Far beyond heaven, earth and hell is a city known as Palladino, a place ruled by ghosts and filled with demons, magic, and all sorts of darkly beautiful things. A city where no one can ever escape.
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. .
Sometimes, you just gotta take a chance. And I’m glad I took a chance and read Rory. Aside from the pretty cover (the blend of colors is just exquisite!) and the really cool trailer, what convinced me to read this was the peculiar idea of a world of ghosts. I had never heard of such a unique plot- and that was exactly what drew me in and had me reading on.
Rory, the main character, was quite like any other heroine. She was brave, feisty and witty. Cho does’t stick to idealism though, knocking down Rory with imperfections and flaws that allowed her to be more realistic. Rory made mistakes and unreasonable decisions here and there, even throwing a few tantrums. She was also often too valiant for her own good. Nonetheless, she was amusing to read. Being alone in a world she knew so little of, Rory’s actions were understandable.
What I loved about Rory’s character, was the fact that she didn’t get handed down anything. No external force (and by that, I mean luck) helped her. She was on her own most of the time. She had to work towards her goals, and even then, she failed and had to try again. It was refreshing to see a heroine who was unsuccessful and yet was determined to go on.
Because I liked Rory, it felt natural to root for her and want her to overcome whatever endeavor she is up against. Cho throws lots of hardships along her way, and one I found extremely hard was Rory’s time at ‘charm school.’ Really, it wasn’t much of that- you’d actually think it was The Hunger Games arena what with the crazy competition. The catty, mean girls also reminded me of The Selection.
Still, I found myself enjoying reading about all the madness. Cho’s storyline had lots of twists. I was pleasantly surprised by most of them. I also was fond of the secondary characters: Manny, the kind skine, Cookie, the too-adorable-just-wanna-cuddle-with-him-and-giggle-so-badly talking cat and Martin Marius, the cat-loving, hard-to-understand Ghost Lord.
All the characters were well-developed, even the antagonists. I liked reading about Rory’s interaction with all of them especially with Lord Marius. The two definitely had some chemistry! If you compare it with others’ though, the romance felt quite understated. That said, it was palpable.
I was really impressed by Cho by while reading Rory. However, I had a few qualms. Some words and expressions felt redundant. Also, the story was a little too long and a little unrefined. The baking aspect was a fun one but it didn’t feel enough. Rory was quite promising but it lacked something that I couldn’t quite discern. Anyhow, I felt that these were forgivable.
All that said, I really didn’t expect much from Rory so I was real happy to discover it was good. Cho has created a fantastic world- completely surreal. It’s creatively imagined, beautifully adorned with magic and magnificence. Everything was bewitching- the Jade castle, the talking cat, the hot air balloons and the lovely dresses! I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was looking forward to reading the next book. Y’all ought to give Rory a try! :)