Author: Leanna Renee Hieber (sorry, didn’t fit in the title O_o)
Format Read: Paperback received from teh author for review
Number of Pages: 320
Release Date: May 27, 2010
Publisher: Leisure Books
Formats Available: Paperback, ebook
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Amazon, Book Depository US, Book Depository UK, Goodreads
With radiant, snow white skin and hair, Percy Parker was a beacon for Fate. True love had found her, in the tempestuous form of Professor Alexi Rychman. But her mythic destiny was not complete. Accompanying the ghosts with which she alone could converse, new and terrifying omens loomed. A war was coming, a desperate ploy of a spectral host. Victorian London would be overrun. Yet, Percy kept faith. Within the mighty bastion of Athens Academy, alongside The Guard whose magic shielded mortals from the agents of the Underworld, she counted herself among friends. Wreathed in hallowed fire, they would stand together, no matter what dreams or nightmares—may come
Why did you decide to read The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker?
Susi: I was totally enthralled by book one and luckily for me Ms. Hieber send me book 2 so I just couldn’t resist reading it. I wanted, no I NEEDED to know how everything would go on and I so wanted to see how Percy’s and Alexi’s life would be like when they finally really get together. *dirty grin* And I was really intrigued how Ms. Hieber would continue the story line because some things still weren’t revealed. It just made me crazy not to know what would happen next.
Caroline: Just like you, I loved reading the first book in the series and I just couldn’t wait to read more about Persephone and the Guards *cough*Alexi*cough*. We left them just after the battle and while the ending hinted to happy things, I really needed to know more. *waggles eyebrows* If you know what I mean. LOL
What were your expectations before you started the book?
Caroline: Well…obviously, I was waiting for some smut! LOL I mean come ON, we deserved it…huh I mean Percy deserved it *g*. Another thing is that many things were left unanswered and I was hoping to get the answers. I know it’s weird but…I needed closure! I was expecting a book in the lines of the first one.
Susi: It will look like we two are some evil pervs but I agree. I wanted smut. Yep she totally deserved it. I wanted to know if the rest of the Guard would get a HEA. And yes all these still unanswered things made me crazy.
When you started reading the book what was your first impression?
Susi: The first few chapters of Darkly Luminous were okay but what really grabbed me was when we finally got a bit the long-awaited HEA/closure/smut in chapter 6. *huge grin* But it was a slow start before that. I would have loved to make them hurry some more. It felt like everything took way too long.
Caroline: To be honest, I had a hard time getting into the book. I already know why…the prologue. I have a problem with prologues I think. It was confusing and I really don’t like Villain/bad guy/other than main characters POV…I think it very confusing. (that’s the blond side of me talking). But just like you, once I got to chapter 6 I couldn’t put it down. Oh my…what a long awaited chapter, as you said. *grin*
Susi:And yes I didn’t like the prologue either. In fact I didn’t like any of these Darkness’ chapters. I mostly skimmed them. *hides*
Caroline: *hides behind Susi* I didn’t really like Darkness’ chapters either. Fortunately they were never very long.
Susi:The good thing about skimming those is that you are completely surprise what the bad guy plans. I was like OMG at the end. LOL
Caroline: LMAO I never thought about it this way! You make it sound nearly like a good thing! LOL You really are the little devil whispering in my ear.
Susi:Moi? I don’t know what you’re talking about…..look a bird!
What do you think about how Percy’s character developed since book 1, The Strangely Beautiful Life of Percy Parker?
Susi: This is a really tough question and I’m a bit torn. I loved that Percy finally developed more self esteem and saw for herself that some people out there don’t see her as a freak of nature or something to be afraid of. She got stronger but some of her doubts are still there. I was a bit surprised about how brave she got at the end of the book. I never thought she would be a coward but I couldn’t really see the little timid Percy doing things like this. Perhaps I’m also guilty of underestimating her.
Caroline: I’m torn too. I do not feel that she really ‘grew-up’ in this book. I mean she stills do as she pleases without really thinking about the consequences (like going to a place everyone tells her not to go to!!). She is still a great character and I really like her but I think she was out-shined by a few secondary characters in this book. I wish she started acting more like a woman than a student. I’m not sure everyone will agree with my opinion on this.
Alexi was totally drool-worthy book one. Are you still totally smitten with him?
Susi: Again I’m not so sure if I still adore him that much. Yes he is wonderful and such a gentleman, I loved when Alexi finally showed all his adoration and showed Percy how much fun you can have in bed. *wink* But I didn’t like how often he pondered if she really really loved him. At some point it felt like he doubted everything. That made me crazy! Why can’t he just be happy with what he has? It made e want to shake him real hard! All this worrying and doubting was a bit too much for me. Once or twice is okay the rest was just over the top for me.
*hides* Alrighty then, I think now is not the time to tell you I’m a bit like him when it comes to worrying all the time. LOL I am still in love with Alexi. OMG he knows what he’s doing!!! I think the story really picked up when he finally got what he wanted (what I wanted too! LOL). I love that he’s always sneering, brooding, smirking…and leaving the room without a word when he’s frustrated/angry/lost. At some point he seemed a bit tamed though. But that was bound to happen
He tried so hard to protect Percy that I felt he was smoldering her, but who wouldn’t want to be smoldered by such a sexy man. *wink* And the girl should learn to stay put! lol Just like with Percy, I felt that I wanted to read less about him and more about the other Guards.
