Recommended for ages 13+
I recently became a convert to the Beautiful Creatures series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, having read and immensely enjoyed the first one. While a bit unorthodox, I skipped over the other books in the series to read this latest one thanks to NetGalley, so any blanks in the series that you may find in this review are my fault – which I’ll remedy, by requesting the other books in the series from the library, posthaste.
Dangerous Creatures follows Ridley and Link, who is – if you’ve been keeping up with the series, you know this – a quarter incubus now. So I really need to catch up. The gang we (I) know, including Lena and Ethan, are all together right after graduation and the events of the last book in the series, Beautiful Redemption. They’re going their separate ways, but vow to stay together and not drift apart, as so many groups of friends do.
From there, Ridley and Link head up to New York, where Link intends to find success in a band. What he doesn’t know is that Ridley is in trouble – when isn’t she, really? – and Link’s future is part of her settling her debts. Link, while ignorant of Ridley’s troubles, knows that something’s up between he and Ridley, more than the usual at-each-other’s-throats business. Ridley knows she’s no good for Link, but they just can’t seem to stay apart – or will something drive them apart for good this time?
Beautiful Creatures introduced a lot of characters and set several storylines into motion. The story of Ridley and Link has been developing since the very first book, so by now, readers know who they are. They’re a hugely popular couple and have nicely fleshed-out backgrounds and storylines. Having only read the first book in this series, I was able to follow the story easily enough, with exposition drawing in any details I missed in the meantime. Newcomers to the series will be able to jump in, and established fans will be very happy.
The book is a page-turner. There are some new characters and there’s magic; new troubles for Ridley to get herself (and Link) into, and repercussions from previous events. What I loved so much about the first book – the weaving of the Caster storyline with the history of the old South – is missing here, but the authors introduce readers to New York nightlife, which is exciting in terms of a new locale. I missed the history of it all, to be honest, and the constant “he/she loves me, he/she loves me not” interplay between Ridley and Link became a little tedious for me, but I’m sure it will continue to be hugely popular with teen readers.
I enjoyed the book. It’s got an established audience who will snap this book up. It’s going on the shelves at my library, and I know it will fly off those shelves. Now, to fill in the gaps in my Caster knowledge…