Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Review: Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

In Ethan Wate’s hometown there lies the darkest of secrets . . . There is a girl. Slowly, she pulled the hood from her head. Green eyes, black hair. Lena Duchannes. There is a curse. On the Sixteenth Moon, the Sixteenth Year, the Book will take what it’s been promised. And no one can stop it. In the end, there is a grave. Lena and Ethan become bound together by a deep, powerful love. But Lena is cursed and on her sixteenth birthday, her fate will be decided. Ethan never even saw it coming.

Ooo I liked this book for so many reasons.

1.      It was a male first person point of view, I like this, I don’t know if it’s just that I zero in on the books with girls as the epicentre, but this made a really refreshing change. In fact when the view point changes briefly to Lena towards the end I got really grumpy with Ethan for slacking in his storytelling duties.

2.       History! Mythology! Wrapped up in a town! It was almost like reading the first series of The Vampire Diaries TV series – it was essentially a love story but it was wrapped up in all these events and history about the town and the other people. This could have been used more, but it was a really good draw for me.

3.       THEY TAKE THEIR TIME TO HAVE FEELINGS! You have no idea how grumpy I get where in a page the hero and heroine fall in love. Jeez guys, that is not real life. You fall in Like, you fall in Lust, but never in Love in a page.

4.       Ridley. Words cannot describe the epicness. I love her. I want to be her. Kinky outfits, boots and lollipops galore. I hope she’s in the next book. I don’t care that she’s evil, she makes my life.

5.       As much as I love Vampires and Werewolves (vast amounts/words cannot describe) it was a refreshing change to have something a little different. Caster’s, who are epic in their awesome powers, and a little creepy all at once, but definitely get the award for most screwy family of the year so far.

6.       It took its time. This book was set over five months. Now I know some books pretend they’re spread over a year, but often they become so rushed that it’s hard to remember that. Chapters were headed with a date, which gave you an exact pin point of how much time had passed, and it took its time. There were slower patches, but it helped with the overall build of the book. I like downtime, it gives me chance to breathe for a minute before the next oh my god my life is going to end moment.

7.       The town. Descriptions were something this book knew how to do – the town, the accents – again nothing was rushed and it was laid out so you felt as if you were there, living it out, hearing the voices. That’s one thing I struggle with in books, the accent is almost always English in my head, but with the writing style you couldn’t help but get an awesome southern drawl, and I loved it.

I think that’s it for my love list for now, but with the sequel there is a potential it may continue to grow… 
Overall I really enjoyed the book. Some reviews have complained about the pacing, that they got lost when it stopped being about feelings and became more about magic. I don’t know if it’s just that I’ve read so many fantasy books that I pick up the rules of a new world a lot quicker, but I found the added elements of danger heightened the relationship and took it to new levels where it might else have become stagnant and boring. I read to escape and to find somewhere knew and exciting, I don’t want to be bogged down in reality, I’ve got enough of that thanks.

The relationships were realistic and well constructed, and they didn’t feel rushed or forced – they were two teenagers falling in love at a relatively normal pace for those with hormones on red alert most of the time.
It was a little slow to get in to, but once I was a couple of chapters in I was completely hooked, and I am so glad that for once I though ahead and bought the second book “Beautiful Dar
kness" at the same time...

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