Fans of Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series and Lauren Kate's FALLEN novels will devour The Beautiful and the Cursed, a wholly original interpretation of gargoyle lore.
It was bizarre and inexplicable, but after it happened no one spoke of it and Ingrid Waverly was forced to leave her life in London behind. She had to trade a world full of fancy dresses and society events for Paris with her mother and younger sister, Gabby.
In Paris there are no grand balls or glittering parties, and, disturbingly, the house her twin brother, Grayson, found for them isn't a house at all. It's an abbey. A creepy, old abbey with a roof lined in stone gargoyles that one could almost mistake for living, breathing creatures.
And Grayson is missing.
Yet no one seems to be concerned about Grayson's whereabouts save for Luc, a devastatingly handsome servant who has some secrets of his own.
There's one secret about the city that he can't keep hidden, though. There's a murderer on the loose. And every day Grayson is missing means that there's less of a chance he's alive.
Ingrid is sure her twin isn't dead - she can feel it deep in her soul - but she knows he's in grave danger, and that it's up to her and Gabby to find him before all hope is lost.
Only the path to him is more than she could ever imagine.
This series had a lot of things I like in a book: historical setting in Paris, old buildings, including an old church and bookstore, gargoyles, demons, angels, romance, fighting, murders, mystery. I can see why it's compared to the Mortal Instruments in a way because it has some similar elements. It is enjoyable, but not as good as Mortal Instruments. It's just not as fully developed.
The series follows three siblings as they become involved in the supernatural world. They become involved with the alliance (a group who fights demons), gargoyles (humans who transform into gargoyles to protect their assigned humans), and various other groups who are all interested in angels/demons. They live in an old church that their mother is transforming into a gallery, and it has an opening that leads to the underworld.
We hear the story from multiple viewpoints, switching between each sibling, the gargoyles, and others along the way. This was different for me because I am used to reading a book from the main character's point of view and sometimes seeing myself as that person. Here you're constantly switching between people. There are multiple romances and friendships forming throughout the series.
My favorite characters were Ingrid and Luc, with Luc being the favorite. I saw another reviewer say he's a jerk, but I disagree, especially if you stick with the whole series. He is standoffish in the beginning to protect people, but he's a good guy who does the right thing. The younger sister is a bit immature, but grows up in later books. The brother doesn't get much time in this book, but you see more of him later.
If you like this first book even mildly, I suggest you stick with the series because I think it gets better as it goes. Narrator is good too.
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4 Stars<br/><br/>A spiraling, dark historical paranormal, that has just about everything you could possibly crave in a Young Adult book. THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE CURSED was absolutely stunning and immensely addicting, I loved it for so many reasons!!<br/><br/>Wow, WOW, WOOWWW!!! That's how THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE CURSED left me feeling!! It had everything, I mean EVERYTHING!!! From it's historical background, and Paris setting, with a touch of fantasy, to it's terrifying supernatural creatures, and fierce powers, to it's many different POV's (But was totally done right), and hot French men, with one Scottish blood to entice any girls darkest desires, and it's thrilling vengeful demons out for blood, literally!! There was so much going on, but wasn't over done in the least! I loved that there was always something different going on in each POV, but still intertwined with each character and the overall plot of the story. It was just fascinating to be inside the dark, dazzling, murderous streets of Paris, where anything can happen, even in daylight...<br/><br/>THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE CURSED took a direction I usually try to steer clear of. It had multiple POV's, I mean A LOT of them. It had four steady POV's, but also some side characters got in a few chapters here and there too. Usually I get overwhelmed and feel the lack of connection towards the main characters when a book is written like this, but Page Morgan pulled it off and some!!! I can honestly say that I enjoyed every POV that Morgan threw at us. They all had their own distinct voice, and depth and character development, that made me want to pull back the layers and examine each of them and their hidden secrets.<br/><br/>But even though I did love them all, I did like some POV's more then others, but didn't dislike any at all. And that's how I know Page Morgan did these POV's just right. Because usually I can only handle two POV's in book at a time, and sometimes two is even too many without me getting irritated, and feeling the lack of connection to the characters and their struggles. But that did not happen here in THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE CURSED!! Nope, I felt the pull towards each and every character for their own special reasons. And I loved seeing the different angles of this world, and what each character felt and how it all connected and intertwined with each other. But out of all the characters, I would have to say Ingrid and Luc were my favorites. Though Gabby and Nolan ran neck and neck. But I also thought Vander was pretty hot too, in his own sexy/geeky kinda way. But nevertheless, Ingrid DEFINITELY belongs with Luc, even with his lack of being human, and it being forbidden with the vow of a death threat shall it be broken. If anything, that makes it even more enticing and desirable... ;)<br/><br/>The writing was absolutely spellbinding!! I alternated between audiobook and hardback, and OMG, the audiobook brought this story to life. The narrator, Mary Jane Wells worked her magic and portrayed the accents down for each culture and character, and brought a different spark of life to each POV with her wicked narrating!! But still, the true praise goes to the author Page Morgan, for not for her epic storytelling, fierce characters, and darkly thrilling world, this book would not be what it is, BREATHTAKING....