A newish supernatural being arrives in this straight-out gothic saga.
Gargoyles, forced to protect humans from demons, lurk overhead on the old Gothic church in Paris bought by a titled English family in 1899. Gargoyle Luc tries to protect the family’s two daughters as they roam Paris looking for their missing brother, Grayson. Proper in name only, Ingrid, 17 and the story’s main heroine, doesn’t bother with chaperones, while Gabby, at 15, dresses in a sexy red dress and goes out to visit men alone. Meanwhile, hellhounds are slaughtering Paris’ population of young ladies. Readers learn early that Grayson is a prisoner in the Underneath, where gargoyles and humans cannot go. Luc can’t seem to do his protecting job properly even with the help of the Alliance, a group of humans who also fight demons. Forbidden romance and hot kissing scenes abound. Gargoyles are not yet overexposed in books for teens, and Morgan’s description of the Underneath also stands out as inventive. However, the gothic genre leads her into the usual conventions of sentence fragments and hyperbole (“Hesitation meant death”). Her execution of the story comes across as awkward and inexpert, with much repetition. The concept may be somewhat new, but the plotline could have been lifted from any 1930s monster movie, including the villain who obligingly explains all before attacking.
A nifty idea clumsily executed. (Paranormal suspense. 12 & up)