Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publication date: May 14th 2013
My rating: 4 stars
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.
I’m not one who usually reads historical fiction, but this one appealed to me. Mystery, horror, with a gothic feel, set in Paris! I couldn’t resist and I’m glad I gave this story a chance!
Seventeen year old Ingrid is flung into a world where mythical creatures are anything but myth, when her mother, sister and she move to Paris from London. Her mother plans on renovating an old abbey into a gallery to exhibit her art, and during the renovations Ingrid, her sister Gabriella and Grayson are to stay in the abbey’s old rectory, only Grayson is missing when they arrive. He was sent ahead to locate and purchase a property suitable for his mother’s endeavor and he chooses the old abbey. Ingrid and Gabby are horrified to find the rectory and abbey old, musty, creepy and haunting. Surrounded by gargoyles sitting as grotesque sentries at the top of the building the place gives Ingrid shivers. Turns out there’s a reason for that.
When they arrive and find Grayson missing with reports of local girls disappearing as well, Ingrid and Gabby are more than alarmed and they make plans to find him. Reluctantly involved in the quest is Luc one of the abbey’s servants. He’s young and beautiful and Ingrid finds out there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to Luc. Not just Luc, there’s a whole other world in Paris that Ingrid and Gabby discover just under their noses, and unfortunately their brother Grayson found himself smack in the middle of it.
This story was an intriguing mix of fantasy, mystery, and horror and interspersed with romantic tension. The story is told in the third person and switches from the perspective of Ingrid, Gabby, Luc and Grayson so that we get to know each character a little more intimately.
Seventeen year old Ingrid is still reeling from humiliation over an incident in London, so moving to Paris is a welcome change but finding her twin Grayson is missing is like a stab to the heart. She is very close to her brother, almost like an invisible cord connects them, so she knows he’s in danger but still alive. Fifteen year old Gabby is impetuous and outgoing, so she doesn’t think twice about consequences when she bands together with her sister Ingrid to find Grayson.
Grayson’s disappearance is wrapped up in Luc’s secret world, so he’s not going to let Ingrid and Gabby search for Grayson by themselves. He’s connected and bound to all residents of the abbey, but finds himself even more so to Ingrid. She’s also affected by Luc, with his striking good looks and infuriatingly hostile attitude. As much as Ingrid would like to ignore Luc, she finds out he is one of the keys to finding her brother.
I really liked the original idea of this world and its creatures, and the setting of Paris back in the 1800’s was mysterious and intriguing. But there’s a lot going on with this being the first book in a series, setting up and explaining the world, and creatures. There are several POVs and a descriptive style of prose, and all this combined made it a little difficult to get into the story at first. Once I settled in, though, the story got a whole lot more interesting, even if the pacing was a little slow.
There are a few attractions and romances a-brewing with Ingrid and Gabby. Shades of a love triangle with Ingrid, Luc and another character, Vander, who is also part of this mystical world, made me a little nervous. I can’t stand love triangles, but so far the situation is bearable, because Luc seems to be the clear winner, even though their romance is in the forbidden category. He’s definitely my pick. Gabby’s romance was of the antagonistic variety, which made it a little more fun and lighthearted.
All in all, this is a promising start in a series with an original concept, and while it didn’t leave on a cliffhanger, it left you wanting more. I will be picking up the sequel to see what happens next.
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