Christine Warren’s Heart of Stone came to me through Netgalley.com, with a request for interview. Honestly, what drew it to me was the “gargoyle” theme, as gargoyles have been an obsession for me since I was a child. Honestly, the main character in the book, Kees (pronounced like ‘peace’) is not a true “gargoyle” but is instead a “grotesque,” a gargoyle-like character which was designed for protection rather than the movement of water along the gutters of ancient French rooftops. And protector he is. Kees and his six brothers were called centuries ago to protect humanity from The Darkness, an ancient evil that even the Light of the Universe cannot overcome.
Ella Harrow, on the other hand, is definitely not a protector in her present standing. Instead, she is a quiet, reserved, and introverted museum docent who would rather walk over hot coals than interact with people. She isn’t just shy – she is terrified of people and crowds. I love Ella. Absolutely love her. She is quiet and shy, and more damaged than anyone would ever understand. She has horrors in her background – horrors which she can never allow to be known.
Tonight, Ella has suffered through the quarterly fundraiser, and is more than ready to go home and curl up in her apartment, her ‘Fortress of Solitude,’ and forget all about having to interact with all the museum contributors. However, Ella’s life is about to change, and change drastically. No longer will she be able to run and hide, to shy away . . . for there are people, and creatures, after her. And only the statue, a grotesque come to life, will be able to help her to reach her true potential. If she lives long enough.
I hadn’t realized that I had read any of Christine Warren’s works before. I once read part of On The Prowl and hadn’t remembered it. That particular book didn’t impress me at all – in fact, I gave it a 1-star rating on Amazon. I actually called it another poorly written, poorly conceptualized bomb of a book and I still stand by that review. To say that the lead female character was spineless and embarrassingly stupid was an understatement. I am glad I didn’t remember that book before I picked this one up or I wouldn’t have read it. This female character is much more self actualized and better written. Overall, this book, the first of a projected series, was worth the time I took to read it, and I will be watching for the next volume.
The Netgalley copy that I received was an unedited volume with extensive errors that I am hoping were corrected in the final volume which was published in December 2013.