Black Swan Rising - Lee Carroll
Publisher: Bantam Books
When New York City jewelry designer Garet James stumbles into a strange antiques shop in her neighborhood, her life is about to be turned upside down. John Dee, the enigmatic shopkeeper, commissions her to open a vintage silver box for a generous sum of money. Oddly, the symbol of a swan on the box exactly matches the ring given to her by her deceased mother. Garet can’t believe her luck and this eerie coincidence until she opens the box and otherworldly things start happening. . .
So, my second Transworld review, and a book much more in keeping with mine and Mel's usual genre - Urban Fantasy. Eagle-eyed viewers may remember that Mel has herself reviewed this book already (in early September) so this is kind of a long-distance dual review! To remind you, Black Swan Rising stars Garet (I never worked out how you were supposed to pronounce her name - GAR-et, GA-ret, Gar-REET etc), a New York jeweller who discovers the supernatural side to the world she lives in, and her very significant part in it.
Like Mel, I loved the beginning of this book - the supernatural side to Manhattan is only slowly and tantalisingly revealed with a genuine sense of other-world-ness. The creatures you meet may appear human, but human they are not, and whilst they may be on Garet's side, that does not mean they do not have their own agenda, or are not capable of frightening her (and us!).
Having only very recently been to New York I loved the set-pieces throughout the novel, and the historical tie-ins are both very clever and very engaging (what's not to love about a supposedly senial man saying he's been visited by a long-dead famous painter, only for that painter's particular blend of colours to end up on the man's hospital bed sheets?!). However, I am very much in agreement with Mel about the love-interest, Will Hughes. How Garet had can trust him so implicity, so quickly, I do not know. And when she almost loses her humanity to him no mention is ever made of it again, let alone repurcusions for Will who really should have known better!
That aside there is plenty of scope for further novels (especially if they feature Lol, my favourite character by a country mile), and like Mel I will definitely pick up the sequel at some point, 7 out of 10.