Rory (The Ghosts of Palladino #1) by Ciye Cho
ebook, 344 pages
Published August 10th 2013
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
~Rating: 4/5 stars~
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
*A copy was provided by the author
This is the first novel of Ciye Cho’s that I’ve read, and WOW!!!! I absolutely loved it!
Rory was a wonderfully imaginative read. Palladino is not your normal afterlife: it’s a beautiful city for ghosts who were afraid to move on, and who require human companions to remind them of what living was like. Cho’s background as a graphic designer is evident in the vivid descriptions of Palladino; they were so much fun to visualize and made it quite easy to get lost in this enchanting world.
Rory is an 18 year-old girl with a mother in a psychiatric hospital. All her life her mother believed in demons who take young girls away in the dark of night and made Rory walk around with a torch and a knife, and stay home after dark.
One day Rory can’t escape the dark and she is taken away to the ghost town of Palladino, where young girls are groomed and educated to serve The Ruling Lords and give them their memories, so the monsters will remember how to be alive. The only thing Rory wants to do is to survive and escape, but her bravery, boldness and her talent as a cake maker attract attention of two of The Ruling Lords. One is Herve The Hunter, a dark sadistic monster, who tortures and kills anything surrounding him, and the other is Martin Marius, a whimsical mad hatter, an inventor and a dreamer with a penchant for cats. Only one of them can set her free, but she is stuck in a tug of war between two enemies in a plot bigger than her escape, plot that threatens the existence of Palladino, the town of ghosts.
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.
Definitely a page-turner! I can’t wait to read more from this author! I highly recommend it!
Ciye Cho lives in Australia and works as a graphic designer. He writes YA novels in his free time–and his head is often lost in the clouds or some place far from reality…