<br/><br/>THE PLOT...<br/><br/>~ INGRID ~<br/><br/>After a terrible accident, Ingrid's life is forever changed. She's more then ready to leave her friends and life behind in London, and move back to her birth Country of Paris, France. She hopes she can put the past and the shameful scandal that sent her running behind her, and start anew with her twin brother Grayson, and baby sister Gabby. But then when they arrive in Paris to find Grayson missing, and not only that, but numerous girls have also disappeared, some even turning up dead and dismembered in pieces, scattered all around Paris. Ingrid's imagination starts to runs rampant, and she is perplexed at what could of possibly happened to her twin. Something sinister is at play, and Ingrid knows there's more to her brothers disappearance then what meets the eye, and she's determined to find out just what that is.<br/><br/>Searching for answers leads Ingrid out after dark, and strait into the horrifying truth, monsters really do exist... After almost being devoured by a hellhound, Ingrid is saved by a winged creature that she finds later to be Luc, her gargoyle protector. And even knowing he's her protector, and that he can't harm her, she knows she should still be scared, she should be repulsed by him, find him hideous, but she doesn't. She's drawn to him in more ways then she can fathom, but human/gargoyle relations are against the rules, and come with dire reprimand's if caught abused. But Ingrid can't find it in herself to care. Her heart wants what her heart wants...<br/><br/>But all that becomes an after thought when she herself starts to change, and she finds herself with a power she did know she had, a powerful gift, or curse depending on how you looked upon it, but it's just made her a target, and she's being hunted...<br/><br/>~ GABBY ~<br/><br/>Being the baby sister out of her sibling has never really made life easy for Gabby. And not being one of the twins as Ingrid and Grayson are, is a double blow to Gabby. Already feeling like an outcast within her own family, Gabby hopes that'll change when they move to Paris. But what Gabby doesn't except to find on the Paris streets, is a whole new world that will change her life forever...<br/><br/>Swept into the supernatural world, Gabby grips at with all she has. Joining forces with the Alliance, a secret demon fighting organization that rids the streets of demons, Gabby can't help but to be excited, and want to make herself useful. She tired of being little Gabby, she wants to earn her own place, become her own person, she wants to train to fight, and she's ready to start slaying some demons...<br/><br/>~ GRAYSON ~<br/><br/>After a horrifying secret is revealed, Grayson is sent to Paris months before his families arrival with the excuse of locating a livable residents for their family to shortly follow. But the truth is, Grayson's other half is starting to surface, weighing him down as something inside is fighting to be let loose, wanting to be feed and urging him to do things he would never normally do. But then before he can act on this impulse, he's kidnapped by a hellhound and taken to the underneath where monsters reside, feasting on humans and devouring their blood. And Grayson has just become their next human blood-bag...<br/><br/>Tortured and injected with hellhound blood, Grayson is subject to excruciating pain as his body starts to change, slowly giving into his inner-self he's been fighting. Something wants Grayson stronger, wants him bloodthirsty, wants him to feed an succumb to the impulse and fest on human blood, something wants him to become a monster, to become a hellhound...<br/><br/>These three siblings world collide, and ignite the supernatural world they've become entangled in. They will all have to rely on themselves and even their inner demon to make it through the horrifying monsters hunting them, and inside of them...<br/><br/>In this explosive debut, lives are forever changed, identities are exposed, inner demons are surfaced, betrayals are made, enemies strike, monsters are revealed as the supernatural and human world collide, and ignite the spark that inflames this world to the very core. And before all is said and done, it may be the ultimate downfall of humankind...<br/><br/>THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE CURSED was addicting from start to finish, and already has me reading the next book in the series and loving it just as much! I quickly fell in love with this world and the thrilling characters, and the dark tone that Page Morgan interweaves. I seriously cannot think of a single thing that I did not like about this book. BUT, even though I absolutely adored it, it just didn't turn out to be a 5 star read for me. There was nothing negative that jumped out at me, or deferred my rating, but my love for this book just didn't reach that level of awe and enjoyment as a 5 star read would. But nevertheless, THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE CURSED was epic, totally, addicting and swoon worthy to the very last page.<br/><br/>Overall, THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE CURSED was everything I hoped for and more. I loved the quick-witted writing, the enchanting world setting, the deadly creatures out for blood, the demon hunters cutting them down in the blink of an eye, the fierce character development, and the heart-breaking romance. If you like thrilling paranormal, with deadly creatures, set in the historical world in the dazzling City of Paris, with addicting characters and bitter sweet romances, then THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE CURSE is DEFINITELY one book you DON'T wanna miss!!!