Ok, I'm way behind on this one--oh, about 4 books as as many years to be exact. And I have to admit I didn't pick up BEAUTIFUL CREATURES until I saw a movie trailer about the film. And then I couldn't put the book down. Any of them. I'm savoring the last one, BEAUTIFUL REDEMPTION, right now.
If you've been living under a rock (right next to me), here's an Amazon blurb to give you a taste for Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl's delicious creation:
There were no surprises in Gatlin County. At least, that's what I thought. Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong.
Ethan Wate used to think of Gatlin, the small Southern town he had always called home, as a place where nothing ever changed. Then he met mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes, who revealed a secret world where a curse has marked Lena's family of powerful Supernaturals for generations.
Being from a small Southern town--albeit from the mountain south rather than the Lowcountry--I love the small-town-Southerness of this Southern Gothic tale of witches and incubi and coming of age. It's little like Dark Shadows meets To Kill a Mockingbird. (And the dog is Boo Radley.) I love how Ethan's narration comments on the insular nature of a small town more obsessed with the past than the future. Poor Ethan can't wait to get out of Gatlin, until, of course, he meets Lena.
The story, as you might of guessed, is told primarily through Ethan's eyes. A boy narrator is a refreshing change of perspective. And Garcia and Stohl have created some fascinating and memorable characters, Macon and Amma (and Link) being my favorites. (Though I have fess up; sometimes I want to slap Lena and tell her to snap out of her mope.) And the Sisters are a hoot--and not so out of it as they seem.
But you know what made at the first book really stand out for me? Listening to it. Really. The narrator, Kevin Collins, is fantastic. He captures the feel, the accent, and essence of every character. He gives each one a distinct voice that absolutely fits the character. Without attribution, you can tell it's Amma or Macon or Link or Ethan speaking. Be sure to take a listen at the Beautiful Creatures audio page.
The audiobooks are P.I.T.C.H. P.E.R.F.E.C.T. 4 down, 12 letters. Having the exactly right tone or style, Ethan Wate.
(btw, in case you're wondering about the crossword clues, Amma is obsessed with them.)
If you're a fan of this series, what's your favorite detail or character? And how does the movie compare? (I know, the book is always better.)