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The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker (Strangely Beautiful, #1)

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  2,400 ratings  ·  445 reviews
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 ter ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 324 pages
Published August 20th 2009 by Leisure Books (first published 2009)
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Average rating 3.43  · 
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 ·  2,400 ratings  ·  445 reviews

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Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
The title is a misnomer. I would have titled this The Twistingly Tangential Tale of Miss Percy Parker instead. Good lord, how this story wandered.

I'm going to be quoting a lot from this book in this review. The quotes are too priceless not to be used, and they give a pretty good impression of the entirety of the book and the writing...which is not a good thing. The writing tries too hard to be poetic and 19th century, and instead sounds like an author's flowery rendition instead of actual, b
Leanna Hieber
Jul 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
This is the only book of mine I'll ever rate, and while it won't be the best book I ever write, I'll remain particularly partial to it. After a decade-long journey to publication, my debut remains the book of my heart. ...more
Jun 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
Cross genre books are a hard sell. And unless the author has the skill to pull it off, the book will not find a readership. When it comes to The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker, this could have been a problem. This novel is a Victorian Gothic Paranormal Ghost filled tale with romance that both teens and adults can read. The sensuality is subdued enough to fit the time period of 1888 London, England. Emotions such as the yearnings of love and lust are meant to pushed way down. What ...more
What a unique and interesting story! I don't read that many fantasy books, so this was a big departure for me. I liked it, but things that were new and interesting to me might be common in the genre. I'm just not familiar enough with it to say for certain.

I really liked getting to see so many different points of view. The main focus of the story was Alexia and his fated love, but we got to see a lot of the rest of his group of six. The dynamic between them seemed really genuine. They laughed tog
Smokinhotbooks K.C.
Dec 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
There aren’t enough words the Internet Thesaurus dictionary can describe for how ‘in-hearts’ I am with The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker. This book was a re-imagined homage to the Victorian romantics such as Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte mixed with the supernatural aspects of Sherlock Holmes. This book brought to life what is so often missing in contemporary romance, the ability to build romantic tension with nothing more than stolen glances and a poet’s heart. I was swept awa ...more
Apr 22, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-2010
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 17, 2011 rated it did not like it
Twilight for adults? I felt I'd scream if a had to read about the hero's good looks and rich voice one more time. And perhaps Ms Hieber should employ an editor or proof-reader to help her get her "thee"s and "thou"s right and find a balance between quaintly historic, badly done Irish brogue, and too modern for the timeline diction. And to keep her from calling a group of people "beloveds". GAAAAH! English is not my first language, but even I could see how bad the English was. And every time a Ge ...more
DNF at about 50%.

This is a perfectly enjoyable book, but there's just no real tension. The direction of the story is pretty obvious, and there's not much wondering about who the villains are or what they're up to. So while the characters are mostly charming, the atmosphere murky and moody, and the writing sharp and enjoyable, none of it has been holding my attention. Part of that is just the mind-frame I've been in during a very tense summer, and is no reflection at all on this story. But when
Julie (jjmachshev)
Aug 22, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2009-reads
"The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker" is one of the strangest 'romances' I've read in a long time. Author Leanna Renee Hieber has penned a tale worthy of the title 'gothic' and just about as understandable.

Miss Percy Parker is an albino. Abandoned as an infant on the steps of a convent in Victorian times, she grew up with only ghosts as friends. When she arrives to the Athens school in London, she is ever hopeful of finding a purpose for her life and equally fearful of the jibes an
Jul 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I am not sure what to say that won't sound trite. I loved this book. Utterly loved it. It was a beautiful, lyrical, haunting tale that was remarkably well told. I don't think I have ever read anything quite like it. The weaving and layering of mythological elements was done so skillfully... with little things that were just mentioned early on becoming heralds of significant things later.

