Monday, February 24, 2014

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl - 5 stars

Book 1 in the Caster Chronicles

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
5 stars

Beautiful Creatures is a fantastic book. I read it a long time ago and I've kept up with the series. I didn't have the chance to read Beautiful Redemption when it came out and then I completely forgot about it. Finally, Beautiful Redemption was released in paperback and I decided it was time to reread the series so I can read Beautiful Redemption.

I think this is my favorite book in the series. Usually that doesn't happen with the first book in a series. There is less emotional turmoil in this book and less angst. Don't get me wrong, I love emotions and how they're betrayed but at some points in the next two books I was getting tired of it.

Our protagonist is Ethan Wate. The story is told in first person which I like. It fits the story. Ethan lives in the small town of Gatlin in South Carolina with his dad and his second mom, Amma. Amma helped raise Ethan's dad and Ethan. A year ago, Ethan's mother died in a car accident. There are no secrets in this town. There is only one traffic light. There are no commercial stores like Wal-Mart or Target. All Ethan wants is to escape. Everyone is judgmental and a lot of them are bullies. If you don't conform then you are an outcast. Honestly, I wanted to punch most of them.

Ethan's been having extremely realistic dreams about a girl. When he wakes up he has scratches and dirt in his bed. He wakes up to a song playing on his iPod called Sixteen Moons. We find out the significance of that later. Sixteen Moons pops up throughout the book, sending out warnings.

On the first day of school, Ethan sees the girl from his dreams driving up in a hearse. Her name is Lena and she turns out to be the niece of Macon Ravenwood. Macon is the town shut in. He's the Boo Radley of Gatlin (his dog is named Boo Radley oddly enough). Already Lena is on the outside because of her relation. She does not get a warm welcome and everyone does their best to make it known that she is not welcome.

Eventually it is revealed that Lena and her family are Casters. Basically Casters are witches but they don't use that term. There are two types of Caster; Dark Casters and Light Casters. Easy enough to understand. On a Caster's sixteenth birthday they choose if they will be Dark or Light. Lena's family doesn't have this luxury. There is a curse on the family. This means the Casters can't choose, they get Chosen. This is a big deal. Lena does not want to go Dark and she's scared. Hell, I would be too. Through visions that Lena and Ethan share from an old locket, they learn the origin of the curse.

Link, Ethan's best friend, and Amma are probably my favorite characters. Amma is a superstitious seer. She talks to the Greats, her dead family members, and reads tarot cards. She uses charms to ward off evil. I like how she address Ethan. It's never "Ethan." It's always "Ethan Wate." Link is just a hilarious character. He provides some comic relief and he's just a good guy. He doesn't judge Lena and doesn't push Ethan away when everyone else in the school does. I like him.

This is a five star book. I highly recommend it. There is a lot of mystery and I like the world Stohl and Garcia created. It's not the usual paranormal world so I find it interesting. There are many twists and turns and some action that make this book fantastic.

They made this book into the movie but I'm so over watching the movies that have come from books so I refuse to watch it. I just can't see another book butchered.

Sixteen Moons

Previous Reviews:
Onyx (#2) by Jennifer Armentrout - 4.5 stars
Obsidian (#1) by Jennifer Armentrout - 4.5 stars
Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews - 5 stars

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Onyx by Jennifer Armentrout - 4.5 stars

Onyx (#2) by Jennifer Armentrout
4.5 stars
Previous Lux Series Review

This book basically was a bit of a shock for me. It was not what I was expecting. In Obsidian we are first introduced into the world. We learn who the Lux are, their origins, their enemies, and basically what they can do. After the big fight with the Arum at the end of the book Daemon heals Katy and this changes everything. They noticed that their heartbeats are in sync and they are connected. Daemon really likes Katy but he'd been pushing her away and being an ass through the whole first book to protect his family.

Well now that Katy is so deeply involved in their world, Daemon gives up on being the ass and pushing Katy away. He wants to be in a relationship and Katy only believes it's because of their connection. This persists through almost the entire book. It's one of the most annoying things about Onyx which kept me from giving it the five stars.

Katy starts to develop super powers that are similar to those of the Luxen. It's pretty crazy and not something I was expecting. She can freeze things and move things. Her powers are out of control and
Daemon has never heard of anything like it. Katy and Daemon decide to keep these sudden abilities a secret from everyone so they could figure it out.

We have new character, Blake. Instantly Daemon and Dee don't like him. I don't like him. It's obvious that something bad is going to happen. He witnesses Katy freezing something and later reveals that he too has powers. It's something that happens when a Luxen heals a human. They become hybrids. Blake wants to train Katy so she doesn't bring the DOD down on the town because she is a danger. They
can't risk the world finding out about the aliens of course.

This book. My goodness it has so many twists and turns. I had a hard time putting it down. There is an incredibly sad scene (spoiler)* and it breaks my heart because I knew the consequences of those actions. Sure enough it rears it's ugly head in Opal. But then there is an extremely surprising ending that leaves you in shock. Insanity.

Onyx is a perfect name for the book and I like how Armentrout decided on what to title the books. I enjoyed it and I was happy to learn more about this world they are in. Nothing is as it seems and I think anyone who reads it will thoroughly enjoy it. I'm not sure if I like Onyx more than Obsidian. Obsidian is the introduction. Onyx is a darker novel and delves deeper into the world. Ah. So good.