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AudioBook Review Dangerous Creatures: Dangerous Creatures #1 by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

AudioBook Review:

I will admit that I didn’t despise Beautiful Creatures, I found it better than the film, and the narration, twists and turns it held my interest and felt particularly appropriate for a teen story.  The authors have taken a particularly difficult and interesting character from the original story, and given her a story to herself.

Ridley, Lena’s slightly older cousin and best friend until the Choosing, Ridley is a dark caster: unapologetically devious, manipulative and at odds with most of her family.  After the serious show-down at the end of Beautiful Creatures, Ridley had been using Linc, Ethan’s best friend and wanna-be rockstar.  The two had developed a ‘relationship’ of sorts, more Linc being in constant thrall, even though Ridley isn’t wasting a ton of energy on keeping him interested. 

Instead, Ridley has issues of her own to deal with: an inability to pay back the last 2 markers lost to the dark caster in a card game – the story, ostensibly, is going to focus on Riley’s struggle to maintain her relationship and settle this problem with the debt she owes.  But sadly, the story seemed to circle around a crisis of confidence that Riley is in the middle of, and NEVER seems to recover from.

The love-hate relationship between Riley and Linc is far less predominant: Linc is about 7 ants short of a picnic, he does LOTS of utterly inane and stupid things.  And his music? Not wonderful. We won’t discuss his “ode” to a meatball sub, his songwriting is childish and horrible. But, in the few scenes with them in Beautiful Creatures, their moments were full of tension and wit, you could feel Riley’s patience wearing thin with his antics.  Here, it is Riley who devolves into the clingy, childish and annoying one in the relationship: WHEN did she lose that confidence and edge?

From losing that edge that gave Riley her appeal – Riley then loses her strength and appeal as she turns into a tiny teenaged emo girl, with little to no fun and edge left. AND then we have the “love triangle” that is tossed into the mix.  Now, I’m not saying that it isn’t a wonderful plotting device and can give some real insight into character’s thoughts and heart – but here it just didn’t serve much of a purpose.  Linc is essentially missable in this story he’s not grown or changed since leaving friends behind: he will be the guy reliving his high school years at the reunion years from now: with little to nothing having changed.  And Nox at least had an edge that COULD have brought some interest back into the story, but aside from adding a speedbump into what had become a fairly stagnant plot, it just did not work.

Narration in this story is provided by Khristine Hvam and she manages to bring a solid performance, giving appropriate vocal nuances and change in pacing and delivery to present each character. They were distinct and easy to understand, without feeling over-presented or over-acted.  Her delivery of the story felt proper and right, and this will leave me thinking positively about other titles she has narrated.

I didn’t love this story, it felt stagnated and circling, and took the sparkle out of a character that I found intriguing and interesting, if not always likable.  I did find there were some elements added that didn’t seem to further this story or Riley’s situation, and there were more unanswered questions and no resolution to the initial issue of the markers.  I can only hope that they will be resolved in further books. Those who enjoyed the Beautiful Creatures series, and have followed it through to its conclusion should find enjoyment in this series.

 

Stars: Overall 3 Narration 4  Story 3

 

AudioBook Review Dangerous Creatures:  Dangerous Creatures #1 by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Title: Dangerous Creatures
Author: Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl
Narrator: Khristine Hvam
Published by: Hachette Audio, Hachette Book Group
Format:Audiobook
Source: Hachette Audio
Pages: 368
Audio Length: 9 Hours: 41 minutes
Rated: One StarOne StarOne Star
Heat: One Flame

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About the Book:

A new series returns to the world of Beautiful Creatures. Some loves are cursed...others are dangerous.

Ridley Duchannes will be the first to tell you that she's a bad girl. She's Dark. She's a Siren. You can never trust her, or even yourself when she's around. Lucky for her, Wesley "Link" Lincoln can never seem to remember that; quarter Incubus or not, his heart is Mortal when it comes to Ridley. When Link heads to New York City to start a music career, Ridley goes along for the ride-and she has her own reasons. As if leaving small-town Gatlin for the big city, trying to form a band, and surviving life with a partially reformed Siren isn't hard enough already, Link soon learns he has a price on his head that no Caster or Mortal can ever pay.

Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, the #1 New York Times bestselling coauthors of Beautiful Creatures, are back and casting another magical spell. Their signature mixture of mystery, suspense, and romance, along with a dash of fun and danger, will pull fans in and leave them begging for more.

A copy of this title was provided via Hachette Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

About Kami Garcia

Kami Garcia is the #1 New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Wall Street Journal & international bestselling co-author of the Beautiful Creatures Novels (Beautiful Creatures, Beautiful Darkness, Beautiful Chaos & Beautiful Redemption). Beautiful Creatures has been published in 50 countries and translated in 39 languages. The Beautiful Creatures movie released in theaters on February 14, 2013.

Kami is also the author of Unbreakable, the first book her paranormal solo series, THE LEGION (coming October 1, 2013.

Kami grew up outside of Washington DC, wore lots of black, and spent hours writing poetry in spiral notebooks. As a girl with Southern roots, she has always been fascinated by the paranormal and believes in lots of things “normal” people don’t. She’s very superstitious and would never sleep in a room with the number “13″ on the door. When she is not writing, Kami can usually be found watching disaster movies, listening to Soundgarden, or drinking Diet Coke.

Kami has an MA in education, and taught in the Washington DC area until she moved to Los Angeles, where she was a teacher & Reading Specialist for 14 years. In addition to teaching, Kami was a professional artist and led fantasy book groups for children and teens. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, son, daughter, and their dogs Spike and Oz (named after characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer).(

About Margaret Stohl

Margaret Stohl is the #1 New York Times, PW, USA Today, LA Times and Internationally bestselling co-author of the BEAUTIFUL CREATURES NOVELS (Fall 2009-2012) and author of THE ICONS SERIES (Spring, 2013.)

Writing has gotten me in and out of trouble since I was 15 (back then, mostly just in trouble.) For 10 years, I designed &/or wrote for lots of video games, one of which was nominated for “Most Innovative Game Design,” but I lost to a rapping onion. If you know games you get why my two bad beagles are named Zelda and Kirby.

School: I spent more years in it than a person ever should, because let’s face it, reading books is so much better than having a job. I fell in love with American literature at Amherst and Yale, earned an MA in English from Stanford, and studied creative writing under the late great poet George MacBeth at the University of East Anglia, Norwich. I taught Intro to Film as a TA at Yale and Romantic Poetry as a TA at Stanford. Don’t tell the people at Yale but sometimes I taught the section before I’d seen the movie it was about...

I live in Santa Monica, CA, with my family, most of whom were enslaved into working with me in one form or another on my first YA book for Little, Brown. I’m not kidding; when my daughters wanted to go to school I said “Why are you so selfish? Get back in there and edit,” and by said I mean yelled and maybe threw things, it’s all a haze. Now the Beautiful series has wrapped, but you can see the movie on February 13, 2013 or read my new book ICONS on May 7th. Nothing gold can stay, Ponyboy.

 

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