Friday, February 8, 2013

Jenn's Review: Beautiful Creatures

Blurb:  Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

 Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

 In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

Review:  Beautiful Creatures has been sitting in my TBR pile for way too long so I happily added it to my 2013 TBR Challenge, but when I saw the movie trailers floating around I knew I had to dive in before the movie came out.  The down side is I could have enjoyed it so much sooner, the silver lining is that all four books in the series are out and I can devour them in short order.

While many have said the book is too long, I have to say I never noticed the length, possibly because I read it as an ebook, or possibly because I could have read it in two sittings if I didn't have to pause for life getting in the way of reading.  Length never matters to me when I'm enjoying the read, and I loved Beautiful Creatures.  I think if it had been shorter I would have found myself frustrated by things not being properly fleshed out.  Although the authors certainly don't give everything away; there are plenty of little mysteries that unfurl in their own time.  And once they start to unravel, the reader still doesn't have any idea where the story is headed.  There was surprising reveals throughout --I love when a book can keep me intrigued!  I have no idea where things are headed and it doesn't matter, because I will follow where ever it leads.

Some readers found it slow in spots, but I didn't find that either.  Granted, it wasn't back to back action but the pace had a nice ebb and flow to it.  I found Kami Garcia's and Margaret Stohl's characters enthralling and I soaked up everything they gave me.  I loved that the story was told mostly from Ethan's point of view; it was refreshing.  The only time the point of view was switched was out of necessity and I think it helped to make it abundantly clear that (more) things are being kept secret.  I was frustrated with Amma and Macom for a while, but they came through when it mattered.  Was it a stereo typical southern town with some stereo typical archetypes?  Sure, but those towns and those people are out there.  There is a grain of truth to stereo types, that's how they become stereo types...   There are towns like that.  The authors do such a good job with describing the town and the people in it, I felt like I knew them all.

Above all, it is a beautiful love story.  Lena and Ethan are characters I will be routing for throughout and perhaps even after I've closed the final pages of the last book.

I'm only one book in but I can already tell this is one of those series I'm going to read again and again.  Caster Chronicles is one of those series that I want to own in hard cover to keep for ever and digitally to have with me at all times.  There will be more reviews of the rest of the series shortly, because I don't see myself being able to stay away from it for very long. Now I'm ready to see the movie and I can't wait to see what they do with it!

Final Take:  5/5



Michelle Shannon February 9, 2013 at 6:19 PM  

I need to get this on my reading schedule ASAP. I've had the first two books forever and have put them aside like so many other books. I do feel that I really need to get to them with the movie being released this week.

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