A Review by Lenora
Book 1: 666 Park Avenue
This series is definitely a guilty pleasure! I first came across Gabriella Pierce’s 666 Park Avenue series by accident. I had begun following the TV series based on the books but found out that it was being cancelled mid-season. Curious as to how the story ended I decided to read the books. It is worth stating that the books bear very little relation to the TV series. I have to admit to quite liking the ‘Dynasty does the Dark-side’ style of the TV series but the books were so much better.
Just one word of warning before you read on: if you haven’t read all of the books yet you might want to only read part of this post – there are a couple of potential spoilers below!!
Book One: 666 Park Avenue
Jane Boyle is a witch, only she doesn’t know it. She has grown up in France, isolated and protected by her grandmother who is a powerful witch and is unbeknownst to Jane, in hiding. Whilst in Paris working as an architect Jane meets and falls in love with the fabulously wealthy and gorgeous Malcolm Doran, a member of the Manhattan elite. Book one describes Jane’s coming to terms with the fact that she has a secret witchy heritage, she also gets to indulge her penchant for designer labels courtesy of the Doran’s unlimited wealth. Much shopping ensues. Jane finds herself at the centre of the wedding of the year as planned by Lynne Doran, matriarch of the Doran Clan, wearer of scary peach lipstick and plotter of nefarious plans involving Jane. Jane soon finds out that Lynne is pretty much the wickedest witch on the block tracing her ancestry back to the original witch Ambika and her evil daughter Hasina – Lynne’s favourite hobby in between shopping and sniping at Jane is bumping off rival witches and stealing their power. Jane also has to come to terms with the terrible secrets Malcolm is hiding from her.
Stop reading here if you haven’t read book Two!!!
Book Two: The Dark Glamour
Book 2 – The Dark Glamour
The second book has Jane, now single and undercover in Manhattan, trying to avoid the murderous plans of Lynne by reuniting her with her long-lost daughter Annette. To do this she must play a dangerous game with some very dangerous (and needless to say gorgeous) Romanian witches, so she takes on a glamour and becomes the exotic Ella Medieros. More shopping ensues. Jane unpicks more of the mysteries of her own past and how they link her family to the Doran’s. She discovers only too late that reuniting Lynne with her long-lost daughter will have devastating consequences for all of them.
Ditto – stop here if you’re not up to the final book yet!!!
Book Three: The Lost Soul
The third and (so far) final book in the series sees Jane reunited with Malcolm and fighting to save Annette as Lynne plans a spell that will see the undying Hasina reborn again into Annette’s body. Jane uncovers much more about her magical heritage and why she is of such importance to Lynne/Hasina. There is a lot of action in this last novel as Jane learns more about her powers and begins to use them, but in doing so puts everyone she loves at risk.
Book 3: The Lost Soul
If you like your chick-lit with a supernatural twist then you will probably enjoy these books. Obviously I want to avoid spoilers but it’s just the usual story of: boy meets girl, girl goes shopping, boy and girl fall in love, girl goes shopping, boy betrays girl, girl goes shopping, girl has to fight ancient evil…(after picking the right outfit of course!) etc, etc.
Nevertheless there are some interesting twists. The ancient matriarchal lineage from Ambika through her witchy daughters creates possibilities for future novels; the idea of trying to save someone who doesn’t want to or cannot be saved is explored and there is no guarantee that there will be the happy ending for everyone that you might expect for chick-lit/supernatural romance. There is also quite a lot of humor and even a nod to the wicked witch of the west in her ruby slippers. Although magic plays an integral part in the story and the acquisition of it is Lynne’s driving force, the novels are surprisingly light on the nitty-gritty of magic. Similarly back-stories exist for many of the characters but are not overly explored except as they relate immediately to the narrative.
Although the ending leaves an opening for another installment of the serial, I secretly hope that Pierce leaves this as a trilogy. The ending leaves the reader free to imagine what happened next rather than spelling things out to obviously.
Basically the books are a light frothy look at witchy socialites, and are very entertaining if not very deep. Good for a long train journey or a lazy evening in the company of a glass of vino and a bar of chocolate!
Gabriella Pierce’s 666 Park Avenue Series is available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/