One of the most mesmerizing characteristics of Leanna Renee Hieber's novel is its overwhelming gothic presence. The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker might take place in Victorian England, yet its distinct voice conjures up roots of the earlier gothic period. Readers will instantly embrace this, as I did. Her language brings to mind lonely moors, and dashing highwaymen plundering in the thick of the night.
The overall feel of the novel, which places it at the height of the Ripper years, and Victorian theosophy is chock full of sinister tones, nostalgia, innocence, and the sprightly passion of its characters. Hieber's strength is on the palpable conflict between its two main leads: Alexi and Percy and their inner turmoil. While there was no bodice ripping to be found, the sheer acute sense of longing between these two enigmatic characters fairly sets the pages ablaze. Plenty of pleasantly overwrought situations can be found within the covers of Hieber's tale, but all are extremely fitting for such a deceptively titled story... and housed in such demure packaging. I ABSOLUTELY loved this book.
The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker comparatively resonates the influence of Ann Radcliffe. This fable was sweet, dangerously lovely, and at many times scintillating, as the balance for good and evil is fought at the frontlines of London. Come join the searing battle against Cerberus, a false prophet, and their minions as they lead an onslaught to break the seals of Hell beneath the ancient city. Where The Guard makes their last stand as they await the prophecy of a Seventh to be revealed at their direst hour. And the love for a lonely Professor gives an otherworldly girl the courage to face her fate, her unlikely visage, and face Hell itself. Bravo!