There were no surprises in Gatlin County.
We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.
At least, that’s what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave.
The Beautiful Creatures series is a fantasy series based in a fictional town in South Carolina and is told from the point of view of a teenager named Ethan. Now Ethan is just your average guy, who in a small prejudiced town that refuses to change, makes himself fit in even though he doesn’t feel like he does. He has strange dreams of a girl that he is trying desperately to save, but never sees her face. Then new girl Lena moves to town, staying with the ‘crazy old Ravenwood’ who is her uncle.
When Ethan nearly runs her over, they meet and he realises she is the one from his dreams. But as they become close, Lena reveals that her and her family are witches (though they prefer the term Casters) who on their sixteenth moon are claimed for either the Light or the Dark. And soon it will be Lena, who is powerful even before her claiming, and is afraid that she will go Dark. Without giving too much away about the series, there’s quite a twist at the end which sets up nicely for the second. But like I said, then it just gets a bit weird.
Which brings me to the reason why I have taken so long to write this post. I was planning on doing this series earlier, but to be honest, I’m struggling to finish the series. The first book was really good, then it kind of just got a bit strange from then on. It reminded me a bit of The Vampire Diaries books – they started of fairly good but then went a bit too far. A good fantasy book makes sure to still stay within the realm of possibility, and even though what happens in the book seems impossible, there is always an explanation or reason why this could work. The first book Beautiful Creatures did this, and the romance was well done throughout. The second book was okay, a bit darker, but to be honest I’m on the third book at the moment and I’m struggling.
The problem with the series is that when there is action it’s great, but then it really drags along when there isn’t. However, I do like the fact that the story is told from a guy’s viewpoint rather than girls. It sets it apart from most other fantasy books. Also, the fact that Lena is the powerful one and Ethan has no powers at all definitely adds to that separation from other series. The characters are definitely interesting and I think if the storyline moved a bit faster the books would have been a lot better. The books also deal somewhat with the prejudices of small towns in the South, and the way newcomers and those who are different usually find it hard to fit in.
In the end, from the trailers the movie looks really good and it may be too early to tell, but this may be one of those series like The Vampire Diaries that just translates better on film. The main characters can be pulled and put into a more believable and action-packed movie rather than slowly dragging through 4 books. So, I’ve decided to give up on the series for the time being, and if I do end up finishing it I’ll be sure to write about it.
5/10 for the series though I’d give the first book 7/10.
Also keep an eye out for the movie which is released on 13th February 2013. I might even do a post when I go see it!