Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Black Swan Rising - Lee Carroll

Black Swan Rising is the first book in a trilogy by Lee Carroll. Lee Carroll is actually a pseudonym for the writing partnership between Carol Goodman and her husband, Lee Slonimsk. It was published on 25th November by Bantam Press and the book is 400 pages long. Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy for review.

Garet is young, single and lives in New York but she has a far from an easy life. Her family has major money problems, their art gallery business is struggling due to the recession and her widowed father isn’t getting any younger.

On a weirdly misty day in New York, Garet finds herself not very sure of where she is. Deciding to ask for directions in an antiques shop could be the worst decision she ever makes. When the frail old shop owner asks Garet for help in opening a silver box that has been welded shut, she can’t say no. The box has the same crest as the one of the necklace that her mother gave her.

After taking the box home, strange things begin to happen, even if they are extremely hard to notice. New York is hiding a lot but Garet is different from everyone else. Opening the box unleashes a world of chaos and now Garet is stuck right in the middle of it all.

What I thought
I hadn’t heard about this book before receiving it for review but as soon as I read the press release, I knew that it was something that would interest me. The plot summary didn’t give away too much so I was pretty much going into this one blind, not really knowing what to expect. I got a lot more than I bargained for though with a complex plot, amazing characters and a fantastic mix of evil and fantasy.

Garet was far from perfect but those imperfections were a big part of what I liked about her. She wasn’t afraid to make mistakes along the way, even though deep down she knew she probably wasn’t doing the right thing. Not all of her bad choices were good though. She had a tendency to let people in too easily, people she really didn’t know very well, and that made me question her at times. On a positive note though, Garet had a fantastic sense of humour, was witty and fiery tempered. I think a lot of this was because she was an older protagonist than most in the YA genre and at 26, she had more life experience than teenagers as well as having a lot to deal with because of her family.

There were a lot of secondary characters to keep up with but the pace between meeting them was well done and I never felt like I was being introduced to too many people at once. Garet meets a lot of interesting characters along the way and they are all completely different to each other. Two of my favourites were Will, the vampire love interest and a little fairy that was extremely cute. Will isn’t your typical vampire though and is nothing like any other I have ever read about. Yes, he is still smoking hot and so smooth I don’t think anyone could resist him but there was something else behind all of that. There was something about Will that I couldn’t quite put my finger on, which helped add to the mystery in the rest of the story. I know I said he’s a love interest but the romance doesn’t overpower the overall story like it does in other YA books. I am hoping that this gets expanded on in the other books in the trilogy though.

I loved the amount of mystery in this book. As Garet has no idea what is going on herself, it always seemed as though I was right there with her, finding everything out at the last minute. Although this frustrated me a lot at times, I also really liked it too. The way that the story is told makes it possible to believe that anyone could be the good guy and anyone could be the bad guy. Black Swan Rising kept me on my toes throughout and I liked the how the suspense was kept up.

A lot of work was put into the history of what was happening as well as mythology. Characters from Shakespeare were involved as well as some extremely well known artists. This was something that I really loved about Lesley Livingston’s Wondrous Strange so I knew immediately that I was also going to love it in this book. I really enjoyed how these kinds of things helped fuse the story with the real world while keeping the fantasy aspects at the same time. It was very interesting to see how all of the different aspects fit together to make the overall story.

Black Swan Rising did take a little while to completely get in to but once I had, I was hooked and I couldn’t put it down. It is beautifully written but what else would you expect from a best selling author and a poet writing team. I cant wait to find out what will happen to Garet next.


Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

wow, this sounds really awesome! thanks for the review, i hadn't seen this before.

Unknown said...

I am so glad you liked it as much as I did :D

Midnyte Reader said...

This is something that sounds really intriguing. I'm looking forward to reading it.

Michelle Fluttering Butterflies said...

Ooh, this one sounds really good and I can't wait to read it now.

Related Posts with Thumbnails