Book Reviews

Review: “Beautiful Creatures,” Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

September 17, 2010
Review: “Beautiful Creatures,” Kami Garcia & Margaret StohlBeautiful Creaturesby Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl
Series: The Caster Chronicles #1
Published by Little Brown on December, 2009
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Witches
Pages: 563

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.

Good enough to finish, not good enough to finish in one sitting. Reads long in parts.

Let me start by saying that I’m always a little apprehensive when I see a novel is written by two people. My gut feeling about this is usually right, too. Though, I was proven wrong with Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, so I was willing to take a chance on Beautiful Creatures.

I won’t lie and say I flipped the pages needing more, because I didn’t. It’s taken me a good few months to pluck up the strength to get through this one. I felt it was slow and a little confusing. The characters were alright, but none really struck out to get me excited about hearing about them. If I had to pick a favourite, it would probably be Macon Ravenwood. He was the one with the most depth and proved to be the most interesting. Pity we didn’t learn more about his past and a shame to see he won’t be returning in the next installments of the series.

Towards the end, it definitely got better. I was able to read the last few chapters a little quicker. Some parts still confused me and I had to re-read them to really understand. This usually isn’t a problem for me. I still have actually no idea how Lena is going to solve her light/dark debacle, or how she managed to ‘put it off’ until her seventeenth birthday.

This, too, annoyed me. Lena found a way to ‘defer’ her choosing of light and dark, which made the 500 something page novel seem completely useless. There was really no absolution to the tale!

I’m giving it a three out of five stars purely because it almost redeemed itself at the end with the heavy action, as well as the quality of the writing. After just finishing a book that felt like it was written by a twelve year old, Beautiful Creatures was a breath of fresh air in the prose department.

Not sure if I’m interested in reading the next one, but I suppose I’ll keep an eye out for it.

Recommend to: People who like reading a male voice and enjoy flamboyant secondary characters.

About Kami Garcia

Kami grew up outside of Washington DC, wore lots of black, and spent hours writing poetry in spiral notebooks. As a girl with Southern roots, she has always been fascinated by the paranormal. She's very superstitious and would never sleep in a room with the number 13 on the door. When she is not writing, Kami can usually be found watching disaster movies, listening to Soundgarden, or drinking Diet Coke.

About Margaret Stohl

Margaret Stohl has an MA in English and studied creative writing under poet George MacBeth at the University of East Anglia, Norwich. Margaret loves traveling the world with her daughters, who are fencers, and living in Santa Monica, California, with her husband and two bad beagles.

1 Comment

  • Reply Danya October 6, 2010 at 3:28 am

    I had a similar reaction to Beautiful Creatures – found the first 3/4 very difficult to get through and then thought it redeemed itself somewhat towards the end. Like you, I also found it dragged quite a bit and the whole postponement of Lena’s choosing, after that deadline had been hanging over her head for the entire novel, felt like a bit of a cop-out. I quite liked Macon Ravenwood as well though, he was one of the more interesting characters!

  • Leave a Reply

    CommentLuv badge