Tonawanda News

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February 11, 2013

BOOK NOOK: Love is in the air for magical teenage series

Tonawanda News — Magical, supernatural, fantasy. That stuff’s all the rage with teenagers. I would add in “these days,” but let’s face it, teens — or young adults, as the booksellers and publishers call them — have liked this stuff for a while.

I remember wasting away entire weekends on the latest Anne Rice vampire or witch novel as a teenager in the ‘90s, and I’m pretty sure an awful lot of sci-fi and fantasy stuff was really gaining speed with the kids in the 1970s and ‘80s back when “Star Wars” and “Star Trek” were really hitting their stride.

People of all ages and sorts — but perhaps even more the youngsters trying to come to terms with adulthood, first loves and conflict — love a good book to take them out of their own mind, their own galaxy or even out of their hometown.

Ethan Wate is one of those teens who wanted out of his small hometown in Georgia. Badly.

That is, until a mysterious new girl shows up in town: Lena Duchannes, the witch, or caster as her kind like to call themselves.

Already the book “Beautiful Creatures,” co-authored by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, is something of a mix of “Twilight” meets “Harry Potter,” in terms of premise. And that’s about where it sits in terms of its worth as well.

The setup is a bit of a reverse of the Twilight series. It’s told from the perspective of the male half of the romantic relationship and it’s the new-to-town female character who has all the supernatural abilities. And then there’s conflict. Lots of it. (And one would think with so much conflict, the plot wouldn’t turn out to be as flat as it is).

In the magical world, casters must choose to either be dark (evil) or light (good) by their 16th birthday. Unfortunately for Lena, a curse has been placed on her family such that the female casters do not get to choose, but are instead claimed for either side.

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