Series: The Dispossessed #1
Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers on May 14, 2013
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Source: Amazon Vine
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.
As with so many books I read lately, I’m having difficulty reviewing THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE CURSED. It was a book I wanted to like — who wouldn’t like gargoyles? — but I ended up forcing myself to finish. The best way to put my feelings for it would be: cool ideas, but bad execution.
The good parts:
1. The gargoyles. Finally, a paranormal book with something other than vampires or werewolves! The author put some thought into them, explaining how they’re created, their purpose, etc. Basically, gargoyles exist to protect the humans that live in their buildings. Luc, one of Ingrid’s love interests, is the caretaker of the abbey she moves to with her mother and sister. I got the impression gargoyles don’t really *like* taking care of their charges, but it’s their penance for committing a very specific crime before their human death.
2. Grayson, the missing brother of Ingrid and Gabriella, was the closest I had to a favorite character in this book. There are only a few parts from his perspective, but they’re quite dark and gruesome. Kidnapped by a mysterious entity, Grayson undergoes a transformation. We don’t find out exactly what happens to him until the end of the book, but I liked that the author went there.
The bad parts (for me):
1. The pacing/action scenes. THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE CURSED is a book I had to keep making myself pick up, due to the tepid action scenes and the slow pacing. The characters were in danger multiple times in the book, but I never felt worried about any of them. It was like, “Oh, Ingrid’s being attacked by a hellhound. Okay.” The pacing was off, too; the book just read super slowly for me. It felt like it took forever for something important to happen, and then that something important was covered in a paragraph or two.
2. The romances. Ingrid and Gabby have two love interests each. I was not enthused. I am picky about romance and relationships when reading, and I didn’t feel any chemistry between the various couples. The only relationship that came half-way close to working was Gabby and Nolan. Nolan’s part of the Alliance, a human organization that fights the same threats the gargoyles do. Nolan’s banter with Gabby was funny, and actually established SOMETHING between them, a basis for interest.
THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE CURSED does at least answer some of the questions raised within its page, but it does leave plenty of room for another book to continue the series. It’s a series I won’t be reading, because, for the most part, I just wasn’t impressed. Although the use of gargoyles as a different paranormal creature was creative, there just wasn’t enough otherwise for me to sink into the book.
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