Previous Installment: The Beautiful and the Cursed
Ingrid and Gabby survived the Underneath. They saved their brother, Grayson, from a future of dark servitude and exposed a plot to undermine the Alliance. But danger still lurks in the streets of Paris, and the Dispossessed, perched on the city’s bridges and rooftops, might not be able to save their human wards this time.
Oh, gosh, THIS BOOK. I am going to try to do it justice by constructing a coherent review, but I just want to give a heads up that I might just fail spectacularly at that. Also, this review will probably wind up containing mild spoilers for the first book, because this is a continuation of that story and it’s hard to talk about The Lovely and the Lost without bringing up events from The Beautiful and the Cursed. But I will try really hard not to spoil anything major. So, with all of that out of the way, here we go. I’m going to try to tell you all why I loved this book and just how much it broke my heart.
First off, this book contains all of the same amazing atmospheric prose that the first one did. The setting is gothic, lush and gorgeous. You have the rectory that the Waverlys live in. You have the descriptions of the gargoyles in flight. You have the dark, dank places that Grayson and Gabby find themselves in. It’s all fantastically described and written to the point where you can see what the characters see and feel what the characters feel. Seriously, Ms. Morgan definitely has a talent for settings; it’s a shame there aren’t magical time machines to take you back to her version of 1900s Paris (where I wouldn’t want to STAY but would sure like to visit).
I also want to give mad props for her ability to write FOUR different points of view, and make all of their voices sound unique. I liked having Grayson’s added narration, because without it I don’t think you could appropriately understand his sense of self-loathing and the struggles he goes through. I was worried at first that the numerous points of view would be too overwhelming and hard to keep straight, but I never had any trouble. It helps that the book is written in third-person, so the characters names are stated throughout their chapters, of course, but even if they hadn’t been I don’t think I would have had trouble distinguishing between everyone.
Now I’m not going to get into plot specifics, because this is a series that keeps the reader on their toes and I don’t want to spoil the suspense and action that pervades the story. I will say, however, that there is a love triangle, although Ingrid – the poor girl caught up in the middle of it – is pretty clearly in love with one over the other. I am curious, though, to see where things will go in book three after the tumultuous ending; I definitely have my favorite guy, but am just not sure how on earth it would work out. Also, this book does contain some pretty extensive violence – which is on par with the whole gothic setting but still worth mentioning. However, I never found the book bogged down in darkness because all of the characters have a quick wit and great sense of humor (Grayson’s few and far between quips were a nice addition), and the action moves along at a nice pace so that the reader never gets overwhelmed.
And then, of course, the book ends, and everyone – and I mean everyone – is pretty much left stunned and heartbroken in some form or fashion. I have never read a book that hurt me in the same way The Lovely and the Lost did. I felt awful for Grayson, sad for Gabby and just aching for Ingrid and Luc. God, Luc. I think his story line is what hit me hardest and left me reeling the most. I am really curious as to how everything is going to work out (and I use the term “work out” loosely here – I am not sure HOW things could possibly be fixed considering everything involved), and just hope that the series ending will match up to the rollercoaster experience the series has put the reader through so far.
The Lovely and the Lost was everything I wanted it to be, and more. If you like a mix of historical paranormal and also like strong female characters, then this is a good series for you to check out. Gabby and Ingrid are amazing and strong in their own unique ways, and there’s a romance here that just pulls at your heartstrings and leaves you hoping for impossible things. I cannot wait to read The Wondrous and the Wicked and see what happens next!