Authors: Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Release: December 1st 2009
Genre: Supernatural, Urban Fantasy, YA
#1 in the Caster Chronicles
Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.
Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.
In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.
I went into this with pretty low expectations, expecting to hate or, well, dislike it, but I actually found I quite enjoyed it.
The world building was a fresh breath, and I found this new twist on witches and casting spells really interesting and creative, I'll give the authors originality. The writing was also really good, it flowed naturally from the pages and you couldn't notice the book was written by two authors.
I didn't care that much about the characters, but I did like them a lot, except the protagonist, Ethan Wate, from whose point of view the book is actually written, because he just seemed so stuck-up and holier-than-thou which got on my nerves after about 200 pages. What I also didn't like that much was the whole romance aspect, I mean I'm usually a sucker for love stuff, you can basically woo me with very little but this insta-love thing has never been my kind and they just started too early with all the melodrama. I mean, half a year or maybe even over half a year has already passed during the book when they begin to say 'I love you' but it all just felt so crammed together.
Which is the next negative point, the book spans September, I think, to February and the passage of time is so badly written you can't really feel it and it seems like everything is happening over a few weeks, not months and I just didn't get along with the handling of time in this book at all.
The plot was interesting enough, it wasn't so boring and monotone-y that I dreaded picking the book up and dragging myself through it, so the pacing was quite well done, too.
Another thing that bugged me was the big importance of the Southern history. I know I read in the about the authors thingy that they got together because one wanted to write about a Southern town and culture and the other about the Caster thing and they just threw the ideas together but it all just did not fit. It was so aggravating that they kept pointing out that the Southern history is soooo important in Gatlin blah blah IT WAS SO ANNOYING GAH.
In conclusion, I can say with good conscience that I enjoyed this book. It wasn't by far a book that I would count to my favorites or even be like "ZOMFG THIS IS AMAZING", but I was invested to the story, the characters and the world building really fascinated and intrigued me; the plot also drew me right in and I finished this in decent time (If The Eternity Cure hadn't come in between, I would've been finished a whole lot faster.)
Definitely worth reading if you're not necessarily looking for a book that'll sweep you off your feet, but just for a nice, easy, enjoyable read. Me, I'll be reading the next book in the series.