Some reviews pointed out that this book turned out to be much 'darker' than expected. I had completely opposite expectations for this book. I wanted this book to be dark, sinister, and packed with mysteries. I ignored the cover and the title and got intrigued by the blurb. I just focused on Paris, abandoned abbey, and gargoyles.
Your story takes place in nineteenth century Paris - the main characters live next to an abbey & rectory watched over by gargoyles/chimeras - there have been people disappearing and unsolved murders, and you want me to focus on how the romance(s) unfolds? Reading about teenagers running around in Paris?
What made this book go down the drain for me:
- One of the main characters, Ingrid, acted purposefully stupid and put herself in danger to further the plot.
- The forbidden love trope between Ingrid and Luc. And the subsequent 'you don't understand I'm a monster' trope. It had a Twilight-ish vibe to it. Really I should have known better, the clue was in the title. Also Luc and Ingrid share a connection based on 'her smell and pale skin' and 'something in his eyes' .
- The romance subplots and love triangles. In plural.
- Everyone (especially the guys) in this book is beautiful/attractive/hot etc.
- The various factions. The Dispossessed, the Alliance, the Order, the demons. A small group of youngsters running around fighting demons. It has already been done.
- Also Ingrid is not only special, she's the very rare, almost extinct special snowflake. This is also familiar. This last point was the book's complete downfall in my opinion.
I thought this book crammed with YA clichés. And plotlines that has been overdone already.
On a side note: what I knew about gargoyles so far before reading this book was that 'les gargouilles' have the function to carry rainwater from the roof/gutter and as far away from the wall, they are the precursors of today's drainpipe and are fixated horizontally to walls of a cathedral/castle/church etc. Those are not the ones the author is talking about. It's about the mythology and folklore surrounding the grotesques .
Lastly I prefer this cover or even this but it doesn't quite match the feeling I had while reading. The U.S. cover is pretty accurate: it's all about pink, romance, fluff, and a lots of boredom. You have the setting, Paris in 1899 and the premise, people disappearing and found dismembered, and still the author succeeded in making a boring and slow-paced mess out of it.
Gargoyles and nineteenth century Paris could have turned the book in something original but they rather felt like some random addition. The setting wasn't fully used to its advantage. Just naming some popular places in Paris is not enough for me. This book could have been so much better. I felt indifferent to it all.