Beautiful Creatures  - Margaret Stohl, Kami Garcia This review also posted at A Bookish Compulsion

Like many others this book only hit my radar after I saw the previews for the movie and thought that it looked truly epic and had the overwhelming urge to read the book. (And I do mean overwhelming. I usually wait until after I watch a movie to read the book in an attempt to avoid any resulting disappointment with the adaptation and inevitable changes, but in this case I could not control the impulse and ended up finishing it days before the movie release.) I can only be grateful to Hollywood for putting this work on the map for me; rich in detail and expansive in scope, this book opens a whole new world complete with history, a plethora of colorful characters and colored with magic.

This book was a brick—at 563 pages its length was both a strength and a weakness in the overall structure, one that I feel leveled out more on the positive side but definitely did have some drawbacks. In such a large page count the authors were able to interweave a level of detail that one simple doesn’t usually find in smaller works. Similarly, the amount of background and the richness of the culture that is depicted is in a large part due to the size of the canvas. One of the limitations generally found with first-person POV is the scope it provides; this work allowed for a big-picture view even when only seen through a single (for the most part) lens, by the sheer magnitude of input. All that said, there is also quite a bit of repetitiveness in this book, chapters where not much happens except for in out hero’s mind and a good deal of hurry-up-and-wait that is part-and-parcel of the level of detail and integration the authors have put forth. This book paralleled the subject between its pages...southern hospitality that may be sweet as pie but is slow as honey and will not be rushed.

I enjoyed Beautiful Creatures and have already stared in on the next book, Beautiful Darkness, in this series. I am happy to give this complex work of fiction four stars.