The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker

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Overview

The albino beauty who has come to study at Victorian London’s Athens Academy will learn not only to deal with the ghosts that she can see, but her own part in the puzzling prophecy that threatens the known world.

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Overview

The albino beauty who has come to study at Victorian London’s Athens Academy will learn not only to deal with the ghosts that she can see, but her own part in the puzzling prophecy that threatens the known world.

Read More Show Less
  • The Strangely Beautiful Tale...
    The Strangely Beautiful Tale...  

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Six young men and women are called to protect the living world from the dead in Hieber's Gothic romance debut. Mysterious powers give Alexi and his peers the mission of keeping the restless dead in line and seeking a prophesied seventh guardian. Miss Percy Parker, an albino orphan with a talent for languages, fills none of their expectations, but Alexi is drawn to her all the same. Hieber draws Victorian London as beautiful and grim, with depictions of Jack the Ripper as a nightmarish many-headed hound alongside charming descriptions of the Athens Academy, Percy's boarding school, and Greek mythology that smartly draws together various elements of the story. The supporting characters are nuanced and appealing but given short shrift by the narrow focus on Percy and Alexi, though future sequels may give them more room to play. Hieber's debut shows great potential, and readers will want to revisit her intriguing world.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Book Reviews by Jess
This book's plot was perfect... The story was completely original.
Book Wenches
Suspense, mystery, and the paranormal are all rolled into a historical novel with a gothic flair that will entice the reader and leave her wanting more... Ms. Hieber is an artist that puts her art into words.
Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show
Its pages are like the petals of a rose: a many-layered tale gorgeously told...It is a historic, dark, fantasy mystery... A simple dance raised more goosebumps on my arms than the steamy scenes in most of the usual romance novels of today.
Tempting Persephone
...it was thrilling to be engaged in a book that kept me reading well past 1 a.m., that got me out of bed not long after to begin again. And that, of course, means that I will absolutely be reading the next book, and the one after that and so on.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780843962963
  • Publisher: Dorchester Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/25/2009
  • Series: Strangely Beautiful Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 324
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Leanna graduated with a BFA in Theatre, a focus in the Victorian Era and a scholarship to study in London. She has adapted works of 19th Century literature for the stage and her one-act plays have been produced around the country. Her novella Dark Nest won the 2009 Prism Award for excellence in Futuristic, Fantasy or Paranormal Romance. The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker won double 2010 Prism Awards for Best Fantasy and Best First Book, the 2010 Orange County Book Buyer's Best Award (Young Adult category) and the rights have been sold for adaptation into a Broadway musical theatre production currently in development. A member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Romance Writers of America and International Thriller Writers, she’s thrilled to have been named RWA NYC’s 2010 Author of the Year. A member of actors unions AEA, SAG and AFTRA, Leanna works often in film and television. A devotee of ghost stories and Goth clubs, she resides in New York City with her real-life hero and beloved rescued lab rabbit Persebunny.

 

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 1102 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(337)

4 Star

(330)

3 Star

(233)

2 Star

(88)

1 Star

(114)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 1107 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    You will be delighted in the intriguing mystery of Percy Parker!

    This is a beautifully written paranormal love story (set in Victorian London) that will have your eyes brimming with tears (from both elation and sadness), throughout.

    It begins with an introduction to six unrelated children, brought together to receive a specific supernatural gift, along with the ability to see ghosts. An oracle prepares them for their future, explaining that they are to form an alliance called "The Guard" that protects humans from restless spirits.

    She informs them that they will eventually encounter a seventh member that will complete their group but advises them to be cautious, as a probable deception might incite them to trust the wrong person, jeopardizing their cause, resulting in terrible unrest in the world.

    As adults, they attempt to lead normal lives by keeping conventional occupations. The two that head the group (Rebecca and Alexi) have started a school, and a new student, Percy Parker, enrolls at the age of eighteen. Due to her secluded upbringing (she was raised in a convent), and her unique appearance (she is described as "ghostly", an albino) she is extremely self-conscious, and timid. While Percy normally excels in school, (and also has a few supernatural abilities of her own), she struggles with her math classes given by her professor, the handsome and distinguished, Alexi Rychman. He offers to tutor her. During their visits, he helps her overcome her insecurities, all the while, realizing that her gentle disposition, and sweet mannerisms, ease his wearied soul.

