Review: The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker (Strangely Beautiful #2) by Leanna Renee Hieber

The illuminating, ghostly second installment of the Strangely Beautiful series by Leanna Renee Hieber, The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker, picks up right where Book I left off.

The dark, brooding professor Alexi Rychman and ‘reincarnated’ Grecian goddess Persephone “Percy” Parker are soul mates….destine for each other. They are now planning their hasty wedding in the midst of the turmoil which prophecy has brought on.

With the coming prophecy has come the war which was also for told….the Whisper World is threatening all The Guard holds dear. The Guard knows that their fight is far from done….the Whisper World and Darkness threaten to claim the now mortal goddess (Percy) as his bride.

Alexi struggles to protect Percy from her fate while Percy herself searches for answers to her past and what she is exactly. Alexi knows his duty is to protect Percy from danger and as leader of The Guard, he is powerful….but his power soon turns boarders on obsession. Alexi must learn how to protect Percy while allowing her some room to breath…Percy must learn her own power.

Dark signs soon begin to develop at the beloved Athens Academy signaling the coming war but The Guard is not alone….previous Guard members rally themselves as allies (they are the ghosts of past Guard members) to the new Guard. One ghost Guard member, Beatrice, was once the leader of Alexi’s Guard and she helps him realize he must trust in Percy and trust in her power in order to save the Guard from the coming war.

Alexi and Percy go through an adjustment period in their new relationship, since they have both lived such solitary lives they have now been thrown together so passionately, at times they find it difficult to suddenly find themselves in a partnership instead of individuals.

Alexi who was always the calm, collected, decisive leader has now developed a tumultuous passion for his wife and her safety that borders on ‘madness’. Percy struggles to find her ‘voice’ within the group and with Alexi himself. But as time passes, they both learn to reconcile their new roles as partners.

I was also thankful that Percy began finding her voice and is more assertive not just with Alexi but with others as well….in the last book I just felt like Percy was a little to meek for the role of ‘heroine’ so this was a welcome change. In this book, we see a lot of changes in the dynamics of The Guard’s romantic relationships…..most obviously the relationship between Alexi and Percy but the other characters as well.

I really enjoy Elijah as a character–I find him to be the most colorful and comical in the group, though not the most likeable character I am a firm believer that when one thoroughly embraced their rake-ish status so completely it is hard to NOT like him for that LOL :). At any rate, I was happy to see the relationship between Elijah and Josie grow….I just wish we got to know more about them though. I am really curious to their relationship dynamics :).

The new tender romance between Michael and Rebecca was also intriguing but again, I really wanted to know more about their dynamics and how the relationship changed. I liked how the first book really explored both sides of the ‘new relationship’ between Alexi and Percy and would have liked to see that same idea carried over with the other characters.

As a side note, I was not fan of Jane and found her a little forgettable throughout the series, but I sensed there was an interesting relationship between her and the ghost which I would have liked to seen develop more.

While I liked the book just fine, it seemed to lack the same ‘magic’ as the first one. Some of the stuff that I found endearing in Book I was a little over done for me….for example, I loved how Alexi and Percy came together in the first book especially during the gala dance, but then in this one it seemed like there was no real new ‘sweetness’ or new ‘romantic memory’ besides the honeymoon.

Then ending felt rushed for me and I felt like there was potential for depth and development in the characters, storyline, and romantic dynamics….and I was really expecting the resolution to come in a third book but everything just ended and was resolved in this one. It was just too fast for me and the scope of development was not wholly explored in my opinion.

Since the overall story is taken in two books, I thought that the pacing was just way too fast. I had a hard time with the scanty developments…I think a little more background and development for all characters and storylines would have helped….slow down the pace and slow down the romance between Alexi and Percy–I was anticipating the wedding but when it was done in the beginning of the book I felt like there was nothing else for me to look forward to.

The ending was a little anti-climatic and I would have liked to have seen the frenzied series spread out into one more book….I know there is a third book but it is a ‘prequel’ that I am not entirely sure I will read. Normally this doesn’t happen to me….I usually find the subsequence books in a series more or less the same in preference but in this series, I like the first book SO much better than the second.

All that said, I devoured the book in a matter of days as I was really impatient to find out what happened next!  It was good and an implied ‘must read’ considering where Book I leaves off…but I just found the first more enjoyable I’m sad to say.

Challenge/Book Summary:

Book: The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker (Strangely Beautiful #2) by Leanna Renee Hieber

  • Kindle Edition
  • Published (first published April 23rd 2010)
  • ASIN B003IS768A

This book counts toward: NA

  • Hosted by: NA
  • Books for Challenge Completed: NA

Recommendation: 3 out of 5, ok but not nearly as good as the first book

Genre:  para-romance, fantasy, gothic fiction, gaslight fiction

Memorable lines/quotes: NA


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