Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Review: The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker

Title: The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker
Author: Leanna Renee Hieber
Genre: Fiction, Paranormal, Gothic
Pub Date: August 2009, Dorchester Publishing Company
Mass Market Paperback, 324 pages
Book source: Received for review from the author (Many thanks!)


What fortune awaited sweet, timid Percy Parker at Athens Academy? Hidden in the dark heart of Victorian London, the Romanesque school was dreadfully imposing, a veritable fortress, and little could Percy guess what lay inside. She had never met its powerful and mysterious Professor Alexi Rychman, knew nothing of the growing shadows, of the Ripper and other supernatural terrors against which his coterie stood guard. She saw simply that she was different, haunted, with her snow white hair, pearlescent skin and uncanny gift. This arched stone doorway was a portal to a new life, to an education far from what could be had at a convent-and it was an invitation to an intimate yet dangerous dance at the threshold of life and death...

My Thoughts

While I initially had some difficulty getting into this story, by the time I was a couple of chapters into it, I could not put the book down. Well, unfortunately, I did HAVE to, but I didn't WANT to. The title is so very appropriate, as well--this truly was a "strangely beautiful tale." There is no better way to describe it!

To begin, Hieber's writing is really quite lovely--she has a way with words that is enjoyable to read. There were frequently dialogues of subtle wit that I appreciated, and at many times the writing was lyrical. It may not always be consistent, but the writing is generally very good. Add to that a story that was ultimately gripping and fascinating, and I think you have an all-in-all great read. Here we have a paranormal story dealing more with visions and ghosts, coupled with a brewing romance that really spurred me along while reading. Honestly, I was probably more interested in how the romance would turn out than the rest of the story, and perhaps that's why I have to admit that I'm still not quite sure how the paranormal elements all managed to resolve themselves. I'm thinking a re-read will be in order sometime down the road.

I enjoyed the characters, though I did often get annoyed with Percy Parker's self-pity (to be fair, it was very in line with her character). In the end, however, she came into her own, much to my satisfaction. All of the members of The Guard (headed by Alexi) are unique and have their own personalities that tend to stand out. Overall, I thought Hieber developed and presented her characters very fittingly into the story. I think that lovers of mystery, the paranormal, or romance would enjoy this book. The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker is the first in a series, and I definitely look forward to reading the next story!

My rating: 4 stars

Other reviews of The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker:

Lurv a la Mode ~ Romance Book Wyrm ~ Stacy's Place on Earth
Darque Reviews ~ Babbling About Books, And More!
The Discriminating Fangirl ~ The Tome Traveller's Weblog

If you have reviewed this book and would like to see a link to your site listed above, please leave a comment with the permalink to your review!


  1. Well, now I have another book added to the list. This book sounds really good. I was waiting for you review before I added it to the list. Well, now it has sealed the deal. It has made the list of future purchases.

    Thanks for the great review!

  2. You read this too! I have got to join the party for this book. Thanks for the great review.

  3. Thank you so much for th ereview. I'm going to have to get this book.

  4. I'm so glad that you brought up the dialogue and writing style! Dialogue is such an important part of a good novel, and when someone does it as well as Hieber does, it's worth mentioning :).

  5. Love your dissection of the strength of the writing, and dialogue especially. I don't know if I've gotten more discriminating, or if I'm just cranky these days, but I like to know going in if the writing will flow. If not, don't want to spend my time on it. Great review, and the book sounds lovely!

  6. Thank you for bringing this book to my attention, Melissa. I've been in the mood for something like this.

  7. Thanks for the review, it sounds like something I'd be interested in. I love the cover too.

  8. I really want to read this. I have put it on my Friday Finds for tomorrow.

  9. i really enjoyed this book and am happy to see others have as well. my review should go up sometime today.


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