the strangely beautiful tale of miss percy parker by leanna renee hieber

Posted on June 26, 2010

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I am impressed enough by the premise of the book. A group of mortals infused with the spirits of celestial beings, guarding against unruly spirits and ghosts. A Byronic figure waiting for his goddess to return as the seventh member of that group. And a girl white as snow with strange visions. The story takes off from the Persephone myth, then twists it.

If she didn’t think herself handicapped by strange looks, I bet she’d be a flirt.

Which I’m not sure I liked, fond as I am of the story of Hades’s cruel passion for the girl forbidden to him. But I can live with that. The Gothic imagery and chase scenes across the slums of London are captivating, and all the grandiose gestures make for cinematic appeal.

My problem with this book is Miss Percy Parker who is supposedly timid but just comes across as vulgar with her exaggerated protestations of her “deformity.” She sounds like a whipped cur most of the time, irritatingly needy.

I can’t relate to her and, except for Alexi and Rebecca, the others of the Guard who have little to no personality to speak of. Do they have a purpose aside from making the number?

Beautiful, strangely not quite.