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I Love This Book

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In an effort to promote work I love (rather than just tear apart that which I hate), I introduce to you this book that I love. Meet Strangely Beautiful by Leanna Renee Hieber.

A photo of the book Strangely Beautiful by Leanna Renee Hieber, staged on my crocheted white table cloth with a china cup of tea with saucer beside it, a dried rose resting across it, and a selenite crystal ball looking ghostly and beautiful above it.

Go check it out at Macmillan.com

Now, some background on this book. This is actually an updated volume that contains two books, The Strangely Beautiful Tale Of Miss Percy Parker and The Darkly Luminous Fight For Persephone Parker. Anyone discovering this gaslight fantasy series now is super lucky; they don’t have to wait for the sequel (like I did). They can just get it in one book.

I read The Strangely Beautiful Tale Of Miss Percy Parker in 2009 when I received it as a freebie at a convention. I fell deeply, deeply in love with it. A gaslight fantasy about a mystical task force, The Guard, who protect Victorian London from restless spirits and supernatural dangers, it hit every one of my reader sweet spots. I fell in love with the heroine, Percy, a young woman who’s more like a living ghost, with moon-white skin and hair and supernatural abilities even she doesn’t understand. I swooned over Alexi, the dark, brooding schoolmaster who leads The Guard. And reading scenes with The Guard? I totally felt like I was a part of them like they were all my friends and I was included in their divine purpose. The writing is lush and the world is rich. The original mythology blends seamlessly with the traditional mythology woven throughout (fans of Persephone and Hades, in particular, will fall in love with this book). It absolutely blindsided me and I couldn’t understand why everyone wasn’t talking about it and fangirling over it as much as I was.

So imagine how I, a person who generally overreacts to things I like, finally met the author, Leanna Renee Hieber, in 2010 after the release and my subsequent devouring of the sequel.

I was actually pretty cool. “I really loved your book, I can’t say enough good things about it.”

But when she cosplayed as Percy Parker for a party later that night (and stayed in character the whole time)?

I threw myself, practically sobbing, into her arms and cried, “I love you so, so much!”

Luckily, Leanna is as passionate and awesome about stuff she loves as I am about the stuff she writes, so she totally got it. And this particular copy is signed, “Percy loves you so much!” so there, it’s canon, written in the author’s own hand, no take backs.

How much of a fangirl am I for this series (which includes a prequel, The Perilous Prophecy Of Guard And Goddessnow available as The Perilous Prophecy and the upcoming sequel, Miss Violet And The Great Warwhich I am totally freaking out about)? I have every version of these books, from the originals to the releases (all signed, of course) as well as the ebooks because I want to be able to carry them with me everywhere so I can read my favorite parts when the mood strikes me. Which, for me, is saying something, because my stunning array of learning disabilities makes reading super duper hard for me.

I love, love, love these books. I hope that if you read them, you’ll love them as much as I do. But even if you only love them a fifth as much as I do, they’ll still be in your top ten.

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15 Comments

  1. Anon
    Anon

    I just ordered it and am giving it a shot. It does sound good!

    If you haven’t read The List of 7 by Mark Frost, I highly recommend it. This sounds similar to that book, which is one of my all-time favorites. I just recently re-read it and love it just as much as I did the first time, so it definitely has held up. It’s out of print, but Amazon still has it available.

    August 8, 2018
    |Reply
  2. Drea Cranford
    Drea Cranford

    Just got the Kindle sample and I think I’m falling in love. The first page is definitely giving me Charles Dickens vibes, which is perfect for a novel set in Victorian England. Thanks for the book recomendation!

    August 8, 2018
    |Reply
  3. Gretel
    Gretel

    OMG I read your tweet and was so confused when you gushed over a book you loved that gaslighted people, like “Why the hell is she a fan? Am I missing the sarcasm? Oh no, the heat might have fried my brain…” but NOW I get it! XD It literally means gaslight as “the lamps lit by gas in the 19th century!”

    And now I’m telling you this embarassing story because I think it’s hilarious and as a means to thank you for the rec. ;D

    August 8, 2018
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    • MayaB
      MayaB

      And I actually had to read your comment to get it. *facepalm*

      August 9, 2018
      |Reply
    • Anon
      Anon

      I had a similar thought-process. lol I assumed “gaslight” must have some other meaning that the typical one after a second, though. Because otherwise, WHAT?!

      August 10, 2018
      |Reply
  4. HSavinien
    HSavinien

    Recommended for purchase at my library!

    August 8, 2018
    |Reply
  5. Aislinn
    Aislinn

    Off to buy it now. In the same vein, I reccomend the Magpie Lord series by KJ Charles and the Whyborne & Griffin series by Jordan L Hawk. Both supernatural gaslight adventure mysteries with gay protagonists. Binging the Hawk books at the moment.

    August 8, 2018
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  6. Emily Sappenfield
    Emily Sappenfield

    I’m excited about this rec and bought the book but can we also talk about that tablecloth plz it’s magnificent.

    August 9, 2018
    |Reply
  7. Mimi
    Mimi

    This sounds like my thing!

    August 9, 2018
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  8. Regret
    Regret

    More food for my ever-hungry bookshelves!

    August 9, 2018
    |Reply
    • Anon
      Anon

      OMG. I’ve started piling books up in random places now. My daughter finally came and took her entire bookshelf-worth of books and I’m still out of space. We have a room we’re eventually going to renovate into a library. Not soon enough …

      August 10, 2018
      |Reply
  9. I absolutely ADORE This series – I have since the very first. Leanna is BRILLIANT and such a wonderful, wonderful person through and through.

    THIS DESERVES ALL THE LOVE. I used to gift the old editions to friends who were like “I want a new world to explore!” and now if a friend or colleague or person so much as says “Book–” I’m shoving a copy of the new editions in their hands.

    August 9, 2018
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  10. Bodnoirbabe
    Bodnoirbabe

    Well, you sold me. Question – should I start with the prequel or start with these and then do the prequel?

    August 9, 2018
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  11. River
    River

    I bustled over to Amazon and bought the Kindle addition and am LOVING IT. Thank you so much for the recommendation.

    August 10, 2018
    |Reply
  12. Kara
    Kara

    I loved the original book and sequel when they first came out but it’s been years since I read them. Is there a noticeable difference in the combined rerelease?

    August 13, 2018
    |Reply

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