Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Book Review: Beautiful Creatures
TITLE: Beautiful Creatures
PART IN SERIES: Book 1 in The Caster Chronicles
AUTHOR: Kami Garcia and Margeret Stohl
CATEGORY: Young adult
GENRE: fantasy, romance
PREMISE: Ethan lives in the most boring town in the south. Then a new girl shows up and this new girl shakes up his world in ways he never imagined possible.
MY REVIEW: Warning: there will be lots of gushing in this post because I absolutely adored this book. So I will get the few minor qualms I have with it out of the way. One qualm is that while I love that they did a book from a guy's point of view for a change, sometimes it didn't seem like Ethan was a guy. The other is that the whole "town versus Ethan and Lena" thing was a little over the top for me, even with the revelation at the end about Mrs. Lincoln (won't give away revelation for those that haven't read it).
But other then that, this whole book just clicked the right way for me. For one it wasn't full of all the common tropes that are going around in YA fantasy nowadays (although there are maybe one or two but not enough to bitch about). There are no vampires and werewolves, just good old regular magic casters for a change. No love triangle. No macho guy who protects the whiny girl from a danger he brought on her(Ethan is a gentleman who isn't a wuss but he's no Edward Cullen which is good because otherwise I would have hated him). The romance takes time to develop for a change as well. Finally, a couple who does normal things like deal with school, having to study, going on dates as well as the magic stuff. Also, actual parental supervision! They have adults who are actually present in their lives and who aren't treated like some big nuisance that needs to be protected from themselves. It was just very refreshing to read.
But two things really made this book for me: the setting and the characters. There seems to be a semi gothic revival thing going on in YA right now and all I can say is bring it. I love me my gothic novels and if it's gothic fantasy like this one all the better. The characters were also nicely written and varied and just plain fun. For those curious my favorite characters are Marion, Amma and Link. In that order. I found Ridley kind of interesting too because I don't buy that she's totally evil and will be curious to see if we see more implications of that in the next book.
So despite a few minor flaws, this is an excellent first book (this was a debut novel in 2009) and I highly reccomend it. The next book in the series is Beautiful Darkness and comes out in October (there's a widget in the sidebar if you want the actual date).
WHO SHOULD READ: Anyone interested
MY RATING: Four and a half out of Five charm necklaces
FOR THE FOLLOWING CHALLENGES:
One Hundred Plus Books
12 by 12 in July
First in a series