Khanh the Killjoy

the Strangely beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker

the Strangely beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker - Leanna Renee Hieber The title is a misnomer. I would have titled this The Twistingly Tangential Tale of Miss Percy Parker instead. Good lord, how this story wandered.I'm going to be quoting a lot from this book in this review. The quotes are too priceless not to be used, and they give a pretty good impression of the entirety of the book and the writing...which is not a good thing. The writing tries too hard to be poetic and 19th century, and instead sounds like an author's flowery rendition instead of actual, believable prose and speech. The result is a laughable, melodramatic arrangement of prose that is even more absurd given the clichéd characters and the confoundingly confusing plot.The story takes place in the Victorian Era and revolves around a group of six people who are summoned to meet each other through mysterious means. They each have special "strengths," for example, the Intuition, the Artist, the Heart ( your powers combined, I am Captain Planet! Oops, wrong group of people). They see spirits, and are awaiting a foreseen Seventh power, that will either enhance them if they choose the correct person, or destroy them and the world if they choose wrongly. From then on, they begin working together, and two of them work together at the Athens Academy, an institution of enlightened learning that also accepts women, a fairly rare thing given the time period.Twenty years later, a young woman comes to Athens Academy. She is an orphan, with "...deathly pale skin, the whole of her white as snow. Glasses shaded her pale eyes, which, through their glass, appeared almost violet." Persephone Parker is as Mary Sue as they come. She believes she is sooooooooo ugly and hideous, due to her appearance. Naturally, anyone with pale, flawless skin, a "fine-featured face," "pearlescent hair", and "opalescent eyes" has got to be hideous. Am I right? And me with my brown hair and eyes. It's a wonder that people look at me without turning to stone.Percy is the special snowflake. The Chosen One. The Prophecied One. You see where this is going, right? As clearly as my palm is going to my forehead.Percy still doesn't believe how pretty she is, even when heads turn at her entrance, no matter what she's repeatedly told..."...I think it is lovely, your face. You are like a doll—I do not know the of those that break if you drop them."She also speaks any number of languages, except Mandarin (it's one of her weaker languages). She picks up languages easily, and even speaks Aramaic. Freaking Aramaic. But she's not altogether flawless, for example: she sucks at math.THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR REINFORCING YET ANOTHER STEREOTYPE THAT GIRLS ARE BAD IN THE MATHS AND SCIENCES. THIS FUCKING BOOK.***Aside to the author: if you're going to have your main character be a language specialist who picks up any dialect at the drop of a pin, it's best not to have her make stupid grammatical errors in a simple language such as French. Even in French 101, we know better than to say "ma amie." It's mon amie.***I cannot enjoy Percy's character. She's supposed to be the prophesied one, but she is so simple-minded. She does not act like someone who will bring about change. She does not act like someone who can inspire. She does not act like one who is remotely capable of anything besides breathing and eating. I didn't mention pooping, because this Mary Sue of a fluff certainly does not do anything so basic as taking a shit like the rest of us. I cannot believe Percy is supposed to be who is, and I find it completely reasonable that the other characters in the book have their doubts, as well.Percy is also hopelessly infatuated with her teacher. Alexi Rychman is the professor, the love interest, the head honcho of this entire ultra-secretive. He's twice her age, not to mention her instructor. Her very, very personal instructor and tutor. In this day and age, we call that an abuse of power. And ugh, what a stereotype Mr. Rychman is...Lustrous dark hair hung loosely to broad shoulders. A few locks turned out in an unkempt manner contrary to the rest of his appearance, while a few strands clung to his noble, chiseled features—a long nose, high cheekbones, defined lips like a Grecian sculpture and impossibly dark eyes.Their relationship is quite limited, to the extent that he growls at her constantly in anger (yet is inexplicably attracted to this strange young woman half his age), and she simpers and blushes prettily in response.“No need for apologies,” he replied. “I was the one asking the questions.”“Thank you, sir.”“And there’s no need to thank me!” the professor snapped.“I’m sorry---Oh dear!” Percy murmured, biting her lip and yearning to retreat into her corset.That pretty much sums up the entirety of their entire relationship.Alexi is the rough, blunt, angry, dark Heathcliff of a man, resistant as all hell to the finer emotions, with whom Percy, that twit of a simpering schoolgirl inexplicably loves. And how she loves him, sighs over him, swoons over him...Alexi is her math teacher, and she's more obsessed with looking at him than focusing on her lessons: no wonder she's failing.Percy groaned. “Oh, that class remains my bane! I pay attention, take countless notes, but all I remember is the sound of Professor Rychman’s voice. Every syllable he speaks is like a hypnotic delicacy, like dark velvet. I try to grasp his explanations, but all I can see is how his robe sweeps as he moves, how his presence commands the room, how his brow furrows in thought, how his eyes blaze, how he calmly brushes a lock of dark hair from his noble face...'Did you hear that? That's the sound of me gagging. Percy makes Bella's mooning over Edward seem rational and reasonable.But that's enough of how much I despised the main characters. But wait, there's not just two characters. Noooooo. That would be too easy. We are introduced to six characters in the original group, and rest assured, we are constantly informed of them and their various enterprises. There's also your supporting cast of various girlfriends, ghosts, and a false Seventh. The massive cast, the minor investigative plots, the barely-controlled and infuriating student-teacher sexual tension all adds up to one thing: a massive headache for the reader.