Tuesday, 24 July 2012

666 Park Avenue

“Right, because it’s every girl’s fantasy to live in the world’s creepiest house with her fiancé’s controlling family and then have the rest of the world act insane just because she’s about to share their last name.”

Jane’s living in Paris when she meets too-good-to-be-true Malcolm; rich sexy and he seems to genuinely like her. So when he asks her to marry him after one month, of course she says yes and gives up her life as a trainee architect to live with him in New York. But before she leaves, she discovers her family’s secret and the reason electrics are always on the blink around her; she’s a witch. When she arrives at Matthew’s family home, she realises that she’s marrying into one of the most powerful families in New York and she’s about to lose all her freedom if she’s not careful.

666 Park Avenue can’t quite decide if it’s humour or a more straight urban fantasy. It’s certainly not romantic, with the proposal seeming incredibly rushed to me but Jane doesn’t notice anything amiss. There are some wonderful, amusing observations and a few rather dark moments but the character development is lacking and it doesn’t quite knit together. Perhaps it’s the overly materialistic environment that Jane has found herself in but I found her a bit of a wet blanket and the moments where she should have been emotional left me flat. I guess if it had been more on the funny side, the lack of realism wouldn’t have mattered much…yes I expect an element of realism in a book about witches and socialites!

It had seemed so straightforward: She had imagined a montage of herself rummaging through the stacks, the Dewey decimal system her new best friend. She was even wearing tortoiseshell glasses, although all she had in reality were sunglasses. Out of nowhere, her witchy blood would draw her, like a moth to a flame, to the one passage that would make sense of it all. Or perhaps it would even make a book jump off the shelf. The montage continued until she understood everything she could possibly want to know, without having to bother sifting through any dull, inapplicable information.

I really liked the idea though, that beneath New York’s society is one of witches in a battle for supremacy. Especially as everything is done on the sly, no big magic fights but slowly getting into people’s minds and taking over control in a way that would appear no different than other powerful movers and shakers. I also enjoyed the moments where Jane started to connect to "real" people and make friends. It just needed a little bit more oomph. It’s a quick and easy read if you’re looking for something fun to pass away a few hours. This is Gabriella Pierce’s first novel so I would certainly give her another go; a sequel, The Dark Glamour, is not far away.

666 Park Avenue is published in the UK by Canvas, an imprint of Constable & Robinson, and will be available in paperback and ebook formats on 2nd August 2012. Thanks go to the publisher for providing a copy for review.

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3 comments:

  1. So, overall meh? At least now I don't have to buy it. I'll just wait for a library copy :) Thanks for a lovely review, Ellie!

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    1. Above meh really, 3 stars is enjoyable enough as it kept my interest. Library borrow is a good plan :)

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  2. I'm a bit wary of urban fantasy, but no excess romance sounds promising! I think I'll wait for your review of the sequel :)

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