Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles 1) Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Published by Penguin
3.5 (maybe 4….) out of 5 stars
Format: Kindle (Available in a variety of formats and a movie – now!)
Ok. I’m late to the party. I’ve seen the series kicking around for a while, it often came up in my recommendations, but the reviews were mixed and magic/witches/destiny stories don’t often appeal to me, I find they’ve been over done. But the movie came out and it looked good, and being the geek I am, I CANNOT watch a movie based on a book until I’ve read the book. I know. I’ll seek some help with that.
Things I want from a YA paranormal:
- Non-stop speedy action – check
- NO endless scene setting – check
- A female lead who is relatable and has some gumption and balls – check
- A non-edward-eqse male lead – check
- An engaging, original (or if not original, a new take on the same old, same old) story – check.
- A book that doesn’t want to be put down – check
- Twists and turns, both obvious and shocking- check
- Brave writers willing to sacrifices leads for the sake of the story – check
Things I HATE in a YA paranormal
- Insta-Love in any way shape or form – such a bad example to the youth of today – Meh there was some in there…..
- Cliches of any kind – yup some in there too
- ‘Love will conquer all’ – no it bloody wont. – no comment.
- Cheap, easy writing tactics that patronize YA readers – none to be seen here.
There are plenty more, but in general Beautiful Creatures had everything I like, but plenty I hate, yet I still found that I cared about the story, I WANTED to know how it was going to end.
Whats it about?
Written mostly from Ethan’s POV, the story follows his life as it changes when a strange, yet beautiful (of course) girl arrives in his small town. Lena is socially doomed from the start, being the niece of the strange recluse, Macon Ravenwood, yet Ethan is drawn to her (sorry instalove here… but its explained well, so can be forgiven to an extent), and soon discovers that there is more to Lena that meets the eye. Lena is a Caster (a witch) and Ethan a mortal, but they have a linked ancestry which pulls them together, no matter how hard they fight it. Lena is doomed to be claimed on her 16th birthday, but it is not known if she will turn light (good) or dark (bad). Of course Lena is super powerful a ‘natural’ and the powers that be fight for her (on both sides) in the hope to claim her for their bidding. The book works up to an epic, and unexpected, conclusion, yet leaves plenty of questions for future books.
I didn’t know if I should give the book 3.5 or 4 stars. It was not a book that I’d of thought I’d enjoy, there is nothing special about it, lets face it, its twilight with witches not vampires, no love triangle as yet – but there’ more books to go….. BUT I can’t tell you what was wrong with it either. Beautiful Creatures provides everything it promises, a fun, easy read with a good story that keeps you interested without being too heavy or thought provoking.
I’d recommend the book, and possibly the series (thats yet to be read) to anyone that likes YA fluff, its a summer read that will keep you on that deck chair, and lets face it, sometimes thats all we want.
So I’m going for 4 stars, just because the sun is shining and I WANT to read book 2, as for the bad reviews? Pfft. Lighten up, enjoy the story for what it is. 🙂