Book One – Beautiful Creatures – finished 13/04/17
Intriguingly this novel is told from the perspective of a young male, Ethan Wate. He has been having strange dreams, and they seem to be linked to the new girl to arrive in the town of Gatlin, Lena Duchannes. We can tell, immediately, that there is something unusual about these two…the question is, just how unusual.
In this first in the series we are introduced to the hidden people of Gatlin, the Casters. On their sixteenth birthday we are told that each female descendant of Guinevere Duchannes must be claimed. It is an age-old event, and nobody knows whether they will be claimed as Light or Dark. Lena is desperate to avoid this fate, and the novel focuses on her attempts – with help from Ethan – to work out what steps she can take to control her destiny.
Ethan is the kind of character who seems quite content to live his life on the sidelines. He’s fairly popular, but nothing too special. He does what he can to avoid confrontation – until Lena’s arrival, which seems to wake him up and force him to start questioning just what and who is important to him.
There wasn’t anything particularly unexpected in this, but I did enjoy watching Ethan and Lena start to unravel the mysteries surrounding their respective families. A powerful ending, which nicely prepares us for something big in book two.
Book Two – Beautiful Darkness – finished 26/04/17
Book Two in the series was, for me, possibly better than the first but it did seem to take a long time to get going. We pick up after the unfortunate events of Lena’s birthday and we expect everything to be positive…but it’s very far from alright. Lena and Ethan are drifting apart, and Ethan has no clue why.
The struggles in the relationship between Ethan and Lena form the backdrop to this story, but the real interest lies in the developments in the Caster world. There are hints that what people believed might not be quite the truth, and there are some rather shocking revelations.
I enjoyed the journey to try and help Lena, though I am amazed that Liv – who seemed to have her head screwed on right – found much to like about Ethan. He learns a little more about himself, but he is clueless to say the least. I wonder whether he’ll come into his own in the rest of the books, but I’m hoping to see a little more of Link who is definitely not having the best of times by the end of this!
Book Three – Beautiful Chaos – finished 30/04/17
There’s a horrible sense of inevitability to this third in the series. We suspect that things are not going to end well for Ethan and Lena, and there’s a lot to suggest that this is the case. Nothing is, however, certain by the close of the novel so I am hoping that we’ll get proper answers in the final book.
Abraham is becoming more of a threat, though nobody is entirely certain what he is planning. What is clear is that Lena’s earlier actions have upset the order of things, and there will be a price to pay.
I loved the development for Link, who is rather a goofy character but one you cannot help but like. I was also pleasantly surprised to see some of the other characters in a new light here.
Book Four – Beautiful Redemption – finished 30/04/17
A shorter read in the series, and thankfully everything panned out nicely.
I wouldn’t say this was as good as the others in the series, but you definitely could see the story progressing and were able to get a sense of how matters might be resolved.
Ethan and Lena share the telling of this story – and this makes sense once we know what’s going on – but it did lead to a more disjointed feel.
If you’ve read the first three, you’ll not want to miss this.