by Veronique Launier
Hearts of Stone, book one
Aude Vanier is a sixteen-year-old rock star with a problem—stone monsters keep attacking her. And when they do, she finds herself chanting in a language she doesn’t understand.
Guillaume de Rouen has been stuck as a gargoyle on a church for the last seventy years, until Aude’s chanting releases him back to his seventeen-year-old human form.
An ancient Iroquois prophecy about the destruction of Montreal is coming true. Together, Aude and Guillaume can stop it. But Aude is the descendant of a centuries-old coven of witches—a coven that Guillaume failed to protect seventy years ago. This time, if they fail, the world will never be the same. (description from Amazon.com)
Okay, I have to admit first thing that I am very fond of gargoyles. I love books with gargoyle characters. This stems directly from one reading the Xanth series by Piers Anthony, which brought some amazing character concepts to life for me, including Geis of the Gargoyle's, Gary Gargoyle. That combined with my interest in art history and the beautiful stonework that exists on many historic buildings leads to a love and fascination for gargoyles and other stone creatures.
I found Launier's debut book to be great conceptually. It combined the existence of gargoyles with a very spiritual and pagan sort of witchcraft. Added to that mix is a Mohawk prophecy about the end of the world and you have a very, very intriguing sort of end of the world story.
I really liked Aude and Guillaume as the main characters. Aude, or as she likes to be known "Odd," is a rock princess who generally knows what she wants from life. When her life is thrown into chaos, she very realistically goes through some stages of denial, acceptance, and general WTF?! I really liked how in some respects she was very much in charge of herself and knew what to do to handle things and in other scenarios, she accepted that she couldn't control the things happening around her. Guillaume was able to help keep her safe and to give her a touchstone in the crazy new world she had to deal with, but he also respects that she is powerful in her own right. At first, I didn't like jumping between their perspectives, but as I continued reading I actually found it to be a great way to see all facets of the story.
This was a great summer read for me. Fast-paced, interesting and with a romance thrown in to boot. I'm really looking forward to seeing where the next book in the series goes...
Full disclosure: eARC received from Netgalley