Review by Riley
Sabrina married Mark after only knowing him for two weeks. Although he’s the man of her dreams, the man she loves more than life itself, she’s started getting strange vibes from him. Sometimes, she could swear he moves faster than the human eye can follow, and she’s sure she’s seen him change into something with wings. Could he be a vampire? A gargoyle? She tries to tell herself she’s being ridiculous, that those things don’t really exist. But when a strange being bursts through her bedroom window and kidnaps her, Sabrina is forced to admit the truth—not only are the creatures from her nightmares real, her own husband is one of them, and he married her for reasons other than love…
Review of Sabrina and the Gargoyle
I think my husband is a vampire and the question becomes, will he suck my blood or am I delusional and soon to be taken away by the men in white coats.
This sets the tone for the first part of the book. Husband Mark is a mystery and not at all forthcoming. Sabrina loves him anyway, but wavers between loving him and not wanting to have anything to do with the lying, cheating bastard. Sometimes, I wasn’t sure what to make of her. I want to think that she is strong, as eventually evidenced by her ability stand against certain psychic forces, but she is constantly giving into a hero that, like I said, seems to be a lying, cheating bastard.
Mark denies cheating. Note, I do not say that he denies lying. He changes the subject a lot. So there are all sorts of clues that he is not what he seems to be. This is intriguing and, at the same time, frustrating, both for Sabrina and for the reader.
Sabrina and the Gargoyle is chock full of supernatural creatures – vampires, gargoyles, and werewolves. There are witches and a wolf/dog that seems to understand everything Sabrina says when she is talking to herself – out loud. But there is something bigger and badder than all these creatures and all the big bad supernaturals seem to fear the drogge. So they unite, in a manner, to combat the drogge. The thing is, the goodness or evilness of those supernatural creatures is not exactly evident. At least not all the time. So there is a lot of I-don’t-trust-you-but-I-need-you.
Sabrina, though merely human, has a role in this fight too. She is just not aware that she is involved. Which takes us back to Mark. Who withholds a lot of facts. More frustration for Sabrina.
By the way, Sabrina swears in Klingon. Respect. I am not a swearer myself, but I admire the Sabrina’s creative use of an alien tongue, to get around a grandmother who did not liking swearing. Grandmother may be gone, but the Klingon swearing continues.
Occasionally, there is what I would call an information dump. It shows up in dialog, as if to quickly inform the reader or anyone else in the dark (Sabrina) of what is going one. It feels forced and without background. As the first book in a new series, I thought maybe it was a way to introduce all the key players and elements. And there are a lot of them.
One of the aspects of Sabrina and the Gargoyle that I truly enjoyed was the setting. While some authors/publishers would minimize the local references and vernacular in an attempt to appeal to a wider audience, Ms. Dry has included plenty of local color, thereby appealing to the intelligence of her readers. Capetown, South Africa is the setting. And speaking of local color, I was enchanted with the description of Sabrina’s house:
The house was painted turquoise with the shutters a beautiful purple to compliment the roof, the circular stairs in front a bright pink.
This prompted me to look up Bo Kaap, the richly colored Cape Town neighborhood that Sabrina calls home. In this story, there was also quite a few South Africanisms, including discussions of food. I don’t read a lot of stories with this same setting, so I found it fun and fascinating!
Sabrina and the Gargoyle has all the elements you look for in a paranormal romance. Romance (odd as it is), paranormal creatures, good guys and bad guys, and ultimately – a great face down between the evil bad and the heroine and the hero.
The author provided a copy of her book so I could bring you this honest review.
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