Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl is an intoxicating tale about love and learning how to become the person you are meant to be. Ethan is counting the days until he can escape his hometown of Gatlin and finally start living his life. Gatlin is your typical small town in the south where nothing interesting happens and yet so many of the founding families continue to live there generation after generation. Things would be pretty dull for Ethan too, but he keeps having these vivid dreams about a mysterious girl that seems to need his help-and then he meets her in school. Lena has just moved to town and is living with her uncle, the town shut-in, making her instantly scorned at school. It also doesn’t help her reputation when strange things occur around her, like glass breaking and odd weather changes. Even knowing that Lena spells trouble for him, Ethan finds that he can’t stop thinking about her and eventually finds a way to run into her-thankfully not literally, although he tried. Thus begins the tale of star-crossed lovers and Lena’s fight to resist her family’s curse.
What a great witch, or should I say caster, tale. Garcia and Stohl create such a great atmosphere in their book. Everything seems just dark and ominous with secrets lurking under the surface. The town feels spooky and the plantation house is even scarier with it’s dilapidated exterior and ever changing interior. The town’s people are as eccentric as you would expect in this small town and everyone seems to have secrets. Lena and Ethan’s relationship is so genuine and endearing. You can’t help but root for them to have their love conquer all. I also find the family curse to be so fascinating. I really like how Garcia and Stohl added the flashbacks into the story to really give you the depth of the family saga. I am excited to read Beautiful Darknessto find out more about their doomed relationship and of course to learn if Lena can fend off her claiming any longer.
To begin, his dedication page was to his readers: “To my wonderful readers: Sorry about that last cliff-hanger. Well, no not really. HAHAHAHA. But seriously, I love you guys.”
I love Rick Riordan’s sense of humor in his books, and The House of Hades is no exception. There are plenty of serious moments, but the light-hearted moments make it so much more entertaining.
In the previous book, The Mark of Athena, we are left with Percy and Annabeth plunging into the depths of Tartarus. They must reach the doors of Death from Hades’ side, while others meet them on the other side of the doors. Together, the doors must be closed to prevent Gaea’s minions from raising her and ruling the earth. Bob the Titan is back and Percy and Annabeth would not have survived Tartarus if not for him. While Percy and Annabeth face their own challenges head-on in the Underworld, the other demigods must each face their own…and they do so amazingly. Each one grows, some of them you can literally see physical changes. Frank undergoes a tremendous growth spurt, both in stature and as a leader. It was nice to see him step it up. I also especially liked that Leo had some time with Calypso; it would be nice to see them back together. And Nico’s surprising revelation was totally unexpected; did not see that one coming! The subject matter was handled very well by Riordan. I cannot wait for the next, and final installment of the Heroes of Olympus. Here’s hoping that Riordan continues with Percy and the group in another series.