>Black Swan Rising by Lee Carroll

>I was given a copy of Black Swan Rising by Lee Carroll to review by Transworld.  It’s due for release on 25th November 2010.

This is what Amazon has to say about the book:
Jeweller Garet James isn’t the same as everyone else. She just doesn’t know it yet. With her fair share of problems – money (lack of), an elderly father, a struggling business – Garet should be just like any other young, feisty, single New Yorker. If only it was that simple… It begins with the old silver box that had been soldered shut. All Garet has to do is open it. A favour for the frail owner of the antiques shop. Who wouldn’t help? Only it’s then that things start to change. Garet doesn’t notice at first, the shifts barely perceptible. But the city in which she grew up is beginning to reveal a long-hidden side – darker, and altogether more dangerous: parallel world of chaos, smoke and blood. And now it’s out of the box…and it has no intention of going back in.

I think the first thing I must address here is the fact that it’s a paranormal romance.  And I don’t read paranormal romances.  I tried Twilight, got a few chapters in and thought it was badly written unrealistic drivel.  Haven’t touched anything in this genre since.  Which now I think about it is a bit strange given that paranormal romance is really a type of fantasy book and I love fantasy and sci fi.  So I really wasn’t sure about reading this book but decided to give it a try.  Having read this I think I would read others in the genre although I wouldn’t describe myself as a rabid fan who would read anything in the genre.  Perhaps I will change my mind as I read more.  Or perhaps I won’t.
Black Swan Rising is very well written.  The characters are believable and real.  When Garet discovers her background and her powers it’s not all immediately amazing and super.  Nor does she immediately abandon her friends and family to go off with others who have powers and talents.  Plus, and this was a big thing for me, it had realistic explanations for why the vampire could do certain things that they shouldn’t usually be able to do.  And he couldn’t go outside in daylight.  No sparkly vampires in this book!
I really loved Garet’s name.  It’s short for Margaret and it’s a short I’d not heard of or considered before.  Although I have to say that the first time or two her dad refers to “Margaret” I was wondering who he was talking about!  She’s a real independent, feisty New Yorker who is learning who she is and making life work for her.  A great character.
One of the comments I was going to make was that the ending leaves you wondering what comes next for Garet although you have the definite idea of one specific thing which will come at some point.  I didn’t expect the end to be what it was but it really worked and I loved it.  Even when it was obvious that my original idea for the ending was wrong and started thinking it would end in a specific other way it didn’t do that.  My comment was going to be that there is room for a sequel but I wasn’t convinced there would be one because the ending is very neat.  However I’ve just read on Amazon that this is to be the first of a trilogy.  That makes a lot of sense.   I’d like to read the other two when they come out and for a girl that doesn’t read paranormal romance, that’s gotta tell you something about how good this book is!

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