Dangerous Creatures – Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Ridley Duchannes is nobody’s heroine. She’s a Dark Caster, a Siren. She can make you do things. Anything. You can’t trust her, or yourself when she’s around. And she’ll be the first to tell you to stay away–especially if you’re going to do something as stupid as fall in love with her.
Lucky for Ridley, her wannabe rocker boyfriend, Wesley “Link” Lincoln, never listens to anyone. Link doesn’t care if Rid’s no good for him, and he takes her along when he leaves small-town Gatlin to follow his rock-star dream. He teams up with a ragtag group of Dark Casters, and when the band scores a gig at a hot Underground club, it looks like all of Link’s dreams are about to come true.
But New York City is a dangerous place for both Casters and Mortals, and soon Ridley realizes that Link’s bandmates are keeping secrets. With bad-boy club owner Lennox Gates on her heels, Rid is determined to find out the truth. What she discovers is worse than she could have imagined: Link has a price on his head that no Caster or Mortal can ever pay. With their lives on the line, what’s a Siren to do?
Okay, so it’s been a while since I read a Caster Chronicles book, but I don’t remember feeling THIS DISAPPOINTED when I put them down. Let’s start with Ridley.
Ridley was a great character. Emphasis on “was”. In the original series, she was a feisty badass. She took nothin’ from no-one, and, even if she had a soft side when it came to her cousin, she mostly just did what she wanted. I mean, she’s a SIREN, for glob’s sake, aren’t they supposed to be vivacious?
In this book, however, she’s basically become Lena 2.0. She’s sad and self-pitying and whiny and basically mopes around because she made a mistake and doesn’t have the lady balls to put it right. Beautiful Creatures-era Ridley would have unwrapped a lollipop so fast, poor Link’s head would spin, and she’d have set everything right in no time flat.
Now, granted, I can’t remember how Ridley’s storyline ended in Beautiful Redemption, and apparently there was some sort of e-novella in between that series and this one? So maybe I’m missing some key plot point that explains this sudden shift in behaviour (though, at this point, I think this series was written for the money. More on that in a moment).
I spent most of the book waiting for Ridley to be her normal sassy self, but it was all for naught. Instead, I cringed at the descriptions of her “sexy” outfits and sighed when she repeated the same “I’m just a Siren sitting by myself on a curb” sentence half a dozen times. She tries to make up for her lackluster personality by saying “edgy” things, but her best line – “Payback’s a bitch. But here’s the thing: So am I.” – sounds like it was taken straight out of Batman Returns, which was released 23 years ago.
Sidenote: casting Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman was one of the greatest cinematic decisions ever made. SHE WAS PURR-FECT.
Then we move on to the love triangle. Oh yes, a love triangle.
I have a love-hate relationship with love triangles. Done well, they add drama and actually leave you feeling tangled up. Done poorly, and you find yourself yelling “THIS ISN’T EVEN A CONTEST”, while hating the character you know isn’t going to end up being The One. I remember being annoyed with Beautiful Darkness when Olivia and John were introduced (that was one wacky love quadrangle, though, I’ll give them that!); similarly, I was annoyed when Lennox was wandering around all love-struck.
I’d have actually liked Lennox’s character more if he was a strong female, mostly because I think it would have breathed more life in Ridley if she was indebted to another girl instead of a hot guy. She could have gotten all competitive and stuff, and it would have been GREAT. Also the fact that this book in particular is severely lacking in strong female characters.
To be honest, most of the book felt like it was phoned in. I remember enjoying the narrative style in the previous series, but this time around, it felt oddly stilted. There seemed to be a lot of repetition, and they probably could have used a better editor. Or, maybe, since both authors are working on their individual series, they could have just let their series end with Beautiful Redemption and been done with it.
Oh, and don’t even get me started on how they basically brought their old bad guys back to life. Because it’s not like the Ravenwood family stretches for generations upon generations. Heavens no. Silas and Abraham are the ONLY possible villains.
I could go on for a while, but let’s just leave it as this: if you liked the original four Caster Chronicles, don’t bother reading this. You’ll just end up disappointed.
It gets 2 interrobangs because the ending was cliffhangy as all get out.