Monday, February 23, 2015

Gargoyles Alive

I received an advance e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Of Shadow & Stone by Michelle Muto is an interesting mix of Gargoyles and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Kate Mercer has just finished filming the last installment of an action series. She's a major star. She might have just broken up with her cheating boyfriend, but everything's fine. Except she's been having weirdly vivid dreams about a castle, and about gargoyles coming to life. Now, she's been told that its her destiny to control the gargoyles and stop them from killing. 

There were a lot of things I liked about this book. I loved that it used gargoyles. It reminded me of being seven and watching Gargoyles repeatedly on video cassette. That of course, also had the unfortunate side effect of me picturing the Gargoyles cast instead of real gargoyles.

There's also a layer to the story where Kate is chosen because its her inheritance. One person to rule the gargoyles. Which was very reminiscent of Buffy to me, even though it is actually a little bit different: blood heritage instead of magical, and the sentinel (the gargoyle guardian) can be male. I enjoyed reading this book, but there were a few parts that made it so I couldn't quite love it. 

First of all, there are a lot of subplots to the story which complicated the text unnecessarily. Muto uses the subplots to manipulate her characters, but I just found them unnecessary. She could have chosen a simpler path which would have focused on the gargoyles themselves. Also, I was disappointed by how little we saw of the gargoyles considering they are a main plot point. There were also a few moments where I actually had to note how awkward or cheesy the text was. The writing is decent, but I kind of expected this to be a first novel, not one from an established author. I also had a hard time getting a read on the level. I'd thought it was YA when I grabbed it, but it definitely verges more on the adult end. I also can't quite decide if this is intended to be a multi-book series or a standalone.

Over all, I'd recommend it to people new to fantasies or who want to check out a different type of fantastic creature. While some of the old standbys make appearances, there aren't many books which focus on gargoyles. 

Favorite Quote: Indecision may or may not be her problem, she thought.

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