Friday, May 16, 2014

Friday Reads: ARC Review of Dangerous Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.

Hellooo everyone! Welcome to yet another edition of Friday Reads! This first entry is an ARC review of a book I was extremely lucky to get as a "Read Now" on NetGalley! For books of big publishers like this one, it's quite rare to get in time for it, so thank you!

As a review copy it is also part of my 2014 Review Pile Reading Challenge!

Dangerous Creatures (Dangerous Creatures, #1)Dangerous Creatures by Kami Garcia

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

First of all, a disclaimer... this is probably one of those: it's not you, it's me, kind of cases with books. I haven't read the Beautiful Creatures series, and I haven't really felt drawn to them either. But when I saw Dangerous Creatures on NetGalley I thought that I should give this spin off a try, and was lucky enough to get on the "read it now" limited offer.

I had done something similar with The Lost Prince, the first of the spin-off series for The Iron King series and I loved it and ended up binge reading The Iron King series later on. But this time... it really was not such a good idea.

Link & Ridley are a pair of very interesting characters, both with a complex past, both apart and together. But Ridley's self-loathing though understandable, took too much of the book for my taste, and ended up grating on my nerves a bit. She seemed to enjoy punishing herself for her own darkness and throwing herself into too many bad choices before she ever stopped and decided to acknowledge what she already knew but kept ignoring. And Link, despite being super sweet and trying to be there for Ridley... he seemed to miss all her internal struggling most of the time. I just felt like there was too much angst all over the book with these two, and mainly Ridley.

The secondary characters... except for Lennox that really stood out, the rest seemed more of an excuse to bring conflict and then be left behind as the story progressed. Too much I-hate-you-talk-to-hide-the-fact-I-might-care-for-you-and-consider-you-my-friend for my taste in here too.

The lore of the Casters, magic users and other creatures was quite interesting, but since I haven't read the previous books, I felt like I was grasping everything but missed on a lot of bigger picture issues. Probably since most of the world building was done and explain on the previous series I haven't read...

The pacing of the plot progression also was a bit off for me... the beginning of the book was interesting but then started dying down and by 30% I was ready to think of DNFing this one. I decided to give it another try and continue reading, but it felt like a chore angst angst and more angst, not enough answers and more conflict, till we reach the final third (about 60%) when the pacing started picking up, we got more answers and Link and Ridley and Nox finally seemed to get their shit together. I actually enjoyed that last part of the story.

That is till we get to the ending and one of those below-the-belt-hit kind of cliffhangers. The way the ending was going was to a good one, first battle has ended, conflict resolved, more to come. And then, bam! A complete WTF sort of moment that leaves you totally confused and enraged.

I was quite tempted to give it a 3 stars if only for the improvement on the final third of the book, but after that ending? 2 stars and if I'm feeling way too generous maybe 2.5 stars, at the most.

If you've read and loved Beautiful Creatures I'm sure you'll enjoy this one waaay more than I did, but if you haven't... give the original series a try first and don't try this spin off on its own, it's quite probable it won't work for you, as it didn't for me.

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  1. I read all of the BC books and I just kind of feel that we need to move on. I haven't heard a lot of good things about this one, to be honest, so I think I'll skip it....

    Kate @ Ex Libris

    1. I hadn't read any of the BC books and maybe that's why I didn't enjoy this one. But if you think that maybe this spin-off wasn't the best idea... Sorry to not bring better news about this one, Kate.

  2. Hmmm, I haven't read this series, or watched the movie, for that matter. I don't think I will. This novella does not sound that great, and I already have a tough time with novellas. Great review! Thank you for muscling through this one for the rest of us ;)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    1. This is not the novella, I wish it would have been! It's a full 350odd pages novel! And the middle was an absolute killer!
      Thank you, Alyssa! ;)

  3. I think this was intended for people who have already read the original series because for these early reviews, I've only seen two options as of now: (a) the reviewer has read the original series and loved this one and (b) the reviewer was confused and/or did not enjoy the books since s/he has not read the original series. So since I've already read the Caster Chronicles books, I think I'll still give this a shot. Anyway, so sorry that you didn't love this one, Pili. :(

    Aimee @ Deadly Darlings

    1. I do hope you'll love this one, Aimee! Cannot wait to hear what you think!

  4. Aw, I'm sorry you didn't like this one :\ It's been AGES, it feels like, since I read the Beautiful Creatures books. And I never even bothered to read the final one :p I suck, lol. But even so. I never felt the need to read this one.. I just didn't care that much for the characters :p So I don't think I will read this. And aw. Too much angst? That isn't good. You are awesome for finishing the book, though, lol. <3 :)

    1. Yeah, I felt like I had to finish it since I got it for review... I guess I felt responsible like that!
      Thank you sweetie!


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