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Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker Mass Market Paperback – 20 May 2010

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 27 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
If you enjoy classics and supernatural fantasy, you will definitely want to give this book a try. 24 Jun. 2010
By Bookaholics Reviewer - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker by Leanna Renee Hieber
Historical Paranormal Romance - April 27, 2010
4 ½ Stars

In 1888 London, there are six extraordinary mortals who possess the power to keep London from being overrun by ghosts. This group is led by Professor Alexi Rychman, the 6 members of the group have recently welcomed their 7th member, Percy Parker, who is the reincarnation of the Goddess Persephone. Together, Professor Rychman, his beloved Percy, and the rest of this group of misfits must stop the Whisperworld from taking over London. Worst of all, Rychman and his friends must also stop the Lord of Darkness from reclaiming Percy once more.

The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker is the second book in Hieber's Victorian Fantasy novel involving Percy Parker and the other Guardians of the mortal world. I would highly recommend starting this series by reading the first book The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker before reading this second novel. This story picks up right from where the first book left off. If you try to dive in without reading the first one, the second book will seem very confusing and difficult to read. Thankfully, the first book is a great read as well. As soon as I figured this was not a stand alone, I bought and read the first book and then dove straight right into this one. Hieber is such an engaging and talented writer that I could not stop reading for the past five days!

First of all, I think the story in the second book is even better than the first. Percy Parker, our protagonist, really matures by the second book and becomes quite feisty at the end. Hieber did an amazing job bringing Percy to life, especially during the final climax. I was so impressed that I read out sections of it to my husband! The rest of the characters are equally well written, from the brash (yet loving) Mr. Rychman to Jane, the group's Healer. Every character has their own problems/subplot that are original and well thought out.

Hieber is a writer who writes with love and care. You can see how much attention she pays to the details in her story and with all of her characters. She's the only writer who really writes like a Victorian. Unlike other romance writers, who even though they are writing historical novels, they still retains their contemporary "accent," Hieber really writes in the style of Gaskell or Austen. To keep it authentic, Hieiber also keeps her books romantic aspects very chaste. If you enjoy classics and supernatural fantasy, you will definitely want to give this book a try. Hieber does a successful job of marrying these two genres to create something unique and well worth your time.

Reviewed by Pauline from the Bookaholics Romance Book Club
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful Tale, better than first! 19 April 2010
By brookereviews - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Because the synopsis on the back of the book is so beautifully written (just like the rest of the book) I wanted to post it here for you to read.

From Leanna Renee Hieber's website:

With radiant, snow white skin and hair, Percy Parker was a beacon for Fate. True love had found her, in the tempestuous form of Professor Alexi Rychman. But her mythic destiny was not complete. Accompanying the ghosts with which she alone could converse, new and terrifying omens loomed. A war was coming, a desperate ploy of a spectral host. Victorian London would be overrun. Yet, Percy kept faith. Within the mighty bastion of Athens Academy, alongside The Guard whose magic shielded mortals from the agents of the Underworld, she counted herself among friends. Wreathed in hallowed fire, they would stand together, no matter what dreams or nightmares--may come.

After reading The Strangely Beautiful Tale last year and giving it a five star review and naming it my favorite book of the year, it is obvious that I had super high hopes for The Darkly Luminous Fight. I was not disappointed either! I am not usually big on romance novels, but this series is the perfect blend for me. There is the magical guard that protects London and Athens Academy, Percy being able to speak and see the ghost, a battle of light vs dark, and the romance that unravels for the characters involved.

The Darkly Luminous Fight starts off with the Guard celebrating their win against the darkness, and Percy and Alexi's engagement. They are such a sweet couple, even Percy's shyness about her pale skin and what Alexi will think is endearing. She is very inexperienced with men in general, and to go from nothing at all to a husband is difficult for Percy to grasp.