    Here is a quick excerpt that truly touched my heart. Basically, Percy, walks through life completely covered, to hide her pallor from those who react with alarm at her appearance. Professor Rychman, dismayed by her unease, encourages her to remove the layers, when in his presence. Reluctantly, she does so;

    "She was attuned to even the most minuscule response. Her merciless, hypnotic gaze found his and she frowned. "You see, Professor, even you, so stern and stoic, cannot hide your shock, surprise, distaste - "

    "Distaste?" he interrupted quietly. "Is that what you see?"

    If Percy had taken the time to truly consider his response, she would have noticed that his tone was far from distasteful; it was, in fact, flattering. But she plowed on, choosing hurt. "What else can one feel when they behold living flesh that looks dead?"

    "You assume ghost and not angel?"

    *Swoon*

    As the story continues, we get a sense of real camaraderie between the members of the group, and I found myself laughing out loud, at their antics. Eventually, the issue of the "seventh" member arises, causing disturbance amongst them, as two of their new acquaintances, have the potential to be the "one".

    Before I divulge anymore, I implore you, for the benefit of your own happiness, to read this book (there is MUCH more, I promise you)! You will be delighted in the intriguing mystery of Percy. This story is replete with surprises, unfolding into a tale that you didn't see coming. With secrets and foreboding danger that could change the fate of the world, and the exquisite delight in a budding romance between a trusted teacher and his student, it will keep you riveted until the very end.

    While the story, in itself is fascinating, the author has a haunting way with words, that will caress your very soul. With an abundance of romantic tension, angst, mystery, and adventure, you will be hard-pressed to put it down.

    20 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Engaging and mysteriously charming...Hieber channels Radcliffe in this Dangerously Lovely Tale

    One of the most mesmerizing characteristics of Leanna Renee Hieber's novel is its overwhelming gothic presence. The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker might take place in Victorian England, yet its distinct voice conjures up roots of the earlier gothic period. Readers will instantly embrace this, as I did. Her language brings to mind lonely moors, and dashing highwaymen plundering in the thick of the night.


    The overall feel of the novel, which places it at the height of the Ripper years, and Victorian theosophy is chock full of sinister tones, nostalgia, innocence, and the sprightly passion of its characters. Hieber's strength is on the palpable conflict between its two main leads: Alexi and Percy and their inner turmoil. While there was no bodice ripping to be found, the sheer acute sense of longing between these two enigmatic characters fairly sets the pages ablaze. Plenty of pleasantly overwrought situations can be found within the covers of Hieber's tale, but all are extremely fitting for such a deceptively titled story. and housed in such demure packaging. I ABSOLUTELY loved this book.


    The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker comparatively resonates the influence of Ann Radcliffe. This fable was sweet, dangerously lovely, and at many times scintillating, as the balance for good and evil is fought at the frontlines of London. Come join the searing battle against Cerberus, a false prophet, and their minions as they lead an onslaught to break the seals of Hell beneath the ancient city. Where The Guard makes their last stand as they await the prophecy of a Seventh to be revealed at their direst hour. And the love for a lonely Professor gives an otherworldly girl the courage to face her fate, her unlikely visage, and face Hell itself. Bravo!
    (c)Nicola Mattos www.fiendishlybookish.com

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 9, 2009

    I had a different reaction...

    I purchased The Strangely Beautiful Tale...etc on the strength of Eloisa James' review in Reading Romance, but I have to say that I found the storytelling clunky and the writing hackneyed enough to keep me from wanting to get deeper into the story...maybe a good editorial going-over could have fixed these writing problems, but there are so many other deserving books out there I can't see that this one warrants slogging through the prose.

    6 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 1, 2010

    Not what I expected...better!

    I really didn't think I would enjoy this book. I only stumbled upon it when it was offered for free from bn.com. It was billed as a paranormal romance but it was far different from any other romance I've read. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. It is a little slow to begin with but once the story picked up, I couldn't put it down. It's a very compelling story and even though it's not my usual book type, I loved it. Always nice to see the underdog struggle and come out on top in the end!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A Title Has Never Been More Appropriate!

