Title: The Girl and The Raven
Author: Pauline Gruber
Publisher: Dragonfly Ink Limited
Publication Date: December 15, 2013
Isis' Review:I would like to thank NetGalley and Dragonfly Ink, Ltd. for granting me the chance to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Though I received the e-book for free that in no way influenced this review.
This is an intriguing book that blends religious beliefs and pagan beliefs as the backdrop of a teenager's life. Lucy grew up with a mother that was beyond neglectful. An alcoholic, and a junkie, Donna appeared to never really care about her daughter - always spending their meager money on her next fix, or hawking Lucy's few precious gifts for a meager fix to help tide her over for a few more hours. All Lucy wants is to get out of the trailer park and go live with her beloved Grandmother. But then her grandmother dies and Lucy is trapped. Well, trapped until the fateful day the her mother is dropped off in front of the trailer, dead from an overdose.
Lucy moves in with her Uncles, Sheldon and Bernard, who live in her grandmother's house. Persephone, a dear friend, and powerful witch, also happens to live in the house. Lucy is thrilled to be living with people who care about her, but her world doesn't change the way she expected it to. Instead she is shooting lightening from her hands when she gets upset, and doing everything in her power to hide it from everyone around her.
She meets some girls at her new school, making friends right away, with all of them except for the uber bitch Ella and her faithful stooge Caroline. Ella gets totally bent out of shape when Marcus, Lucy's new upstairs neighbor ignores her in favor of Lucy. And then when the other local hottie, Dylan, becomes friends with Lucy Ella blows a gasket. What she doesn't know is that Lucy knows Dylan because she babysits for his stepbrother and sister Brandi & Ethan - both of whom adore Lucy.
What Lucy doesn't know is that she got the job through her father, a man she's never met, that she knows of. But in reality he has been watching her every move since she showed up at her grandmother's house. And it turns out he has also kidnapped Lola, her grandmother's raven. Lola is holding Lucy's powers of witchcraft for her until her 16th birthday, but until she can rescue Lola she won't receive her powers either. And without her powers she is defenseless against the demons in her life.
Lucy goes through all kinds of romantic tension with Marcus, some with Dylan, at least until they learn something from her Dad, the demon. Balancing between being a white witch and a demon is a tough act for Lucy, especially when another demon is trying to kill her. The question is, can she survive both halves of her heritage, as well as play peacemaker between the two halves of her family?
While I enjoyed the story, I was frustrated with the pacing at the end. Things moved along quite nicely for the bulk of the book, but once the major calamity has passed the story is ended quite abruptly in my opinion. With several unanswered issues just hanging out there, the questions posed and never answered. The end felt rushed and too much like a copout for my taste. However, it is still a fun read as long as you are willing to accept the easy-out ending.
Pauline Gruber is a self-professed music junkie, cat wrangler and daytripper. She wrote her first book in seventh grade about a trio of competitive cat siblings and won an award for it. Fast forward to 1992 when she took a trip to Paris with her aunt where she discovered a love of three things: travel, croissants and old cathedrals, especially those featuring gargoyles. Twenty years later, she translates her fascination with gargoyles into an extraordinarily suspenseful love story. Pauline lives outside of Chicago with her precocious black cats.