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Posted October 31, 2013
Although I am a huge paranormal fan, this was my first foray into gargoyles. I have discovered it was not the place to start. I have no doubt that there are some good gargoyle stories out there, but these particular three lacked depth and eloquence. However, this may be an unfair judgment. I have not read any other works by these authors, and due to the short nature of novellas, there is not much room to flesh out a story as much as one would potentially like. There was some imagination evident in the storylines, with each story having its own unique perspective.
Craig, being the sentient, yet immobile object that he is, tries unsuccessfully to communicate and protect his owner, Bea. Out of nowhere come these “gods” that awaken the powers of mobility and flight that aid him in his objective. There were a lot of minimally explained characters and happenings in this short story, and it was slightly difficult to follow at times. Some of these were just downright unbelievable, even given the fact that it’s a paranormal novella.
The second story, again- too little explanation and too much conflict compressed into too little story. The gargoyle wasn’t the paranormal element in this story; it was merely the object of connection between Rose and Julien. I liked Julien’s character a lot more than Rose. He seemed to have more depth, honesty, and morality than she did and I was able to feel some connection to him as a character. Rose seemed slightly self-indulgent, and it was obvious she was a modern-day woman (not meant as a compliment). I wish the time travel element had been explained a little better, not just “BAM!- you’re in the 13th century,” and then “BAM!- you’re back, and you brought him with you.”
I didn’t even finish the third story. I got about half-way in, and it never got interesting, so I gave up. This one also takes place in the middle ages, and Merofled is saved from being burned as a witch, merely because she agrees to help rescue a farmer’s son from a gargoyle. Seems to me, just agreeing to help in that situation would make her accusers even surer of her witchery. She and the priest assigned to carry out her sentencing then follow the farmer to locate the son. I didn’t get any farther than that, because the farmer’s prejudice was irritating, and I couldn’t become very sympathetic to any of their issues.
HEAT Rating: Mild
Reviewed By: Daysie W.
Review Courtesy of: My Book Addictions and More
Posted October 29, 2013
I never pictured saying to myself "I need more gargoyles in my life" but this compilation of stories might just have me changing my mind. In this book are three novellas all about the stone carvings you see on the facades of buildings and all over court yards around the world. I've personally never read a story about said statues, and don't know much about them unless you count the Disney movie Hunchback of Notre Dame and the cartoon series named after them, so when I was asked to read and review this, it definitely got my attention. Since there are three stories, I'll break them down into the cute, the romantic and the redemption.
The cute one was On a Wing and a Prayer, the story about a garden gargoyle who is desperate to protect the homeowner Bea from her horrible drug-dealing ex-boyfriend and his attempts to scare her. Craig really won my heart over because of how determined he was to keep Bea from harm, even when he knows she can't hear him. After some meddling by modern versions of Roman Gods, he obtains the ability to fly and in doing so giving him the ability to protect her. This story was punctuated by a lot of humor and an overall sense of whimsy, which was really nice. It did get intense for a while there but gave a warm and fuzzy feeling at the end. I really enjoyed it's ability to fit all sorts characters into a short story and still be able to tell me exactly what the main characters all about in so little words. As much as I wanted to more about what was going on in the story, such as why Jupiter would see fit to send major Gods to protect one human, at the end of the day it is a short story so I understood the restraint on story lines. In the amount of story I did read however, Craig was absolutely a hero that Bea deserved.
Romance fell in the middle story, Touchstone of Love, that also through in some time travel into the mix. Rose Waldman started her trip to London via France, where everything seem to going exactly how she planned. That is until she misses her connecting flight and ends up staying the night in a small village in the countryside. Being struck by lightening while out on a jog could make anyone a bit foggy but being thrown back into 13th century is down right disorienting. Even more brain rattling is meeting a sexy stonemason that takes care of her and helps acclimate Rose to being a women so far back in time. I'll be honest, Rose grated on me for a while at the beginning. In fact she made a comment about her sleeping with married men that just straight up made me dislike her. However, after going through the whole story between her and Julian, I have to say she made me a believer. The story was really romantic and the two of them together are just pure magic. It is rare that I find a couple rather than a single character really making a story worth while, but this one does just that.
The final story, The Miller's Daughter, was a redemption story if I have ever read one. Sentenced to die after being accused of sorcery, Merofled promises to rid her town of a gargoyle that has everyone in fear. However, after a series of events she finds out that this gargoyle is not what it seems at the surface. She has to convince the warrior Alaric to spare said gargoyle and save his life. This story to me lived and died by Merofled herself. In this case she succeeds in being a character that really enjoyed reading about. She is strong and independent, especially in a time that woman are generally not that. She sees what others refuse to see past the surface of monster that is the gargoyle and recognizes the good. That is something I love in a character and it can change the flow of a story in a heart beat. This one does that and really made me love both heroine and monster by the time is was done.
Overall, these novellas were really great. My favorite of the three was the story of Craig the garden gargoyle simply because it was fun along with being intense, which is hard to accomplish. However, the three are very close in terms of which I liked more so that isn't saying much. If there was one reason I could give you to go out and read this anthology is simply because how many books can you name that involve gargoyles? And how many of those entertained you as much as these did me?
I didn't think so!