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Monday, October 10, 2011

Interview with a Gargoyle by Jennifer Colgan

Interview with a Gargoyle by Jennifer Colgan
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (174 pgs)
Heat Level: spicy
Rating: 5 books
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

How far into darkness will he go to reclaim the light?

Melodie McConnell’s night shift couldn’t get any more bizarre. First, a commotion behind the bakery lands her in the arms of a slimy demon. Then she’s swept into hiding by a demon hunter…and discovers she’s been swallowed whole by a world she never knew existed.

In the decade since he inherited a centuries-old family curse, darkness has ruled Blake DeWitt’s life. By day he’s encased in the form of a hideous stone gargoyle. By night, desperation drives him to search for the Witch’s Cabochon, a gem with the power to permanently lift the curse.

He’s seconds away from claiming it when the dying demon transfers it to a human woman whose beautiful body is no match for its wild, darkly sexual power. And whose innocent attempts at seduction he finds hard to resist.

As the demons swarm closer, they find safety in each other’s arms. Until Blake discovers the only key to his freedom…and must face a soul-rending choice.

Tired of the same old paranormal vampire or werewolf? Try a cursed Gargoyle with a heart of gold on for size. How about a really big jewel that causes awfully weird things to happen and a witch who has more secrets than anyone suspects? All that and more awaits readers when they delve into an exciting and unique world created by Ms. Colgan.

Overall, this story is a thrill ride. One thing happens after another and I never knew which way it was going to go. The heroine gets freaky, the hero has a tail and the demon hunter gets beat up all the time. There are all manner of beasties chasing the heroine and surprises abound. And through it all, a love starts to grow and flourish amidst all the chaos and uncertainty. The flashbacks were an interesting touch because I got to see how it all started. The most amazing thing is how it showed a man whose heart was blackened by prejudice and fear and self-righteous murderous intent and followed him as he changed through the years to be a man that ultimately earned forgiveness. He was a pitiful character and towards the end, I actually did feel sorry for him. That’s a testimony to the skill of the author. If Ms. Colgan hadn’t done such a good job, I wouldn’t have cared. So that was a solid piece of writing.

Another thing that I completely enjoyed was Melodie and her dramatic statements. “Oh,no! I’m this or that” or “Oh, no! I must be one of these!” Every time she made these dire announcements I giggled and laughed. I thought she was adorable. My absolute favorite line comes from the beginning of the book. It tickled my funny bone so completely that I had to re-read it a few times. And I snickered at every one. “Melodie McConnell knew it was going to be a bad night when the antlers fell off her moose.” Right then, I was hooked. I had to read the rest of the book. And I did, all the way to the end, in one sitting. I wasn’t disappointed. Ms. Colgan created a heroine that is alternately, spunky, funny, steadfast and loyal. She handled hysteria well and when the effects of the magical influence was upon her, I enjoyed how the author wrote such a distinct personality difference to denote the before and after. Through it all, however, was Melodie’s growing fascination with all things Blake.

Blake is the hero and he’s has a lot going for him and against him. The biggest negative is that he turns to stone when the sun comes up. Other than that, he’s a regular guy. He is earnest, tender and hubba hubba on a Harley Davidson. Not to mention, he knows how to use a sword to good effect. At first, he’s all business but slowly I saw him fall in love. I enjoyed watching how he grew as a character, ultimately putting Melodie before himself. There is no greater testament to love than a man being selfless for his woman. It’s a very suspenseful and dramatic scene when it all plays out. I respected him and I worried for him. Blake is a tortured hero with no end to his suffering in sight. The author had so many twists and turns up her sleeve, at one point I wasn’t sure it was going to be even possible to break the curse. That was another intense scene.

Secondary characters are few but extremely important and influential. Calypso and Palmer are great contributors to the suspense and action in the story. At one point, I thought they both were bad, then I wasn’t sure, and then I thought they were good. It was a bizarre roller coaster that the author put me through. Calypso and Palmer provided intense interest and were another reason that kept me invested in reading this book. They didn’t undermine the hero and heroine at all. In fact, they were necessary to the cataclysmic ending. Very intense.

There isn’t a true villain per se. It’s the curse and the domino affect it had over the centuries that is coming to a head at the point this book starts. The drama of running against the clock, of trying to survive and outwit the curse was enough of a conflict to carry the story without adding an actual bad guy. I consider that unique and very interesting.

Although the title claims ‘interview’, it was misleading. I equate that with interactions with the press and that doesn’t happen at all. Maybe seduction of a gargoyle might have been a better fit because when Blake and Melodie, the real Melodie, get together, it’s magic of the best kind.

Interview with a Gargoyle is a super amazing story with fascinating characters and a love between two kindred souls. The details were superb, the editing squeaky clean, and the dialogue brisk, entertaining and insightful to the characters. There is nothing I didn’t like about this book. It’s surprisingly fresh, innovative and just plain fun. There’s a happily ever after for Melodie and Blake but Ms. Colgan has also set the groundwork for another story. I can’t wait to add the next one to my pile of really cool books because this one certainly will be found there.