    While I initially had some difficulty getting into this story, by the time I was a couple of chapters into it, I could not put the book down. Well, unfortunately, I did HAVE to, but I didn't WANT to. The title is so very appropriate, as well--this truly was a "strangely beautiful tale." There is no better way to describe it!

    To begin, Hieber's writing is really quite lovely--she has a way with words that is enjoyable to read. There were frequently dialogues of subtle wit that I appreciated, and at many times the writing was lyrical. It may not always be consistent, but the writing is generally very good. Add to that a story that was ultimately gripping and fascinating, and I think you have an all-in-all great read. Here we have a paranormal story dealing more with visions and ghosts, coupled with a brewing romance that really spurred me along while reading. Honestly, I was probably more interested in how the romance would turn out than the rest of the story, and perhaps that's why I have to admit that I'm still not quite sure how the paranormal elements all managed to resolve themselves. I'm thinking a re-read will be in order sometime down the road.

    I enjoyed the characters, though I did often get annoyed with Percy Parker's self-pity (to be fair, it was very in line with her character). In the end, however, she came into her own, much to my satisfaction. All of the members of The Guard (headed by Alexi) are unique and have their own personalities that tend to stand out. Overall, I thought Hieber developed and presented her characters very fittingly into the story. I think that lovers of mystery, the paranormal, or romance would enjoy this book. The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker is the first in a series, and I definitely look forward to reading the next story!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 2, 2010

    Amazing

    this book is truly stange and beauiful all at once. I love the writing style and the whole plot, even how it was connected to history and so supernatural yet highly believeable. i found myself in Percy's place talking to ghosts and feeling her every emotion. I higly recommend this book to anyone who loves romace, adventure, and the slightly bizzar.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 18, 2009

    The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker by Leanna Renee Hieber

    Leanna Renee Hieber did a wonderful job getting all the fascinating characters to come together in this absolutely beautiful story that includes some of everything we love to read: Romance, Paranormal,Spiritualism and even gothic.

    The two main characters, Percy Parker and Professor Alexi Rychman, along with many others will have your interest from the first page to the last.

    Lorraine

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 27, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I love the world on Percy Parker!

    I loved this book! Like others, I'm not sure how to classify it: romance, paranormal, sci-fi, but whatever, it was just terrific! Leanna Hieber is an amazing author and I can't wait till the third installment, though there is a short story to be published in an anthology that I understand is having some publisher issues. I love the mood of the book- the characters, the description. I admit have Charlaine Harris give a thumbs up drew me to this book, but I was as immersed into the characters and story as any of Ms. Harris's book!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2009

    Buy this book!

    I found myself enthralled and completely in love with the world Ms Hieber has created! The only disappointment was that it came to an end but I was thrilled to discover that this is only the first book of a series! Keep 'em coming, more Percy Parker!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Victorian Ghost Busters Indeed..

    Fresh, original and beautifully written, THE STRANGELY BEAUTIFUL TALE OF MISS PERCY PARKER is a poignant, page-turning delight. Debut author Leanna Renee Hieber has become an automatic buy for me. Fortunately THE STRANGELY BEAUTIFUL TALE OF MISS PERCY PARKER is the launch for yes, a quartet of books, the STRANGELY BEAUTIFUL series. Good thing because I can't wait to read the continuation of Percy and Company's adventures in book #2...

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 18, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A Tale That is Strangely Beautiful, Indeed

    Leanna Hieber's tale of romance and supernatural adventure weaves a fascinating tapestry against its setting of Victorian London. When the heroine, Percy Parker first comes to attend Athens Academy both she and sexy, enigmatic Professor Alexi Rychman know that she is different. Just how different, they are about to discover. Could she be the one to fulfill the prophecy? The chosen one the guard has been waiting for? Time is running out as the Ripper terrorizes the city, bringing the need for balance between dark and light more than ever. The book is amazingly written, captivating its audience from the first page. I love the mix of well constructed original characters and their interactions with the stolen ghosts of history. My favorite kind of novel! Will be waiting anxiously for the second installment!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 12, 2011

    Definitely recommend this book!

