Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Black Swan Rising by Lee Carroll

For Review: Bantam Press. Published November 2010
From Goodreads:  When New York City jewelry designer Garet James stumbles into a strange antiques shop in her neighborhood, her life is about to be turned upside down. John Dee, the enigmatic shopkeeper, commissions her to open a vintage silver box for a generous sum of money. Oddly, the symbol of a swan on the box exactly matches the ring given to her by her deceased mother. Garet can’t believe her luck and this eerie coincidence until she opens the box and otherworldly things start happening. . . .

That evening, the precious silver box is stolen. When Garet begins to investigate, she learns that she has been pulled into a prophecy that is hundreds of years old, and opening the box has unleashed an evil force onto the streets of Manhattan and the world at large. Gradually, Garet pieces together her true identity—one that her deceased mother desperately tried to protect her from. Generations of women in Garet’s family, including her beloved mother, suffered and died at the hands of this prevailing evil. Does Garet possess the power to reclaim the box and defeat this devastating force?

On her journey, she will meet the fey folk who walk unnoticed among humans and a sexy vampire who also happens to be a hedge fund manager that she can’t stop thinking about. But the fairies reveal a desire to overpower mere humans and the seductive vampire has the power to steal the life from her body. Whom can Garet trust to guide her? Using her newfound powers and sharp wit, Garet will muster everything she’s got to shut down the evil taking over her friends, family, New York City, and the world.


Black Swan Rising is the first in a planned trilogy that promises to be a great series.  It also has great cross-over appeal to YA readers.  It follows Garet, a jewelry designer who stumbles across an antiques shop.  Inside she meets a mysterious man who asks her to help him open a silver box.  Intrigued she accepts his offer but finds that not all is what it seems.  In fact,  there is a whole world she didn't know existed...and somehow she is part of it...

I really enjoyed reading this book.  The pace is different to most YA books I read, where you find yourself thrown straight into the action.  Instead this one started gradually - full of description and creating a strong foundation for the series.  I loved how it was written.  You can really see the literary roots in the authors writing (Lee Carroll is a pseudonym for Carol Goodman and Lee Slonimsky) giving this an elegant, classy feel.  It was also incredibly atmospheric and I found myself really getting lost in it.

I loved the characters.  Garet was a great narrator of the story.  Slightly too trusting perhaps but I instantly liked her and found her past very intriguing.  You got more and more information as the story progressed, and with it you saw Garet go from strength to strength.   Her friends Jay and Becky were well fleshed out and I hope they appear more in the next installment.  Oberon and Will Hughes were awesome!  I couldn't work out whether I should trust either and I'm still not sure.  As for Lol - my favourite character by far!

I can't wait to see what happens next and am eagerly anticipating  The Watchtower when it's released later this year.  I also really fancy picking up some other books by Carol Goodman!

6 comments:

The Library Owl said...

I've never heard of this book before, but it sounds interesting and it's definitely going on my wish list now. Great review!

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Sounds great. I love books that build.

Small Review said...

Sounds good. I didn't realize the author's name was a pseudonym. I love the UK cover. I think it's so much better than the US cover.

Rachel said...

I have just given you the Stylish Blogger Award :) Click HERE to see it :D

Vivienne said...

For some daft reason I thought this book was based on the Black Swan movie. I am glad to see that it isn't. Also realising I now need this book.

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

this sounds relaly good! i hadn't seen it before, thanks for sharing!!

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