Book Review: Beautiful Creatures

Beautiful Creatures (Beautiful Creatures #1) by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl:

Beautiful Creatures is the first book in a series of five books. It is a beautiful, Southern gothic story set in South Carolina. Ethan has lived in the small town of Gatlin his whole life.  He views his existence as ordinary and somewhat boring until new girl, Lena, arrives in town. She is beautiful and mysterious. Ethan soon finds himself involved in Lena’s magical world for she is descended from a long line of magical Casters. They both discover how their families are interconnected. In addition, he sees his small town in a whole new light, and the people he thought he knew, he doesn’t really know at all.

Beautiful Creatures is one of my favorite books. I loved the love story between Ethan and Lena, and I loved Ethan’s relationship with the lady who has helped raise him since his mother’s death, Amma. However, one of the best features of the book is the writing style of the authors. Their descriptions are so vivid that it involves all of your senses: touch, taste, smell, hearing, and sight. You can see the moss hanging from the majestic oak trees, and you, yourself, become a resident of Gatlin. This book is not only for teens, but adults would enjoy it as well. The movie adaptation was released in February 2013, but it doesn’t come close to the magical world of Ethan and Lena.

Lies Beneath

            Lies Beneath is about mermaids. But get past this image of Ariel in your head or swimming with dolphins. This is more Silence of the Lambs. These mermaids murder humans in order to steal their energy for survival, and right now, they are out for revenge. When this family of sisters and brother were children their mother died because Tom Hancock couldn’t keep his promise. But unlike feeble humans, mermaids and mermen must always keep their promises, so they are out to avenge their mother. Since Tom Hancock has died, his grown up son Jason will do just fine.  The sisters send their brother Calder, the narrator, to get close to the family in order to lure Jason out onto the lake. Only one problem… Calder falls for Jason’s daughter. What’s a murderous merman to do?

            Plot wise, the story was solid. There were little to no holes. The author did a very good just bringing the reader along for the ride and showing, not telling us, what we were seeing. It was intriguing and I definitely want to read the next book immediately.

            Mermaid Folk Lore was different in the novel. Some of it wasn’t explained clearly until the end of the novel. I understood that the author was trying to not give away the ending, but a clearer understanding during the middle would have linked together a few things. Making sure the mythology makes sense is vital when writing fantasy.

            Character wise Calder was easy enough to read. He was slightly moody but he was supposed to be because he hadn’t “absorbed” any humans in 6 months. And he wasn’t at Bella Swan mode yet. I liked Lilly but I wasn’t in love with her yet. The next novel is written from her POV so hopefully that will clear that up. There were a few weird things. There were supposed to be two ‘protagonists’. The first were Calder’s sisters. He didn’t particularly enjoy being connected to them. They were written well but there was always something … unsettlingly creepy about them… And the other enemy was Jack Petit. I totally hated him. But you were supposed to.

            Overall I’d say 4 ½ stars Book Review by Sydney