Black Swan Rising (Black Swan Rising #1)
New York jeweller Garet James has her fair share of problems: money, an elderly father, a struggling business. One day she comes across an antiques shop she'd never noticed before. The owner possesses an old silver box that's been sealed shut. Would she help an old man and open it, perhaps? She does...and that night strange things begin to happen. It's as if her world - ou...more
What an interesting story! It was fantastical and descriptive and just all around interesting. I loved that so much about the arts and various artists were included. The explanation for their bursts of talent and their eventual sudden loss of talent was a very fascinating take. I like that the author included so many well known things, like Van Gogh's painting, Starry Night, to illustrate exactly what she meant. I read that line and knew exactly what image she was trying to portray! I ...more
I just don't care about these people. Stuff is happening, but it's a blur of flat characters & disjointed action scenes. Bottom line: the writing is unbelievably bland. There are nice details that you don't see in other PNR, such as the heroine being a jewelry designer & her family operating an art gallery (with plenty of references to modern & classical art); I also like the ties to Elizabethan fae.
...But those tiny positives aren't enough to hold my interest.
Normal 20-somethi ...more
Black Swan Rising is a beautifully written gothic style tale. The world is richly described, a modern day New York City layered with the magical world of the fae and an assortment of many different paranormal creatures. I ...more
As I started this book, I was at odds with a almost syrup slowness that starts to build into something that totally held my attention and made me end up loving a book I was going to dismiss and perhaps put on the DNF shelf!
With the economy at it's worse New York jeweller Garet James and her father try to hold up their art gallery by threads, when things can't get any worse, Garet comes across an old antiques shop where she's given a silver box that she's asked to open. Only it's a trick, and w ...more
Garet James is a down on her luck jewelry designer trying to make a living in the heart of New York City. Garet, on the edge of dispair because of her father's recent bad decisions, finds herself in the heart of what she thought was a normal antique store. Little did Garet know, walking into that store, would transform her life in more ways then she could ever imagine.
This book is about a woman's transformation from "plain jane" to a strong warrior. Garet has to figure out whom to trust, and if ...more
The beginning of the ...more
Thanks to Netgalley and Bantam for giving me this book to review.
After the bad day of finding out that she is neck deep in debt, jewellery designer Garet James stumbles into an unusual antiques store. The shop keeper commissions her to use her jewellery making skills to open a silver box which has the same swan symbol that is on the deceased mother’s ring. After managing to open the silver box Garet discovers that t ...more
This novel is a perfect example of what to avoid when writing a story.
The characters came out so flat as to not even be there. It feels like the author added herself & husband into the roles and glossed over any character development that would breath life into this book.
From the start it was the writing style that most ruined it for me. For such imaginative elements, fae, the writing ...more
Garet fast became one of my favorite fiction characters, she’s snarky and she keeps going when any other person would just lay down and call it quits. The ending damn near killed me but I am so happy this is a series and not a one off, it was just that good!
I can’t wait to fin ...more
So this book opens up with our main character, Garet James entering a strange antique store. In the antique store, Garet is persuaded into opening a silver box with a swan symbol on it by the store owner, John Dee. Strangely enoug ...more
I had not realised this, but Lee Carroll is a pseudonym for Carol Goodman and her husband, Lee Slonimsky.
I have been a fan of Goodman’s books for years, ever since I read The Lake of Dead Languages in 2002 and was delighted to discover that she has (co-) written books I never knew existed.
The second surprise was that this book was more literary than most urban fantasies/vampire novels I’ve read so far. I guess that is probably beca ...more
Not bad, not great. Interesting characters, but the plot feels so "been there, read that already". I had hoped for more originality, but still, this wasn't bad. It just could have been so much better.
Review to come.
This book was surprisingly wonderful. It was actually written by Carol Goodman and her husband Lee Slominky. Goodman is one of my favorite authors so I wanted to see how the team effort played out.
This book had a bit of everything, fae folk, dragons, mermaids, vampires and an assortment of other magical beings. As with any fantastical book a certain level of suspension of belief is required. However, what should have been ridiculous was enchanting and magical.
This is the first in a tril ...more
I picked this title even though its not normally a genre I'd choose, as I thought it would be more of a challenge than reading 4 books I'd have chosen anyway. Hmm maybe that was a big mistake.
I guess this is what you'd call "urban fantasy" Its about a young woman who lives in New York, designs and makes jewellery for a living (I thought that might give me some common ground as I make jewellery) Her mother died when she w ...more
I’m glad I did. After not reading for pleasure in years, I’m glad this was the book I started with. It had all the elements I loved in a story: a good writer first of all, good characters, a plot, and something fantastical. Simple enough, right? But that’s not always e ...more
I usually read the more action-inspired UF; this one was a very enjoyable change of pace. If you must have a lot of romance or a warrior-woman MC, then this one probably isn't for you. If you are craving something different, then definitely check it out.
Garet is a "normal young woman" which of course means she is anything bu ...more
Characters: The main character, Garet, was interesting at first (because she was a 26-year-old jeweller for one thing, rather than a sixteen-year-old misunderstood high school student) but she never really seemed to develop throughout the story. She seemed a bit wooden with weak interactions, and her sudden passion for Will wasn’t believable. All of the other characters weren’t developed enough and their relati ...more
I am pleased and surprised to say that I was wrong, at least on those last two scores. Yes, the book isn't a Weighty Tome, but it is well written and, what's more surprising, truly imaginative. It's rare for me to come across a fantasy novel that plays with old stories and tropes in a way that feels truly new. This one did.
Some aspects - the romance, for instance ...more
Garet James is twenty-six and lives with her father Roman. He has some debts and she is trying hard to help him. She makes jewellery and one day, she stumbles into a strange shop. John Dee knows about her and he asks her to help him to open a silver box. He will give her a nice sum of money. Garet is intrigued by the symbol of a swan; it resembles the swan from her ring. She feels like it means something, but strange things happen when she opens the bo ...more
This book started out really well. There's a bad guy! And he's going to unleash the demons Despair ...more
Garet is a jewellery maker living and working in New York. She stumbles across an antiques store when she's looking for shelter from the rain and is asked for help by the owner. He has a silver box with a seal that matched the ring Garet wears, an heirloom passed down from her mother. He's u ...more
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. Our Heroine, Garet James, isn't a witch, but she is...other, and she does have a dalliance with a (spoiler alert?) vampire and John Dee does come out of the woodwork. There are a lot of similarities. And this isn't the first adult fantasy I've read this year with John Dee. Its the third. Since this is only the first book in the series there's still time for our heroine and her dark l ...more
i am probably completely overrating this book but it was right up my alley. not only did i read it at the opportune time (semester has ended and thus i utter a huge sigh of relief), but there is a good mixture of fantasy (fairies, vampires, gnomes, dragons, the list goes on) along with decent characterization (not amazing), little spurts of action and betrayal, glimpses of romance, the discovery of a new world and it all takes place in the city that i've been calling home for the past 5 ...more
At first I wasn't sure where this was going... it seemed slow, but then I realized I'd been reading at lunch at work: 20 minutes at a time, if I was lucky. Once I got into it, though, I couldn't put it down. Things I love: a strong female lead; supernatural elements; a well thought out plot; twists and turns that are unexpect ...more