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I absolutely adore reading - my love for books has had a huge impact on my life! I'm going to grad school to be a children's/YA librarian.

Stone Guardian

 

On the day that Larissa Miller was born, two realms collided. One is the realm that we know, the realm of humans and the "real world." The other is the realm of the supernatural, and it's filled with all the creatures of fairy tales and nightmares. In the years since the collision, the two realms have coexisted tensely. Larissa has successfully evaded contact with the supernatural for most of her life, thanks to her residence in the humans-only city and her extremely protective father and brothers. But then, Larissa is the victim of an attack by zombies and she finds herself with an unsolicited protector, one who she never dreamed existed - and who she can't help but feel drawn to. 

 

For starters, one thing that I really liked about this book was the fact that Monsch chose a completely unexpected creature for her hero. I have never read a book that featured a gargoyle as the love interest, and in a world where we're inundated by the presence of vampires, werewolves, and zombies as supernatural love interests, I think that it's really refreshing that Monsch decided to go with something so different. The nice thing about choosing to write about something like a gargoyle is that it allowed Monsch to create something entirely new - she didn't have to draw from centuries of convention and tradition because there are so few books written about gargoyles - unlike vampires, which we've been fascinated by since Bram Stoker's Dracula. So I really like that Monsch took advantage of the opportunity to use a lot of artistic license.

 

I also liked that this book didn't center solely on gargoyles, but it includes a TON of other supernatural creatures. The problem with this is that at times, it was difficult to keep track of what each character was, especially since Monsch did use so much artistic license in creating this world. Even when I could remember what each character was, I couldn't remember what their species were capable of. And on top of that, there are a TON of characters. I couldn't even begin to keep track of those outside of the primary characters, because there were so many secondary characters. And there were even more characters who were just mentioned by name but never really introduced. So that was a bit frustrating. 

 

One thing I was particularly disappointed by was how static Larissa and Terak were. Well, to be honest, pretty much all of the characters were static, but I was especially disappointed by Larissa and Terak because they were the main love interest. Don't get me wrong, they were completely likeable. But they didn't really go through any changes and there wasn't really any depth to either of them. One thing that Monsch is really good at is writing a steamy love scene (oh my, are they steamy!), but as great as they were, I still felt disconnected to the characters and their romance as a whole. Another character thing that disappointed me was the fact that Larissa was CONSTANTLY being rescued. Like, I get it - she's a weak human, she doesn't really get how things work in the supernatural world, blah blah blah. But I don't know about all of you, but personally, I think the whole "damsel in distress" thing is better left in the 1950s. Larissa's smart - after a while, she should have started using common sense and stopped getting herself into situations where she needed to be rescued. But she didn't, and I found that to be infuriating. She did redeem herself in this respect a bit at the end, but for me, it was too little, too late. 

 

One thing that annoyed me - not a big deal, just a pet peeve - was the fact that there was a lot of profanity in this book, right from the beginning. And I'm not talking the little ones either - right in the first chapter, there were at least 3-4 f-bombs. For the most part, these words were used in the context of heated conversations or intense action, but I personally find excessive profanity to be a huge turn-off, especially in literature. I find it incredibly difficult to believe that authors, who are supposed to be masters of language, can't find more tasteful and eloquent ways for their characters to express themselves, even in negative moments. To me, excessive profanity is a cop-out and a sign of weak writing, and I wish that it had been left out of this book. 

 

The last thing that I want to draw on isn't so much a comment on the book, but a comment on Danielle Monsch herself. As you can probably tell, this was not the best book that I've read - I liked it in general, but there were parts of it that made me cringe. That being said, I read this book not because I thought that I would particularly like it, but because by buying it, I was making a donation to Toys for Tots, a charity that Danielle supports. I think that it is awesome that Danielle is using her writing to benefit people who are in need and even though this book wasn't my favorite, I would absolutely buy it again, purely to support its author and her work. To me, it doesn't matter if I personally liked or disliked this book. Danielle is an author who should be supported - she's using her work to help people and I think that is truly admirable. 

 

Overall, this book had potential, and there were things that I liked about it. But honestly, it just wasn't my cup of tea. Maybe if you're really into the supernatural romance genre you'll have better luck with this than I did, but for me, this just wasn't my favorite. And, like I said - if you read this, you're supporting a good cause! :)