by Ciye Cho
Eighteen-year-old Rory is a cake decorator who makes stunning confections. But no amount of frosting or miracles can save her when a demon kidnaps her—and carries her to Palladino. Here, Rory ends up in a deadly charm school where young women are forced to become companions for the Ghost Lords. And for her to survive, Rory must become everything that she isn’t: graceful, elegant... and perfect.
But nothing is what it seems in Palladino. Not the magic. Not the ghosts. And definitely not Martin Marius, the bizarre Ghost Lord-slash-inventor who is drawn to Rory. For amid a thousand machines and a hundred cats, Martin holds a secret that could change everything. A secret that could either free Rory... or destroy her.
Genre: YA/NA Fantasy
Publisher Type: Indie
Add RORY to your Goodreads TBR here!
My Rating: * * * * *
I just put my Kindle down and all I can say is "Wowie-wow-wow!!!! Where's the next book?!?"!
This is the second Ciye Cho book I've read. And what I love best about this author is his incrediby imaginative worlds. Cho's books are amazingly colorful and RORY takes that to a whole other level. The world of Palladino is so far beyond unique that Alice's wonderland has got nothing on it. It's scary and beautiful and filled with secrets. Without slowing the story pace down, Cho is able to paint a fantastical world that fills your mind's eye with wild colors, textures and forms. I'm floored by Cho's creativity!
Besides the awesome world built by Cho, RORY has an incredible story that grabs you and pulls you in, making it quite difficult to stop reading. Aurora (nicknamed Rory) has a challenging life to begin with in the human world before being kidnapped and brought to Palladino. I did wonder why Aurora and her mother were aware of the "demons" who kidnap girls while the rest of the human world seemed oblivious? Also, why does mom know so much about Palladino? I'm not sure if these are things we will understand better later in the series, or if this a plot hole issue, but I'm eager to see if mom has secrets of her own. There's a lot of danger and challenges that face Rory as she begins life in Palladino. I love the mystery and the sense of not knowing who she can trust. I also love how the whimsical and the violent are juxtaposed in Palladino. Rory is both believable and likable: being frightened yet brave, reckless yet caring; she is a memorable character that I immediately could care for and cheer on. There are many other intriguing characters in Palladino; quirky and brooding Martin and his many cats, Cookie --whom I LOVE-- the adventuresome ghost cat and Manny the conflicted kidnapper. It's an outstanding cast in an amazing setting telling a wondrous story.
Really my only complaint was the huge cliff hanger ending. What the heck?!? You simply cannot leave a girl hanging like that!!! So expect a review of book 2 as soon as the author gets the ARCs out. I will be stalking him until he is done **evil grin**
I really love the art the author does for his books. This is such a beautiful cover which fits the book perfectly!