Parts of it were quite harrowing - about 60 pages or so from the end I was positively drowning with anxiety -
Aug 02, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I must be getting soft. The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker doesn't really deserve four stars, but I liked it. (It was a free download from Barnes & Noble.) It's lovely and smooshy. It has really nice ghosts and a girl who can talk to them. The girl saves the world, of course. Sometimes, you just need to read something NICE. ...more
Lolly's Library
I'm not exactly sure what star rating to give to this book; three stars seems at once too generous and not generous enough. Perhaps it would help to simplify and break my review down into what I like and what I don't like about the book.
What I Like: The gothic spin on a traditional Victorian London setting. The dark, gloomy and terrifying atmosphere of classic gothic storytelling fits perfectly with this book, whose story takes place in the year 1888, the year of Jack the Ripper. I also liked th
Jess Haines
Jan 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Leanna Renee Hieber has created a fantastic and spellbinding adventure in THE STRANGELY BEAUTIFUL TALE MISS PERCY PARKER. Her writing is positively captivating. She creates a lovely and believable glimpse into a genteel Victorian-era London plagued by ghosts.

The foggy streets of London are lit by gas lamps and the hope of the The Guard to find the missing piece of their group, Prophecy. Ghosts have always haunted the living, but in this world, they can be deadly. It is the responsibility of The
CJ - It's only a Paper Moon
Truly a strangely beautiful tale.

I couldn't put the book down and read it in one day. I squee'd at the end of it.

Love, honor, betrayal, confusion, myth and passion are all themes in this book.

We follow Percy, who is an outsider in both worlds, and the Guard who is set upon this Earth to protect the innocent. Their paths intermingle and wind together and at the heart of this story is love and trusting one's own heart.

Percy is the beautiful ugly duckling and Alexi is the tortured brooding Gothic
This book is very VERY similar to another book I just read, "The Haunting Of Alaizabel Cray." Can't help comparing them. I enjoyed them both, although I liked this one a tad more.

Both are set in alterna-Victorian universes, very Gothic in tone. Seems to be a popular cross-genre lately, having just finished "Soulless" and "The Magicians and..." er something or other, check my reading list.

I though the lore in this book was rich (although sometimes a bit confusing), and I was rooting for the main
Oct 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: good-uns, fantasy
This book has made the rounds and no mistake. I started seeing early reviews awhile back and read a few delightful interviews with Leanna Renee Hieber and found myself intrigued to read her first novel--THE STRANGELY BEAUTIFUL TALE OF MISS PERCY PARKER. I was, therefore, tickled to receive a copy for review from Ms. Hieber and quickly set about settling in. I knew it was a Gothic paranormal mystery of sorts, featuring (among other things) a group of loyal comrades, a private London academy, a bi ...more
Oct 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Strangely Beautiful by Leanna Renee Hieber is full of rich writing that will grip onto your imagination and throw you into a story so fast that you will think you're in the late 1800s. I never wanted to put this book down when I was reading, I just wanted more. More ghosts, more Percy, more Alexi! I am so in love with this plot, atmosphere - Talk about being smitten with steampunk.

It all begins with the destiny of six children. The six are now The Guard, a specially formed team with extraordinar
Linda Banche
Jul 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
One of the Best Books I've Read

Every so often, you find a book that really knocks your socks off. If I could, I would give The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker by Leanna Renee Hieber 100 stars. There are no superlatives too great to describe this well-written, exciting historical romantic fantasy.

With a skillful touch, Ms. Hieber weaves ancient Greek myths into a breathtaking tale of creatures from Hell who terrorize Victorian London. The Guardians, humans endowed with supernatural
Jun 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This first book in the series had me captured pretty quickly. You can tell that Leanna Hieber has done her homework as the book really does capture the essence of those 18th century romantic novels. In fact the prose was quite poetic. She was also able to fully introduce the paranormal aspects within the book while keeping to the time period. Persephone Parker is true to her name and what happens within the book keeps pretty true to the mythical story. There are a few twists and turns within to ...more
Lynn Spencer
May 13, 2018 added it
Shelves: dnf
Everything I'd heard about this book made me think I'd love it. A mysterious school and a possibly magical heroine, an alternate Victorian London, all manner of intrigue afoot. The novel certainly contains all of these things, but it's written in a wordy and oddly distant style that made it very hard for me to really get into the story. I kept picking this up and putting it down for a while, before ultimately realizing that I just couldn't make myself care about the book very much. ...more
Dec 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I have had this book on my to be read list forever, not sure why I never got around to reading it. I bought it for my Kindle when I first got my Kindle (along with a million other books) so it kind of got lost in the shuffle. It was beautifully written, engaging, and romantic. It does have a gothic overtone to it and I ended up absolutely adoring it.

