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Monday, March 21, 2011

Book Review: WARPED

Warped by Maurissa Guibord is one of those debut novels that hasn't scored a ton of attention yet this year.  But from the minute I read the synopsis, I knew I had to have it in my TBR pile.
Tessa doesn't believe in magic. Or Fate. But there's something weird about the dusty unicorn tapestry she discovers in a box of old books. She finds the creature woven within it compelling and frightening. After the tapestry comes into her possession, Tessa experiences dreams of the past and scenes from a brutal hunt that she herself participated in. When she accidentally pulls a thread from the tapestry, Tessa releases a terrible centuries old secret. She also meets William de Chaucy, an irresistible 16th-century nobleman. His fate is as inextricably tied to the tapestry as Tessa's own. Together, they must correct the wrongs of the past. But then the Fates step in, making a tangled mess of Tessa's life. Now everyone she loves will be destroyed unless Tessa does their bidding and defeats a cruel and crafty ancient enemy.

 Very creative premise. And the way Guibord "weaves" this story is quite remarkable.  The characters literally journey inside the tapestry, as if it were a place all its own.  I loved the detailed imagery and how I felt like this totally unbelievable journey was almost possible.

Tessa was a solid MC.  Her mom was dead (see last week's rant for my opinion on that), but she had a good relationship with her dad.  And they lived above their bookstore -- how cool is that?  Her BFF, Opal, annoyed me at times, since she seemed to have too many faults to make her compatible with someone like Tessa (this is another thing that bothers me about many books, not just this one. The supporting characters can be cool too. They don't have to be incompetent or catty. But I digress.) Bottom line, you should like Tessa. She's braver than she wants to be, which seemed pretty realistic under the circumstances.

William de Chaucy -- decadent name; delicious character.  When I was reading the story though, I kept having Katy Perry's "Hot 'N Cold" running through my head. He liked her, he hated her. He drew her near, he pushed her away. Uh, yeah, there was plenty of tension as a result, but I'd have been pretty pissed by that point if I were Tessa (which, thankfully, I'm not, 'cause she has quite the series of tasks and riddles to solve in front of her).

The main thing I wasn't crazy about was the writing itself. Parts felt clunky. But then again, I read in uber critical editor mode these days, so it could just be me.
The ending was satisfying.  There was one twist in particular that I didn't see coming and happy that the book wrapped up as it did.  Overall, I give the book THREE Greek coins, a URA* rating. Hopefully this debut author will have more tales to "spin" in the future.