The thing about tropes is…sometimes they work for us. The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker, by Leanna Renee Hieber, is full of them—prophecies, unexplained magical forces, fated love match, etc.—but I was entertained. After reading Hiding in Plain Sight, I needed something fluffy to read. I can’t give a full review of this book as I only received a preview copy, however, and I know that the trope-y nature of this book will drive some readers up the wall.
The prologue for The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker sets the stage (somewhat) for a conflict between six young Brits and supernatural forces beyond our ken. The six have various gifts, granted through some kind of reincarnation/possession that is not explained. They are told to wait for a seventh and that there will be signs to announce the presences of that seventh. The book then jumps to Percy Parker’s entrance interview at a private school. It doesn’t take much effort to work out that she’s the seventh the six have been waiting for.
Percy was raised in a Catholic convent, hiding away from the world because a) her albino appearance freaks people out and b) she has no means to go elsewhere. Athens Academy in London is her last hope of making something of her linguistic talents. She was not expecting to land right in the middle of a supernatural war. Neither was she expecting to be fall in love with her mathematics professor.
The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker moves back and forth between Percy and various members of the six people introduced in the prologue, with brief interludes where we see the big bad and his hench people plotting. The whole book is weighted with a deeply Gothic sensibility. There are ghosts and spectral dogs and murders and lots of angsty youthful infatuations. This book really should have driven me nuts, but it didn’t. In fact, I’m tempted to track down a full copy just to see what happens next.
I received a preview of this book from NetGalley for review consideration.