Six kids are given powers and a task, to guard humanity against the ghosts and darkness that haunt it...they are known as The Guard. Their leader is
Oct 10, 2009 rated it liked it
I have mixed feeling about this book. Parts of it were very interesting, but then parts of it were downright annoying.
I loved the 'idea' of the story. Six pre-teens in Victorian England are possessed by some ancient spirits, and grow into the Guard. A group who help control spirits with their different gifts, and protect the world against evil. At the same time, they are waiting for a Prophecy to come to pass that will allow a seventh to join their ranks. At first glance it looks like a straight
Nadine in NY Jones
I won a book! I won the newly released two-books-in-one "Strangely Beautiful," but I don't see that listed on GR and I don't feel like adding it so I'll just review each separately.

This was billed as "steam punk romance" but it wasn't steam punk at all, it was paranormal Victorian fantasy romance. It was also very good, one of the best paranormal romances I've read, and certainly the best book I've ever won.

I'm on vacation and typing this on my phone, so I'll keep it short for now.

The paranorma
Alison Diem
Ugh. Could not finish. When it takes me over two months to get through 56 pages? There is a problem.

Hated Percy. HATED HER. Get over yourself. Seriously. Two words: Mary Sue.

Don't care for romances with such a huge age discrepancy between hero and heroine. Vomit.

The prose was beautiful but difficult to get through at times. This is not the kind of book where I want to be re-reading passages simply to make sure I understood what the author was trying to say.

Not interested in the mythology, though
Apr 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Never has a title so conveyed the essence of a book, like The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker. Long and to the point, the title is exact in it's representation of the novel, because it is a strangely beautiful tale. The novel is a Victorian era paranormal, with all the tid-bits that keeps us para junkies begging for more. A must-read for paranormal and/or historical fans, Strangely Beautiful is a perfect blend of Victorian style writing, hauntingly, dark paranormal aspects and suga ...more
Rashida Pflipsen
Feb 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is beautifully written. Her descriptions are lovely and rich. The story moves along well and is quite exciting! If you love a good historical/sci-fi book, this is it! If you're not into sci-fi, but love a great story, give this book a go. It does not disappoint!! ...more
Lillie Roberts
Mar 31, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Six were called to soothe the spirits, six were called to protect the humans, and to them will come a seventh, the Balance. The Healer, The Intuition, The Artist, The Heart, The Memory, The Power...... all await the Balance yet to come......

Alexi Rychman has been looking for the fulfillment of the Prophecy for two long decades, and as yet, his Goddess has not returned. There is to be signs of her arrival, and London is thick with them, but not the most important of all....The portal to the other
Aug 22, 2009 rated it really liked it

I've been eying this book ever since I saw the title; it just WINS. And after seeing the cover (which I really like - simple and atmospheric) and learning that the story was a little steampunk, my little book-I-must-get radar was beeping like mad. If you look around, this book is getting a lot of buzz, so I wasn't the only one. I asked for this book right away when Dorchester asked me if there was anything I was interested in reading. I mean, really. This
Jan 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not a fan of historical romances (I used to be, but they fell out of my favor years ago). In fact, I almost exclusively read urban fantasy and paranormal romance - and Gothic romance? Never. But something about this book, whether it was the introduction to the paranormal Gothic romance or the title or whatever, caught my eye.

I am so glad it did.

I couldn't put it down. I just couldn't tear my eyes away from the story, and I can't remember the last time I read a book in which the romance betwe
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Author, actress, artist and playwright, Leanna received a BFA in Theatre, a focus in the Victorian Era and a scholarship to study in London. She adapted 19th Century literature for the stage and her one-act plays have been produced around the country. She is a 4 time Prism Award winner for excellence in Futuristic, Fantasy, or Paranormal Romance. Her debut novel, The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Mi ...more

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