is Luc, a cute servant on the estate who has some horrifying secrets of his own he would prefer Ingrid not to find out.

Opinion: By now, since this book has been released, everyone knows the cool twist of the story—that Luc (among other characters) is a gargoyle, a “dispossessed” fallen angel who did a bad deed in his previous life which has not resulted in his forever torment to be alone and living as a gargoyle whose main role is to protect the people living in his home. I almost went into reading this book without knowing about the gargoyle element. I wish it was kept out of the description as the shocking nature of Luc and the other dispossessed would have been more, well, shocking. I loved the history behind the gargoyles and the fact that while there was a whole love/romantic angle to the story it wasn’t horribly clich├ęd—the contact between Luc and Ingrid is very dangerous and people could kill them if their love was found out. It was also nice that Ingrid was, at first, rather disgusted at the thought of what Luc really is. (Instead of all other paranormal romances with God-like hot dudes—here is a creature that inspires fear among many people not lust.) I liked the setting and most of the characters. The mythology of the world and the creatures is refreshing. I also appreciate that the book could stand on its own. I will look forward to the sequel though.

Thanks to the people at Delacorte for the ARC for the YALSA YA Galley Group!

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