    I found this book to be a very pleasant surprise! I downloaded it for free, so was not expecting any real quality. Wow! I was wrong. At the beginning I was slightly concerned that I wouldn't care for the storyline. It seemed to be a strange mix of myth, ghosts, romance and of all things Jack the Ripper! Well, it is definitely a mix of that and more. The basic story is of six guardians looking for their missing seventh. In the meantime they are guardians trying to prevent wicked supernatural beings from harming our world, and keeping the balance. This is actually a story with in a story, and as it unfolds you understand more of how it all began. I found this to be well written, and couldn't wait to get back to reading when I had to put it down. Very enjoyable, and I will look for more from this author! I would've given it more than four stars, but there was some room for improvement. I found that a few of the characters were a little vague, and could haves used a little fleshing out. All in all I enjoyed the book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 28, 2010

    Intriguing...

    Sweeping, Gothic sensibility. Offers a very different experience from average genre fare, merging the supernatural seamlessly with the historical.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Trapped in Leanna's Spell

    From the very beginning, I found myself completely trapped in Leanna's spell. 'The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker' is the perfect mixture of ghosts, Greek mythology, and angels. This is a super romantic, supernatural, suspenseful, mystery novel. I found it very difficult to put it down and I was eagerly excited to pick it back up again. Given the opportunity I would have read it straight through without any interruptions. I'm betting that you will too. The Guard knows that war is coming, when their Work gets entwined with gossip of the horrifying and famous murders of the Ripper in London during the 1800's. Besides battling the Ripper, one of the hardest tests before The Guard is waiting for Prophecy. Because without Prophecy to complete The Guard, Darkness will come through the broken seals in London and lay claim the world. Who is the true and rightful seventh? Is it the obvious and breath-taking beautiful Miss Linden, or could it be Miss Percy Parker with her weird behavior, threatening madness, and mystery?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Trapped in Leanna's Spell

    From the very beginning, I found myself completely trapped in Leanna's spell. 'The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker' is the perfect mixture of ghosts, Greek mythology, and angels. This is a super romantic, supernatural, suspenseful, mystery novel. I found it very difficult to put it down and I was eagerly excited to pick it back up again. Given the opportunity I would have read it straight through without any interruptions. I'm betting that you will too. The Guard knows that war is coming, when their Work gets entwined with gossip of the horrifying and famous murders of the Ripper in London during the 1800's. Besides battling the Ripper, one of the hardest tests before The Guard is waiting for Prophecy. Because without Prophecy to complete The Guard, Darkness will come through the broken seals in London and lay claim the world. Who is the true and rightful seventh? Is it the obvious and breath-taking beautiful Miss Linden, or could it be Miss Percy Parker with her weird behavior, threatening madness, and mystery?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2010

    Romantic & Mythical

    I downloaded this book for free and loved it! It touched on various Greek myths and was romantic without being over done. It is well written and I couldn't put it down!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Wonderfully Entertaining

    When I first downloaded this book it was a free selection but knowing what I know now, after reading it, I would have paid full price :-) This story was certainly a strangely beautiful tale.

    Who of us have not at one time or other found ourselves undesirable and unbecoming and not until the right person came along did we become who we truly were meant to be? So is the life of of Persephone (Percy) Parker. Percy is every one of us with a mysterious and magical component added in for excitement and intrigue.

    This was a great book and downloaded the next book (The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker) in the series immediately upon completing this one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 16, 2010

    I Just could not put this book down!

    It has mythology, romance, and will enlighten your heart. From the moment i opened it, I could not set it down! Overall: 2 thumbs up.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I never expected to love this so much!

    Once upon a time this was a free download and I so I figured I'd add it to my library and save it for a rainy day or late night. I am so terribly glad that I did! This is one of those stories that you fall into and just devour - I read it in one sitting because I just couldn't seem to stop - it's one of those books that I plan to go back to and linger over for a second read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2010

    Loved it!

    I downloaded this book as a free ebook without excessively high hopes. I'm happy to say that it was very good and I purchased the next one in the series because I wasn't ready to give up these characters yet.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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