The third book in the Beautiful Creatures finds Ethan and Lena recovering from their journey to prevent the 17th moon and recover from another attempt on destroying their lives. Their new adventure finds Ethan losing himself for an unknown reason – forgetting the names of people he’s known all of his life, disliking the tastes of his favorite foods, and feeling like he’s being haunted by a mysterious being promising, “I am waiting.” Meanwhile, the entire town of Gatlin is under attack from some major occurrences of nature including a ravenous tornado, violent fires and shattering earthquake. Abraham Ravenswood and Saraphine return to wreak havoc on Lena and Ethan and are now in full search of John Blood – an incubus/caster hybrid who absorbs powers just by touching other casters. He has a remarkable gift and Abraham wants full advantage of that to abolish all casters and mortals on the planet.
I started off reading Wrecked by Elle Casey right after hitting up the first novel in the Beautiful Creatures series. I really tried to give that book a fair chance, but after a few chapters of whiny teenage characters with zero depth to them, reminding me of the annoying teenagers from Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (high five if you remember the flick), I finally admitted defeat and quit reading the book.
I decided to go back to Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl’s novels focused on a Caster girl and her high school mortal boyfriend and their adventures in small-town Gatlin, Georgia. SPOILER ALERT! STOP NOW IF YOU HAVEN’T MADE IT TO THE 2ND NOVEL! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!
The second book picks up where the first one left off at – with Lena, Ethan and the rest of the gang recovering from the attack on their lives from Sarafine, Lena’s powerful Dark Caster mother. Lena’s choice to not choose light or dark hangs over her head as she feels responsible for her beloved uncle Macon’s death and finds comfort in her dark Caster cousin Ridley and the mysterious John Breed, who seem like two kids from the wrong track. As she pulls away from Ethan, he struggles to maintain their connect as she dives deeper and deeper into the dark side and into the Caster tunnels, an unsafe haven for Mortals.
Olivia joins the cast as Mariam’s apprentice or Keeper-in-Training. Ethan finds himself drawn to Liv as Lena pushes him further and further away, and although Liv’s main oath is to watch the Caster world and take notes – not to participate or influence it, she finds herself intertwined into the world as her fondness for Ethan grows. During all of this time, Ethan finds another song invading his daily life circled around Eighteen Moons signaling Lena’s official Claiming to come.
There are a lot of twists and turns in Book 2 of the Beautiful Creatures novels – a lot more than in the first book and some things will literally keep you on the edge of your seat as you pray that Ethan and Lena find themselves back to each other. It looks really bleak throughout the novel. And with the depth added to some of the main characters, I found that this novel was more fulfilling and well-rounded than it’s first counter part.
If you’re reading this series – keep going! The books get better, I promise!
I first heard about Beautiful Creatures by watching it’s trailer during my Vampire Diaries weekly broadcast. I never usually watch commercials since we DVR everything, but my remote got stuck and I was forced into 3 minutes of non-TV show entertainment. I thought the trailer for Beautiful Creatures looked super interesting and when I looked up more information on the movie, I saw that it was actually based on a book by the same name penned by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl - both who received their education in writing, teaching, etc. Because I’m such a huge fan of Twilight, The Vampire Diaries, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and The Hunger Games, which are also all based on novels and turned into movies – I thought this had potential to fill that empty space now that the Twi-movies are over and I’m anxiously waiting another 10 months for the next Katniss Everdeen flick.
Beautiful Creatures is about a teenage boy named Ethan Wate, whose life turns upside down when a mysterious girl enters his high school, named Lena. Lena is the niece of the haunting town hermit Macon Ravenwood, and is a complete outsider to everyone in their high school. She’s beautiful and mysterious and dark and nothing like the “Stepford” type of teens that normally rule the school. Ethan, part of the popular crowd mainly because he’s on the basketball team finds himself haunted by strange dreams and music and finds it all leads back to Lena.
We discover that Lena (and her entire family) are not “mortals” but are Casters (aka witches) – all with special abilities and powers. On Lena’s 16th birthday, she will be Claimed either Light or Dark (essentially good or evil) and is torn up by the probability that she may go Dark and not be the same Lena as she has always been. Ethan and Lena go on a journey to find out more about Lena’s family history and the mystery that surrounds her Claiming, looking for a loophole that will guarantee that she will turn Light. During the novel, we also find out that Lena is a Natural and that she essentially is a very powerful Caster. Her mother, who she thought was originally dead, is actually the most powerful Dark Caster, Sarrafine – who is hell bent on having her daughter join the dark side (Darth Vader, anyone?).
The overall novel itself wasn’t bad. It was no Vampire Diaries (best TV show ever – worst book ever), but it was also no Twilight. It’s an interesting tale where you’ll wish Lena to have her wish to turn Light fulfilled – especially after you meet her Dark relatives. The story wasn’t as romantic as I’d like to see – it was verging on whining annoyance at times. I liked the relationship with Lena and her relatives. It was mysterious and intriguing to learn more about them and all of their powers.
I have a feeling this may be one of those the movie is better than the book type of thing. The movie looked dark and haunting and was powered by some electric graphics. Emmy Rossum is gorgeous and I’m so excited to see her as Lena’s Dark cousin Ridley and Emma Thompson as the dark and powerful Sarrafine. And I absolutely love Seven Devils by Florence and the Machine – I loved it when I first got the album and I love it even more that it’s tied to such a dark tale.
Where to begin with this delicious novel about a VERY dysfunctional family and some secrets that last a lifetime. The Angry Woman Suite by Lee Fullbright is told by three primary characters: Aiden Madsen, Elyse Grayson and Francis Grayson. The Graysons are a mysterious family led by Lear Grayson and his demanding wife Elizabeth. Together, they have three daughters – the beautiful (and wickedly insane) Lothian, the mysterious Magdalene, and the “disfigured” Stella (who is sometimes a public mystery herself). Everything that happens in this novel has to do with these three sisters – especially Lothian and Magdalene and their hatred of each other.
Francis Grayson is the youngest son of Magdalene, who is taken under Aiden Madsen’s wing. Aiden is a former teacher of Lothian and Magdalene, who becomes enthralled and somewhat obsessed of the adult Magdalene. Francis, tortured by his aunt Lothian is desperate to escape his family’s manor – and once he finds his way out, he never wants to turn back. As an adult, Francis is a big band trumpet genius who has troubles shifting to newer genres of music hitting the scene and over time loses his self in his former (and short-lived) fame. Francis is continually haunted by his time with his mother and aunts and it’s a repetitive theme throughout the novel.
Elyse, Francis’ adopted daughter, is the youngest person caught in this family’s web of strangeness. She begins as a victim of Francis’ abuse, and grows into an adult learning how to “play the game” just to survive the focus of Francis’ hatred of his past.
Not only do we dive deep into the very complicated inner workings of the Grayson family, but we also learn how their family impacts others close to the them, and how that can have painful and deadly ramifications on everyone involved. This is a pretty complex book because it’s sometimes hard to follow everyone’s point of view and the way they fit into the Grayson puzzle. But if you can navigate those waters successfully, you’ll find a story full of deep family secrets that you won’t be able to put down.