Sunday, February 20, 2011

Book Review: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl's Beautiful Creatures

Today I’m finally getting a chance to post my review for Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl’s  Beautiful Creatures.  Whew!  It’s about time too.  Okay, where to start?  How about the back cover?

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 in 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.

Overall I liked this book, but I did think it was a bit long and drawn out.  It left me with more questions than answers which can be good and bad when you’re reading a new series.  Ethan Wate tells the story through his perspective, which I enjoyed since it was rich with his southern drawl.  I loved the intricate details of Gatlin and how the authors delved into the Deep South’s undying love for the Confederate Army.  The beginning was like reading a southern melody about Gatlin’s coming and goings – or lack thereof.  What I loved most about this story was in the small backward town of Gatlin.  Nothing’s really quite what it seemed.  On the surface its M.U.N.D.A.N.E. but once the story peels back its dull layers, a mystical intriguing, possibly Goth-like world exist. That...was really cool – authentic even.

Here are a few spoilers, folks.  Even though the story revolves around a romance between Ethan and Lena, it plunges into a southern and creepy underworld with Seerers, Incubus, Castors/Witches, Holy-Rollers, Ghosts, Talisman, insane Mortals, mystical Librarians etc… I really liked Ethan – probably more than I cared for Lena.  With his Mom recently dead and a delusional Father - he appeared to me to have less of a family than Lena.  Ethan and Lena obviously were connected throughout the entire book – which I thought was endearing, especially for a YA novel.  But some of the storyline – like I mentioned earlier - left me with more questions than answers.  Without saying too much, Lena and Ethan are from different worlds and that leaves their relationship doomed.  One character I couldn’t get enough of was Uncle Macon.  He oozed darkness and wore his sophistication and arrogance like one of his fine, expensive outfits.  He was extremely protective of Lena and I couldn’t get enough of him (and possibly Boo Radley too.)

Being from the South, I appreciated this mystical, original, southern YA tale.  It was like sitting down to one of my family’s country style meals; some parts were to die for while others were just plain okay – but overall…very satisfying.  Beautiful Creatures was a 3.5 for me.

Until next time…try something dark, magical and sweet, Beautiful Creatures.

Mina B.


carla said...

Is this a stand alone book Mina or part of a series?
I like the grey/lavendar on the cover.
It sounds interesting but I think some others will pull me in before i get around to it.

Mina Burrows said...

Hi Carla. It's a series. Book 2 is Beautiful Darkness. And I believe there is 2 more scheduled after that. :0)