Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Redemption (Hearts of Stone #1) by Veronique Launier

First, of course, thanks to Netgalley and Flux books for letting me read an egalley of this book.
I have to say as soon as I figured out from the cover, as well as the description of the book that this was about gargoyles, I was hooked!  I have always been fascinated by gargoyles, from the time my dad used to play the scary gargoyle sounds record to wake me up when I was younger, to even buying books about them and looking for them on buildings when I traveled with my mom.  And, let's face it, a whole new type of paranormal character to write about!  But, of course, there has to be magic, and that comes into the story through witches, who made gargoyles to protect them.  And also, there is magic in this story from the Native Americans of the area it takes place in.  It is in Canada, Montreal to be exact, so that is a little bit of an unfamiliar area to me.  But it works.
The main characters are Guillaume, and Aude.  Guillaume is the gargoyle, who is somehow freed from his stone self even though the witch family who brought him about is long gone.  Aude is the girl who Guillaume and his fellow gargoyles/family are watching be attacked when this all happens.  As it happens, they hear this strange chanting, and drumming.  They are of course intrigued and wonder how this happened, and so Guillaume begins to follow Aude, trying to get to know her and find out how she did this.  Aude, who goes by Odd, lives with her mom, who is a bit of a strange woman, but knows she is, and so her daughter has always dealt with her strange ways.  Aude is a musician, and it turns out, so was Guillaume in the past.  But it wasn't a one time attack on Aude, she continues to get attacked and have strange things happen around her.  Without completely trusting Guillaume, she works with him to try to figure out exactly why these things are happening to her.  She also learns about her past and things about her family she never knew.
I really liked this book.  I like that even though there may be a "connection" almost right away between the 2, they don't just all of a sudden fall in love, and all that.  They work through it.  Aude is attracted, but doesn't know whether to trust this strange guy who appeared out of nowhere when this weird stuff starts happening.  Guillaume is the one who doesn't seem to have feelings, according to his "family" anyway.  So he is sure he is just interested in her to find out what he needs to, in order to stay alive, so he doesn't have to go back to being a stone creature who just watches the world around him go on.  I liked the use of both witches as an ancient power, as well as the Native American "magic" as story lines.  The stone creatures are really good too.  Makes me think of golems.  I'm glad to see this is going to be a series, because while it did end pretty well, it doesn't HAVE to go on, I am eager to follow the story on and see what happens next as Aude learns about her powers and her lineage.
I will be adding this to my A-Z Reading Challenge as well, on the V for the author's first name.