Review: Heart of Stone by Christine Warren (Gargoyles #1)


Heart of Stone by Christine Warren // VBC ReviewHeart of Stone (Gargoyles #1)
Christine Warren
Published: Dec. 31, 2013 (St. Martin’s)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: library

Reviewed by: Margaret

Rating (out of 5): 3.5 stars

The Gargoyles series has been on my radar for a while since I’m always interested in something a little different than the vampires and shifters I read so often. But I’d never read Christine Warren before and I’d just never gotten around to checking out Heart of Stone. It turns out I really liked it. And the upside to waiting so long is that now I can binge read the first three books in the series.

Ella is a museum docent and a bit of an agoraphobic. At first it seems like she suffers from something like social anxiety disorder, but she actually has magical powers that she’s never identified or learned to use and she’s afraid of hurting people. One night while closing up after a benefit at the museum, Ella is attacked in the garden. Her favorite gargoyle statue comes to life and rescues her, though he also scares her half to death.

Kees is one of seven Guardians summoned by the Guild of Wardens to defend humanity from the seven demons of The Dark. The Dark can never be destroyed, only banished, so the Guardians slumber in their stone gargoyle forms until one of the demons emerges or until summoned by their Warden. Kees is understandably confused when he wakes to find no sign of demons and a woman who’s never heard of the Guild. With Ella’s help he soon discovers that the demons are indeed stirring and the Guild is not what it once was. He definitely needed to be awakened, he just doesn’t know why Ella was able to do it.

I felt like the story, at least the non-romance part, took a while to get going. Kees and Ella spend a lot of time trying to find someone who can tell them what’s going on. So while the Light vs. Dark aspects of the world building are set up early on, the role of the Guild and the Order, its Dark counterpart, took some time. Even by the end of the book, I felt a little frustrated with how little they had learned. Ella’s personal journey, however, takes her a long way, and with Kees’s help she becomes quite a strong heroine.

I’m also not a big fan of that thing where one of the characters, and it almost always seems to be the heroine, blames themselves for something they didn’t do and it ruins their whole life. I really need a shorter name for that—let’s call it the guilt trope. That’s basically what happens with Ella. Once she identifies her magic, she starts to gain some confidence, but I still got a little frustrated with the guilt. I did like the way that Kees dealt with it though.

Despite those minor issues, Im really enjoying this world. Ive already finished book two and Im waiting for book three to come in at the library. I think I might have a thing for gargoyles. If you have one too, I also recommend C.E. Murphy’s Negotiator trilogy, the first book of which is also called Heart of Stone.

Sexual content: graphic sex

2 Responses to “Review: Heart of Stone by Christine Warren (Gargoyles #1)”

  1. I read this one and wasn’t a huge fan. I had read Warren’s previous PNR series, The Others. I loved it. It was sexy and funny. I think I was expecting this one to follow that format, at least a little bit. This one didn’t have any of the humor of her previous series. I also agree with you about the “guilt” trope. That really turned me off too. I’ll read your review of the second book. Maybe I’ll give the series another try if it gets better. I haven’t seen many reviews of this series. Great review.

    • Margaret says:

      I’ve finished all three books now and what I like about it is the secret society/conspiracy plot. You’re right that it’s not particularly funny, though the later heroines are a little more snarky.

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