Speculative Fiction Reviews, Interviews, Art and Whatever Else!
Narrative: Third person, subjective.
So, I have a tendency to veer away from Paranormal Romance these days, as I seem to end up reading a lot Paranormal Porn whenever I venture to try. And, I can get that for free thanks to the internet! However, I have seen Amanda Pillar's editing work before, and read some of her short stories, so I figured if if I was going to get back on the horse (Or werewolf) with somebody, this would be a good place to start!
This is far removed from what I had been avoiding. It's actually an incredibly well written, delightfully funny and sometimes poignantly serious romance. It had me snorghing (snort laughing) almost the entire way through and when done, had me contacting the author to find out whether there was a sequel (The answer is a maybe, but hopefully, for all those curious).
The four main points of view consist of a sociopathic vampire, a charming rogue werewolf, a 'cranky puzzle' of a human and a seemingly foppish noble, so all bases are covered! Don't be deceived, it's not a love triangle, partner swinging romp, but each plays an integral role in bringing the 'family' of characters together. And although this is a very cool romance, it is also a pretty good exposition on family, and how not all of them are entirely conventional. Actually the construction of family ties is really unique and interesting!
It does deal with some pretty hefty issues in it's own way, bigotry is there, as is classicism and racism, and also the right to choose. There are some interesting undercurrents going on in this book that I would love to see explored further, in a sequel.
Pillar has this unique way of blending some old time vernacular with modern linguistics that may seem slightly puzzling at first, but it does coincide with the unique world building. You'll need to read it to find out why this is, but suffice to say this isn't an alternate history, no matter what you might go into it thinking (well, it was what I was thinking at any rate!). It's a great little concept that could be well utilised, in a second instalment.
I loved that gay marriage is an entirely acceptable choice and that sexuality has a fluidity to it. I really admire books that are brave with bent content, though sometimes the entirely understandable residual angst can be extremely overwhelming in a romance; here there is simply no need to try and brave those waters.
I also commend the use of the word crotchety, because it truly is just one of those words.. !
The only negative I would mention is some pacing issues in the last third of the book. It seemed a bit rushed over, though it was still entirely readable. I think I would've just liked a bit more depth of character and for things to reveal themselves with a bit less frenetical energy leading into the final showdowns. I love my depth of character..
The ending was nicely handled in consideration of the preceding events, and the lead out was perfect for a sequel
I really enjoyed my time with Graced, and I believe anybody that loves Paranormal Romance with a slightly left of centre view point will too. And I look forward to the sequel..
Harcopy Worthy? I don't believe there is one, but I would if I could!