I started reading Kami Garcia’s Beautiful Creatures because of the movie advert. I saw the advert, thought WOW and looked forward to seeing it. Then I discovered it was a book. I thought – even better – a book I can read right away, a book that is a series and I can always catch the movie afterwards and compare the two.
So here’s what Goodreads has to say about it –
“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.”
What I loved about this book, the first in the Caster Chronicles, is that it’s from Ethan’s perspective. The whole book is through Ethan’s POV. I wasn’t expecting that, after seeing the advert for the film and reading what the book is about. It really works.
This is the second book I’ve read recently, that is essentially a teen romance mixed with the supernatural, which is told from the lead male’s POV. I think this really works. There’s more mystery, more intrigue and it’s less…for lack of a better word…soppy. In this book, you have no idea what’s going on with Lena or with Ethan himself, because Ethan doesn’t know.
Here’s a bit of a SPOILER, so look away now if you don’t want to know.
***** A large part of the story plot is a locket that gives Lena and Ethan visions of the Civil War era, and glimpses of the lives of Genevieve Duchannes and Ethan Carter Wate, Ethan and Lena’s great-great-great- relations. I loved this part. Each time they stepped into this story, I was even more enthralled, even more caught up in the mystery and drama and romance. I think the mirror of Ethan and Lena’s relationship with Genevieve and Ethan’s is subtle, intriguing and adds to the overall mystery of what is going on between both couples.
I really liked Uncle Macon, and Link was a favourite too. I think the added part of Marian and her role between the Casters and the Mortals was inspirational, it’s always great to have an impartial character hanging around for those sticky moments. It was a total shame to lose someone from the story, but sometimes the story just calls for it. It worked and it was gut-wrenching when you realised what had happened. I really loved the twists, the never knowing and the dynamic relationships. *****
Overall, reading Beautiful Creatures is like being sucked into Lena’s notebook with no choice, no backing out and no option but to see it through to the end. There’s no putting it down. You open the cover and you have to see it through to the other side.