Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Black Swan Rising

By Lee Caroll

When New York City jewelry designer Garet James stumbles into a strange antiques shop in her neighborhood, her life is about to be turned upside down. John Dee, the enigmatic shopkeeper, commissions her to open a vintage silver box for a generous sum of money. Oddly, the symbol of a swan on the box exactly matches the ring given to her by her deceased mother. Garet can’t believe her luck and this eerie coincidence until she opens the box and otherworldly things start happening. . .
That evening, the precious silver box is stolen. When Garet begins to investigate, she learns that she has been pulled into a prophecy that is hundreds of years old, and opening the box has unleashed an evil force onto the streets of Manhattan and the world at large. Gradually, Garet pieces together her true identity—one that her deceased mother desperately tried to protect her from. Generations of women in Garet’s family, including her beloved mother, suffered and died at the hands of this prevailing evil. Does Garet possess the power to reclaim the box and defeat this devastating force?
On her journey, she will meet the fey folk who walk unnoticed among humans and a sexy vampire who also happens to be a hedge fund manager that she can’t stop thinking about. But the fairies reveal a desire to overpower mere humans and the seductive vampire has the power to steal the life from her body. Whom can Garet trust to guide her? Using her newfound powers and sharp wit, Garet will muster everything she’s got to shut down the evil taking over her friends, family, New York City, and the world.

 I came across this book as I was wandering through Waterstones, being glared at by my Mum (who already thinks I buy far too many books) and saw this on the top shelf as a recommended read and a little review from one of the employees. Being a cover whore I thought, oooooo, ok then, and I gave it a shot. I am so pleased I did as I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Lee Carroll is the writing combo of Carol Goodman and her husband Lee Slonimsky, I had not read any of their books before but I will definitely be looking into reading more of it.

A new urban fantasy series which mixes vampires and the fae and heaps on top of that romance through the ages and unrequited love, Black Swan Rising is the story of Garet James, a watchtower and Will Hughes. In the beginning of the book Garet believes she is a simple gallery owner and jewellery designer, however after a really bad day- bank calling in loan- Garet accepts a strange commission to open a silver box with the same swan insignia as the the signet ring her mother gave her. This section is really fast paced, you are pulled into the drama, you are wondering what is going to happen next, suspending disbelief as her world gets weirder and weirder (and you will have to take a leap of faith with this book, vampires, demons alchemists and fairies? But trust me it works and after all shouldn't a fantasy book take us on a bizarre fantastical journey?)

Garet is an interesting character who throws herself into the world she discovers, admittedly she doesn't have much choice, but with her power building she discovers exactly what she can do. Her supporting cast is really well thought out too, her father and his old artist friend, her best friends who form part of a band, the police detective investigating the break in at her gallery and the fae she meets. It is the relationship with her family and friends which keeps her grounded throughout, even when she misreads the signals and we the reader are screaming at her telling her she has picked he wrong one. Can't say more on that as I might spoil it, but yes, I screamed at the book!

Add to this sexy Will Hughes, vampire, but a vampire who seems to find her in every incarnation, a vampire who professes to love her, one who is tied to her and one who is as sexy as hell. Is he good, is he evil? He is a man and a vampire and like the rest of us he is sometimes in this for himself and that is something Garet has to face, but not all his lost and there is hope in the end. He is an intriguing character and I can totally see why she is fascinated by him. The only down side, sex between them is referred to and skipped over. I am not saying I want full on erotic description, I don't think it would fit with the rest of the book, but a little description of the emotions that she felt would have helped e. But please don't let this put you off, it is a passing remark.

Garet with the help of Will and Obie Smith (I'll not spoil it by telling you who he is) must battle John Dee evil Elizabethan alchemist who wants to bring despair and discord to the world, the book is Garet's journey of discovery and a race to find the truth as she battles Dee and his forces, but each battle brings more questions, each answer a new secret. Where will it all end up? Read it and find out.

Can't wait for part 2 The Watchtower. A great new read, I just wish more people new about it so I could talk about it, because writing this without giving away the plot was so difficult, this is attempt 3 and it is still not perfect, so I leave you with this thought.... 4.5 frilly knickers out of 5! Go read the book and thank you Waterstones!


SusiSunshine said...

LOL no smex? I has a sad. And perhaps it is weird but you say Obie and see Ewan McGregor- yes I am beyond help.

Sounds like a great novel and saw how fast you read it so it goes on to buy list.
Awesome review ma belle.

Minx said...

LOL, there is smex, but is glossed over, and Will Hughes does not seem to be a man to gloss, even when it is in dangerous circumstances, but I really really did like the book as a whole!

Twimom227 said...

WOW! This sounds like an AWESOME book... I've not heard of it at all. Thanks so much for your review.

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