Book Review: Dangerous Creatures Author: Kami Garcia

WARNING: SPOILERS INCLUDED IN THIS REVIEW

Going into this book, I was expecting nothing less than an entertaining story about navigating the complexities and obstacles that come with having an overwhelming amount of power in a Caster-filled city, like New York.  The Beautiful Creatures series that comes before this spin-off series did an excellent job of representing those struggles, in addition to ensnaring all of our hearts with the ever-pleasing “love conquers all” theme.  Based off my knowledge of this new story’s main characters, I expected this book to be a charming tale of Link’s childish nature eventually reforming Ridley’s dark and manipulative Siren ways.

It was not what I expected.  It’s true that Link did win over Ridley’s heart, but at a high cost.  Ridley didn’t really ever change.  She used Link as little more than a pawn or collateral in her dealings in the Caster world.  Not to mention, the author does present new competition for her heart with the introduction of Lennox Gates, stereotypical playboy millionaire with a weakness for those famed cherry lollipops and golden eyes.  Despite what Nox could offer her, Ridley still chose to be with Link.  That, on its own, is enough to leave the reader heart-wrenched.  The twisted, confusing kind of love that Ridley and Link have for each other is so much more relatable and heartbreaking than what readers saw between Ethan and Lena.  It’s so much more real.

The group of friends assembled by Link in New York city rival the original group in Beautiful Creatures in terms of loyalty and creative problem-solving.  This new crew, however, outranks the original one as far as drama and deception, what with Floyd not-so-secretly being in love with Link, not to mention Necro using her talent for Nox’s purposes.  The main villain presented in this series presents a more dangerous threat than anything seen in this entire story so far.  Silas Ravenwood is twisted and horrifying, even more so than his father, Abraham, whom he seeks to avenge. Silas’s quest for vengeance leads him straight to Link- one of his father’s murderer- and to Ridley, for whom he has every intention of capturing and experimenting on.

While the reader sees somewhat limited change in Ridley’s mindset, the reader does witness a true evolution of Nox’s character. Despite seeming stereotypical in character, he proves to be capable of overcoming his selfish ways, sacrificing everything, including his chance to be with Ridley, in order to spirit her and Link away, despite this fact almost guaranteeing his death at Silas’s hands.  Link, too, undergoes a lot of character development throughout his journey.  His one constant- his absolute faith in Ridley’s better nature- is tried and tested over and over and over again, but even when presented with Floyd’s affection, he continues to choose Ridley.  Despite this, he becomes increasingly disenchanted with the Siren he thought he knew.  He develops a greater understanding of what he is to her- a pawn- even as she begins to realize that he is actually so much more.  Consequently, Link becomes more independent and develops a stronger personality whilst making friends and connections of his own.

The way this story ends cuts the reader to the core.  The author presents the reader with the one thing that’s seemed entirely absent throughout this tale- hope.  Hope for Ridley and Link’s relationship and for Ridley’s redemption.  Then, in the very last pages, she rips it away in a swirl on emotion and fire.  The ending appeals to its audience once again in a very realistic way by presenting the inevitability of fate, as Nox’s premonitions of the danger to Ridley’s life come true, even after his sacrifice.  The hopelessness of the situation in almost reminiscent of the theme in Beautiful Chaos– “the wheel of fate crushes us all.”  This story is beautifully written with unapologetic honesty and riveting schemes and deception that makes the reader realize that perhaps it isn’t having power to manipulate the world that makes us such dangerous creatures, but rather, our ability to manipulate the hearts of those around us.

Overall Rating: 4/5

Read, Written, and Edited by: Scarlett Smith

 

 

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