Title: Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles #1)
Authors: Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: Razorbill (4th February 2010)
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 CRURSE. ON THE SIXTEENTH MOON, OF 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.
Rating: *** (3 stars)
Normally when I pick books it is because I either know and like the author, or because I have heard about it on the blogsphere. That was not the case with Beautiful Creatures. Instead I saw the trailer for the film and thought it sounded like the book might be something I would love.
Beautiful Creatures is the first book in the Caster Chronicles, and whilst the book is narrated by Ethan it tells Lena’s story. I really enjoyed the fact that the events of Beautiful Creatures are told from Ethan’s point of view, and that Lena remains a little bit of a mystery. By telling the story through Ethan, Garcia and Stohl made me connect with Ethan and still kept the magic in Lena because I’m not right there in her head as events unfold.
I found the setting of Beautiful Creatures a really interesting choice on the part of the authors. Gatlin, South Carolina is a very different place from anywhere I have ever been, yet at the same time there’s a very definite feeling that it’s very similar to a lot of small towns in South Carolina and the surrounding states which gave the book an almost Stepford Wives quality to the place. It’s certainly not a place where you’d want to have secrets.
The plot of Beautiful Creatures – the Romeo and Juliet style romance, the “other” hidden from human society – was what I would expect from a paranormal romance. However, Garcia and Stohl mix this up because at no point does Lena get to choose her fate – and that was what I found most interesting about the book: Lena’s struggle to accept that she didn’t have a choice. As time ticks away for Lena towards her sixteenth birthday, the events in the books get steadily darker. I also liked the fact that Garcia and Stohl also wove a mystery into the plot and how the revelations in this mystery helped fuel the conclusion of the book.
I thought that you could definitely tell that Beautiful Creatures was Garcia and Stohl’s debut novel. Some of the revelations and plot twists were very surprising, and at times it felt like there was a lot of information dropped on me as a reader at once that I needed time to absorb. Despite this, on the whole Beautiful Creatures was a good read. The plot kept tugging me forward and Garcia and Stohl did a good job with the secondary characters.
If you are looking for a paranormal romance to stick your teeth into – Beautiful Creatures is a BIG book – then you should consider reading this book.