25.11.10

Book Review: Black Swan Rising by Lee Carroll

Jeweller Garet James isn't the same as everyone else.
She just doesn't know it yet.
With her fair share of problems- money (lack of), an elderly father, a struggling business- Garet should be just like any other young, feisty, single New Yorker. If only it was that simple...
It begins with the old silver box that had been soldered shut. All Garet has to do is open it. A favour for the frail owner of the antiques shop. Who wouldn't help?
Only it's then that things start to change. Garet doesn't notice at first, the shift's barely perceptible. But the city in which she grew up is beginning to reveal a long hidden side- darker, and altogether more dangerous; a parallel world of chaos, smoke and blood.
Now it's out of the box...and it has  no intention of going back in. 
Lee Carroll is the pseudonym for writing partners and husband and wife team, Carol Goodman and Lee Slonimsky. Their book, Black Swan Rising is a brilliant addition to the urban fantasy genre and I enjoyed every page of it.
This books is fantastical, you have suspend reality whilst reading it but if you can then you are in for a real treat.
Garet James is having a pretty bad day when we meet her; she has been to meet her gallery-owning father's lawyers to find out the true extent of their financial problems and it's not good at all. Extremely upset and wondering around New York, Garet takes shelter from the rain in the doorway of an antiques shop which she has never come across before. On entering the shop; she talks to the owner, John Dee who questions her on the swan motif detailed on the ring and necklace she is wearing. Garet explains how they were left to her by her late mother; she is surprised when the shop owner produces a silver box bearing the same motif and shows her how it has been soldered shut and he says he will pay her to open it for him. Garet gladly agrees as the money is much needed and she returns home to her father. That night, Garet opens the box and this is when things start happening; the gallery is broken into and her father is seriously injured. Along with some paintings, the thieves also steal the silver box that has only just been opened. So now, Garet's father is under suspicion of staging the theft for the insurance money to pay off his debts. Garet begins her search for the thieves of the silver box but she has definitely opened a Pandora's Box as she finds out information about her past ad future that she had no idea of. It is very hard to review this book without giving away too much of the plot. But basically by opening the box, Garet has opened up the divide between the supernatural and the ordinary world. John Dee has certain intentions for this power and Garet discovers that she is, as her mother was, responsible for keeping everything in order.
Garet encounters many people along the way and not all of them of this world. We have Oberon, King of the Fairies from Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream, a thirsty vampire in the form of sexy Will Hughes and a new and loyal companion named Lol who is a much feistier version of Disney's Tinkerbell. These extraordinary beings come in and out of the story as Garet desperately searches for the silver box. As she is adjusting to this new world and the power she possesses, Garet has to decide who she can trust as she will ultimately pay with her life is she gets it wrong.
Garet James is an incredibly likable character; she is strong and loyal and doesn't hesitate in doing everything that she can to find the box. I loved her scenes with Will Hughes; I was a little worried that it might just be another vampire love story but I was pleasantly surprised. The scenes with Will do not dominate the book but add a romantic edge without the many cliches that can occur.
Black Swan Rising is action packed and I had great difficulty in putting it down. My review really does not do this book justice, I was so impressed with the writing, the characters and the plot, I know it's a series I will follow.

Thank you to Transworld for sending me this book for review, it is published today!

6 comments:

Irena @ This Miss Loves to Read said...

Great review! This book sounds really good, dark and with supernatural elements. I think it'll go on my wishlist.

Dot said...

Irena- I think you would really enjoy it, I can't wait for the next one!

fiction-books said...

Hi Dot,

This is not my usual genre of book, but once you had started with the plot synopsis, I found I had to keep reading to the end and I got quite 'into it', so I guess this will another title for my 'wish list' and a foray into unchartered reading territory for me.

I am not sure why I keep shying away from this genre of book, when I do actually enjoy horror reads in general.

The cover is beautiful and captivating as well.

Yvonne

Abi said...

Will have to look out for this, it sounds great! I really like the sound of a mix of supernatural forces and real-life troubles like financial struggles. Plus I LOVE the cover.

Abi

Kim and Mona said...

Now I really want to read this book! I love the cover too. Thanks for a great review, Dot.

Dot said...

Yvonne- You should try it, I was completely engrossed in the story!

Abi- I fell in love with the cover too!

Kim- You're welcome, it was a really enjoyable book!

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