I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’m information crazy. If someone mentions something I don’t know, I’ll often go nuts researching it online until I know ten times more about it than the person who mentioned it in the first place. It was probably that instinct that led me to read the first few books of the Wicca series. Since I was twelve at the time, the books eventually scared me so much that I can’t really bear to look at them in bookstores anymore.
Not so with Beautiful Creatures, by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. I first came across the name on Lizzy Mason’s blog, Potent Potables and her positive review convinced me to beg a friend for it as an early birthday present. I got my wish, and read it all the way through a gym session and over three cups of sugary black tea. This time, the sniff of witchcraft didn’t scare me off, and I ended up really enjoying the diversion from vampires, werewolves, demons et al. Like Ms Mason, I was a little peeved about the transliteration of the southern accents that grew to bug me a little bit (‘a’ instead of ‘of’? All the time? Really?). However, that’s a very minor detail and one of only two things I disliked about the book. The second was the fact that the ending few chapters were fairly unclear and inconclusive—but hey, I guess that’s what sequels are for.
My only other grievance is that seeing as the book came out in the UK about 25 days ago, the sequel probably won’t be here anytime soon. But that’s another thing altogether. :)
And now, for the upsides—I enjoyed the fresh version of magic presented here, thrown into the pot that is Gatlin, South Carolina along with something similar to my idea of voodoo and a whole lot of Southern superstition. The relationship between Lena and Ethan, though slightly over-involved definitely satisfied my sappy side, and the little mysteries throughout kept me interested. What’s up with the locket? What is Lena? Is anyone ever going to stand up to the annoying Gatlin women? (Yes, someone does—and it’s hilarious.) What’s wrong with Ethan’s dad? And more importantly… what’s the real deal with Ethan?
Alas, not everything was tied up neatly in this installment, but that definitely means that I’ll pick up the next book as soon as it hits the shelves of my local Waterstones. Or D&R, or Northshire bookstore, depending on where I’m at when it’s released.
A few other points:
1) This is a big book. (563 pages! Thank you very much to the publisher who was willing to take it on.) It will keep you occupied for a while. For me, that is utter bliss. If you’re not like me, you may want to wait until a free Sunday before you start it.
2) I am in love with the cover artwork. If I ever write a book, I want text as cool as this. It’s curly! And purple! And gothic-y. And purple! (Have I mentioned that I am somewhat addicted to purple?)
Now, if you would like to read a less…. ahem, convoluted review, please head on over to Books! by A-K. If you’ve had the pleasure of reading Beautiful Creatures, do me a favor and leave a comment. :)