I really liked the addition of the old Guard trying to help the new Guard even if there are bad feelings between some of them. Percy having to be mediator made it quite interesting, because everyone had to rely on her to know what was going on. It proved to the other members that they definitely need her aboard.

I adore all the secondary characters in this story. They have such large hearts and care so much for what the prophecy has in store for them. They get on each others nerves sometimes, but they are always there for each other; never letting one person fight on their own.

Again, Leanna has such a great voice and I enjoy reading her writing so much. I can not wait to see what she has in store for us in the future. I also wonder how she could come up with another title for the next book (lol). My review definitely isn't getting across how much I adore this series. I do hope those who are lovers of paranormal romance will give this one a shot.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Darkly Luminous Dreams 20 May 2010
By Christine Rose - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Although Ms. Hieber set the bar quite high with her first book, she certainly doesn't disappoint her readers with its sequel. Slower paced than the first, the reader gets to luxuriously bask in its Gothic romanticism. Ms. Hieber's eloquent writing style weaves another beautiful, romantic tale along the dark streets of London.

The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker is the immediate continuation of the story from the first book. It begins with the final showdown in Strangely Beautiful seen from the perspective of a new character: the shade Beatrice, the leader of the last generation's Guard come forth from the Whisper World to assist the current guard in a daunting task. From there, the author takes the reader on a delightful holiday through the horror of the underworld and the wonders of new love. Along the journey, we learn more about the other members of The Guard as well.

Readers got to know the handsome and intense Alexi Rychman quite well in the first book, but we see a different side of him in this book. Having saved his beloved Percy in Strangely Beautiful, he promptly marries her in a supernaturally luminous ceremony and whisks her away on a romantic honeymoon in York where they uncover a new mystery surrounding Percy's birth and strange appearance. However, he becomes quite possessive, controlling, and aggressive when his new bride is put up to a horrifying task. Beatrice tells Percy, the only one of the guard who can hear as well as see ghosts, that she must undertake a dangerous mission into the Whisper World in order to save thousands of imprisoned souls. Alexi, the leader of The Guard would rather the entire world fall into Darkness than allow his beloved to be put into harm's way.

I particularly enjoyed getting to know the other members of the Guard in this book and understanding their unique powers and personalities. By far my favorite was Elijah, the memory of The Guard. He can wipe memories of innocent bystanders when they see something harrowing, allowing them to lead a normal, ghost-free life. His wit had me laughing out loud several times throughout the book. He refers to Alexi as "Your Royal Eeriness," and his quips often lighten a scene, bringing a relief from the horrifying reality they all must face. He is deeply in love with Josephine, the artist of The Guard, who hopes they might reveal their love and get married themselves now that Alexi has found his Prophecy.

Rebecca, the intuition of The Guard and second in command, is heartbroken over Alexi's marriage and obvious adoration of Percy. She has loved him in silence for twenty years, and now she must face the truth that he will never love her. Still, she must hold it together long enough to play her part in the coming fight. And yet, love may not have eluded her completely, as there is Michael, the heart of The Guard, who can calm worry, fear, and anger with just a touch. He, in turn, has loved her these many years. His is the story that touched my heart the most in this book. He endured in the shadows for so long, always needed but never seen. Now he has a chance to come into the light and have Rebecca see him for the first time.

The final member of The Guard, Jane, the healer doesn't have a love interest, at least in the world of the living. Her power enables her to heal any wound or disease with a single touch. All of The Guard is possessed with a muse from ancient times, working together to save the world from Darkness, the character based on the classical Hades, who kidnapped Persephone and killed her love The Phoenix, which now possesses Alexi.

No spoilers here, but I will just say this about the character of Darkness: he certainly lives up to his name! The scene between him and Percy is quite dark and delicious. Ms. Hieber, once again, excels in her gift, describing Darkness as to reveal both his evil, smarmy nature and the desperate love that lies beneath it all.

