Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Black Swan Rising by Lee Carroll

Transworld Book Group
I'm part of the Transworld Book Group
This is the second book I have received through the Transworld Book Challenge.

Black Swan Rising is the kind of story I like to lose myself in once in a while. It is set in New York, and while the inhabitants of the city are going about their ordinary daily lives, there is a whole other supernatural world going on alongside theirs. The central character is Garet James. She is a jeweller and gallery owner. On the way back from a meeting with her lawyer she pops into an antiques shop for a browse. The owner recognises her and asks her to take a look at a silver box which has come into his possession. The box is welded shut and he wonders if Garet can use her jewellery making skills to open it. She agrees to try and takes it home with her.

This is a fateful decision. The box has supernatural properties and there is someone who will stop at nothing to retrieve it. Garet discovers that she has a few supernatural properties herself. A whole world opens up, a world of vampires, fairies and magic. Garet is taken under the wing of Oberon, the king of the fairies. His day job is as a nurse in a local hospital. Oberon introduces Garet to various other magical creatures, some of whom have skills to teach her. She also meets Will Hughes, a multi-millionaire hedge-fund manager, who is quite at home in the supernatural world.

I have mixed feelings about this book. I love the premise. I love that some of the characters surprised me.  I love the setting of New York. I think it's well written. It is the first in a series (the first chapter of the second book is included in this volume), and I think that this is my problem. It really just felt like a set up for future books. We meet all the necessary characters one after the other without getting to know all of them. Garet learns all her lessons with few problems, presumably because she'll need those skills in upcoming novels. The silver box almost becomes a side issue.

Having said that, I'm intrigued enough to read the second book (The Watchtower). Hopefully, now that all the explanations are out of the way it will be an excellent read.

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