Susi: Perhaps the main problem with all this worrying is that you really see his inner struggle and for me it was proven the first time that Percy loves him so it was just stupid to doubt it again later. Does that make any sense at all?
Caroline: It does it does! I guess you’re right, he shouldn’t be doubting her all the time.
Susi: For me this has something to do with trust and they should have that for each other after what already happened.
Did Darkly Luminous change your choice of favorite sidecharacter?
Susi:I still liked Marianna but she didn’t play such an important role in this book at first and I have to say the Guard really grabbed my heart in this one. I loved that Ms. Hieber introduced them more and showed us how their life is like. What surprised me most is that I actually learned to like Rebecca. couldn’t stand her at all in book one but now my heart broke for her. Same goes for Michael. This situation screamed for Susily Intervention but they just didn’t want to listen to me. Pfffft! Jane’s story was heartbreaking and good at the same time.
Caroline: Oh I didn’t like Marianna much in this book. She didn’t fit anymore in Percy’s life in my opinion. For me what I really liked about Darkly Luminous (yes I’m shortening the name too lol) is the Guards! I just loved reading the chapters about the other Guards, my favorite now being Elijah and Micheal. (heh wasn’t it already my favorites first book?) We learn many secrets about all of them and it was a real pleasure to see things happen between them. My least favorite are Jane and Rebecca. Ahhh Rebecca…all this pining for Alexi blinded her to the rest of the world. I was happy to see her opening her eyes at the end though. Jane…well Jane is different, she doesn’t really belong. I really loved what she did while Alexi and Percy were…huh..busy! LOL Elijah is just SO funny. Always making fun of Alexi in front of Percy. I loved those scenes.
Susi:Yes I loved those sneering jokes too. They made me laugh! I really really like this Elijah guy. So funny.
Caroline: Ah and at least this one is not a hairy midget wearing a ring.LOL (yes Lady and Gentleman this is a LOTR reference)
Susi:LMAO!!! Now you ruined him for me! EVIL!
Caroline: Muahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah *rubs hands together* <==== trick from the Be Evil in 10 Steps Guide.
What do you think about the way Ms. Hieber includes different mythologies into her books?
Susi:I actually really liked that. I loved how she combined all the myth with each other. I’m a sucker for Greek mythology and enjoyed reading about that but I liked even more than although that Michael knew about his goddess he still believed in God. I like dthat in times of trouble he turned to his believe to take the strength it offers for him. The whole series is showing an acceptance for different cultures and believes and I completely adores this.
Caroline: I am a sucker for Greek myths too. I’ve had many mythology study classes, so the myths weren’t really a problem here. I think I was a bit lost by the story though. I did like that Ms Hieber mixed different beliefs and myths in her story. Even the characters say it at some point, I think Darkness even talked about being ‘a pawn’ in this game, if my memory is right. Percy believes in God, even though everything around her tends to question her beliefs. Like you said, it’s a book about open-mindedness.
What do you think of the ending?
Susi: I think some people will disagree with me but I think it was too easy. For these two books we anticipated the big battle and in my eyes it was just solved too easily even though there are losses. But I liked that she wasn’t afraid of letting something bad happen at the end. Yep I’m the Queen of Being Cryptic! LOL
Caroline:: I agree with you about the ‘too easy’ part. I am a huge love of HEA, yes. But I want it to ring true (yes I’m that annoying). I can’t say much without revealing the plot, so i’ll be miss Cryptic too. There is some huge battle going on, but I’m not happy with the ending. At some point, a character end up saying that maybe the bad guy will be back but it won’t be in their life time….How’s that optimistic for the future generations? LOL I felt it ends up too ‘normally’? I mean, they are special and I’d like it to stay that way. But well, it’s still a pleasure to see some HEA for all our beloved characters.
Susi: I think with this bad guy coming back part she wants to show that Darkness itself is not a being. It’s created of our own bad feeling and intentions. Every time we do something wrong we feed power to Darkness and it will grow again slowly. Yes it is a never ending circle but it’s the way we humans are. We aren’t just good. We all do something wrong from time to time. It’s a really good concept for a bad guy in my eyes.
Caroline:Yes yes oh my, you’re being intelligent again stop it now! I agree with this vision of things. *pats Susi’s head* Yes I do love this concept too.
Susi: I have to admit I actually liked book one more but it doesn’t mean this one was bad. I enjoyed reading. I just had some things I didn’t like that much. I adored that we got to learn more about the rest of the guard and I really enjoyed the way Percy’s and Alexi’s relationship developed in this novel. I still loved Ms. Hieber’s style of writing, it’s just something special and completely underlines the setting of her books. The end was a bit easy but I liked how wasn’t afraid of the hard choice. I would love to read more about the rest of the guard and I already know that I will get A Christmas Caroll (in Midwinter Fantasy) which will feature Michael and Rebecca.
I give The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker 3,5 out of 5 bookies.
Caroline: I know that it doesn’t sound like I liked the book while reading this review, but I did. Maybe not as much as the first book, but I loved reading about the Guards. It was different, this time we really get to know the other Guards and that’s the highlight of this book. They really out-shined Percy and Alexi here. I loved the humor and the relationship between them all. This book was very slow to start but once the first few chapters were over, it picked up pace. I might not be happy with the ending but I’m sure I will read the next book in the series. *g* And I am really looking forward to this novella!!!
I give this book 4 Bookies.