The Caster Chronicles by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

This is the first time I’ve tried to do a whole series review as appose to each book separately, so let’s see how this goes.

books-beautifulcreatures

The first book, Beautiful Creatures, follows Ethan and Lena as they discover each other and the connection that ties them together. We see Ethan plunged into a magical world he never knew existed and Lena escape being claimed. We meet many influential characters, including Lena’s Dark Caster mother, Sarafine. The main characters all bar one survive Lena’s 16th birthday and there are plenty of loose ends to drive you in to reading the second book, Beautiful Darkness.

The second book is non-stop, action packed and improves on the first. In The first book a large chunk of the story was set around Ethan and Lena’s experience at school, where as in the second book it is nearly entirely set in the underground Caster world. We keep all the characters we’ve previously met and more are thrown into the mix; the mysterious John, undead Abraham and adorable Liv, just to name a few. We find out the truth about Ethan’s mother’s death and her involvement with Macon, as well as some secrets about Ethan’s own special destiny.

Set between the second and third Caster Chronicles is Dream Dark, Link’s transformation novella. In this we see Link learning to handle his new semi-Incubus self and taking his first steps solo in the paranormal underworld as an adorable “Linkubus”.

In the third book, Beautiful Chaos, we find out about Abraham’s master plan which has been years and years in the making, to destroy the caster and mortal world. Ridley runs off, John’s trapped, Lena and Liv make peace, Amma goes mad, aunt Prue dies and Ethan has a run in with the wheel of fate. In the end we are left answer-less with a killer cliff hanger ending.

The forth book, Beautiful Redemption is by far the best book in the series. The story is told by both Lena and Ethan, which was a nice surprise as Ethan has narrated all the others. We journey with Ethan through the otherworld. We see him reunited with his mother and aunt Pure in death and we see him fight his way back to the land of the living. We see Lena deciphering the messages Ethan sends her from beyond the grave and together with all the loved ones Ethan left behind they send him the help he needs to defeat the ones who destined him to die.

You know how some last books in a series can be a letdown, Beautiful Redemption was the opposite – it went above my expectations. All my questions were answered and everything felt balanced and whole by the end. It certainly was a beautiful ending.

I read the books over a five-month period with others in-between, rather than devouring them one after another in a binge like I normally would. I’d give the series a four-star rating as a whole. I really liked it, but was capable of not marathon-ing it. I’m happy I read all five, they were well worth the read. I don’t intend on reading the spin off series Dangerous Creatures which follows Ridley and Link’s life after the events of the Beautiful Creatures series, but I am thinking that I will add Beautiful Redemption to my re-read list, yes I enjoyed it that much!

star.4

1st book, 4 Stars. 2nd book, 4 stars. Novella, 4 stars. 3rd book, 3 stars. 4th book, 5 stars.

Kami Garcia: Website | Goodreads | Twitter

Margaret Stohl: Website | Goodreads | Twitter

Extinction: Friday Fictioneers 100 Word Story Challenge

I knew it was pointless, that I would be too late. But I had to see it for myself.

The door popped open and my nostrils were assaulted with the foul stench of decay.

I gingerly stepped outside, my eyes taking in nothing but burnt land and smoldering Furly-Pon skeletons.

They had been a peaceful race and never stood a chance against us.

If my engines hadn’t failed I would have got here sooner and been able to save at least a few of them.

Another world conquered. Another race wiped out.

Well done humans, when will it be enough?

Friday Fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Fields where writers around the world create 100 word stories inspired by the one image.

This week’s PHOTO PROMPT © Douglas M. MacIlroypleisiosaur_

For more information CLICK HERE to see Rochelle’s website

Or CLICK HERE to view the other Friday Fictioneers stories for this week.

Push Bikes + Men = Evil

 Yesterday (Easter Monday) my husband Shane decided we’d go for a lovely family bike ride as the rain had finally let up and the sun was out.

Today I am really regretting it. I feared I’d wake up with sore knees as they were aching as I rode, but no they’ve held up alright. My back is burning and biting, although it’s like that 80% of the time so I doubt much of that is the bikes fault – what is the bike fault however is how painful I’m finding it to sit down.

Because of the shape of the frame Riley’s child capsule doesn’t fit on Shane’s ridiculously-expensive-fancy-pants push bike. The capsule however fits on my fitted-with-a-wide-padded-seat push bike. I won’t ride with Riley attached to the bike. I’m too uncoordinated and the entire time I’m freaking out that I’m going crash and hurt him. So Shane rode my bike. I’ve tried to ride Shane’s, but the frame is too long and too tall. So I went and nicked my dad’s pushy, his is nice and short, just like him.

We took off and shortly we had to stop so I could raise the seat as my legs were all squashed up. I then continued with on the bike with it in too high a gear and near killed myself going up a SMALL hill, more my lack of fitness to blame than the gearing through. I pumped my fat little legs as hard and fast as I could. The last time I’d ridden from home to Fassifern I was about twenty kilos lighter and going to the gym three times a week. Oops. I had to stop when it felt like my heart was going to burst out of my chest. I pulled up and tried to hop off the bike. My legs were jelly. There was a ball of pain in my chest. My vision started to dull and spot with the light coming at me in intense waves – did I mention I hadn’t eaten breakfast, dumb ass I am. So I sat down for a while, had some water and decided I needed to take it a bit easier if I was going to make it to Fassifern and back.

I survived, obviously as I’m here having a whinge. I didn’t get any of those happy energy buzzing hormones you’re supposed to get after excising. 😦 No I spent the rest of the day trying to stay awake, lying on the couch watching movies while Riley destroyed the lounge room with crayons.

Today it hurts to sit. Damn male bike seats. Damn push bikes altogether. My butt barely touched the seat on the return trip as I was standing on the pedals so I could straighten my knees. Bikes are evil.

My son enjoyed the trip. Each time Shane would stop to let me catch up, Riley would be calling out “More, More, More”. Men are evil :-P.

Riding Riley  20150406_084918

Ready Riley (Edited & Original): Riley inspecting the bikes while we get ready to go for a ride.