The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker is pure Gothic brilliance. Ms. Hieber expertly and eloquently weaves together a beautiful story full of Greek Mythology and a myriad of Shakespearean references in this delightfully dark romance. The Strangely Beautiful series is a must-read for every paranormal romance fan.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Review from the book review blog, Book Faery 22 April 2010
By Tori - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
*SPOILERS ALERT*Percy is finally united with The Guard and her beloved Alexi, now that the gorgon has been defeated. What better way to celebrate this new union and victory than by getting married to the one you love? Being engaged to the darling Professor makes it seem as if life cannot improve in any way.

Yet constant reminders of a looming war--thanks to a new ghostly character who rivals Alexi in the moodiness factor--seem to dampen the honeymoon on numerous occasions. With war, and the warnings of a betrayal, on the minds of The Guard's members, how will everyone cope?*END SPOILERS ALERT*

Darkly Luminous--much like in SB#1 (Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker)--started off somewhat slowly. Leanna took care to ensure that no detail was shrugged off while setting the scene. She focuses on Percy and Alexi's relationship so thoroughly, I can guarantee you there is absolutely no room to doubt the love betwixt them.

The second half of Darkly Luminous finally begins to pick up speed. Much like a person crawling up the hill of a roller coaster at a snail's pace, Leanna builds the tension between the members of The Guard and between Alexi and Percy. Without warning, readers quickly plummet down in a series of events that will make your jaw drop. My eyes were literally glued to the pages at this point. I ignored everyone (including my college professor...twice. Yes, I was reading during class LOL) to keep on going. I also nearly screamed in class upon reading what Darkness murmured in the Whiper-world.

Alexi, while cold and almost brutal to an extent in SB#1, undergoes a transformation. Instead of being constantly cold and scowling, his persona maintains a brilliant vitality about him. He's a pervert too! I was laughing hysterically at some of the comments he made to Percy and Elijah. Oh, and despite his alpha-esque qualities, Percy slowly learn how to put the man in his place. I was cheering for her inside my head the whole time.

Like I've said before, this series is definitely worth reading. It is a new and exciting breath of fresh air, sure to leave you salivating for more.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Another entertaining chapter in Percy's story 9 July 2010
By Pamela - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The second book in Leanna Renee Hieber's Strangely Beautiful series is a lovely and exciting, if somewhat purple, continuation of the sweeping love story introduced in The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker. Hieber takes us deeper into Percy and Alexi's mystical world, delving into the underworld mythology that controls both of their fates.

I have to say, I'm getting more and more interested in the supporting characters, the members of The Guard whose job it is to protect London from angry spirits. Josephine and Elijah are particularly intriguing, and if I recall correctly, there should be a future book about Lord Withersby, and I can't wait for it. I also loved Jane in this book, and (no spoilers!) I hope she makes a few appearances in future books.

Percy continues to grow as a character, moving away from the meek girl she was at the beginning of the first book, and I'm very glad for it. As I mentioned in my review of book 1, I'm not the biggest fan of meek heroines, but I quickly developed a soft spot for Percy. It's nice to see her becoming more and more confident, particularly in her growing mystical powers. Sometimes she giggles and blushes a little too much for my taste, but she's definitely developing into a good heroine.

Alexi, on the other hand, is kind of going down a path that I'm not fond of. He's overprotective of Percy to the point of being utterly overbearing, and a few times, I wanted to reach into the pages and smack him. I understand that he loves her and doesn't want her to get hurt, but he's smothering her. Luckily, Percy stands up for herself, but I really, really hope that Alexi calms the heck down a bit for the next book.

I think my favorite thing about this book is the Underworld plot. The ghostly former Guard members are great, and I love the battle scene with all of the ghosts. The Underworld scene, where Percy goes to find the key, was fantastic, and I think Darkness is one of the most original, fascinating villains I've read in a while. He was utterly creepy in the way he shifts back and forth between flesh and bone.

The prose gets a little too purple for my taste; it occasionally overflows with adjectives, but the story is interesting, and the characters are relatable, and in the end, I enjoyed the heck out of this book.
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