Author: Eden Maguire
Releases: March 1st 2010 by Sourcebooks Fire
Copy Provided by: Publisher
Summary: (from Goodreads)
Something strange is happening in Ellerton High. Phoenix is the fourth teenager to die within a year. His street fight stabbing follows the deaths of Jonas, Summer and Arizona in equally strange and sudden circumstances. Rumours of ghosts and strange happenings rip through the small community as it comes to terms with shock and loss.
Darina, Phoenix’s grief-stricken girlfriend, is on the verge. She can’t escape her intense heartache, or the impossible apparitions of those that are meant to be dead. And all the while the sound of beating wings echo inside her head…
And then one day Phoenix appears to Darina. He tells her that she must help Jonas – the first of the four to die – right the wrong linked with his death. Only with her help can Jonas finally rest in peace. Will love conquer death? And if it does, can Darina set it free?
Beautiful Dead an interesting tale of loss, love, and redemption. To be honest, in the beginning, I did not believe that this was a novel that I was going to be able to finish. The first chapter is one of the choppiest I have ever read. Every instance where I was beginning to become adsorbed in the story… bam, a transition. And these were not always easy transitions. They sometimes made no sense… unless, the writing is somehow related to Darina’s feelings. In this case, it is easier to understand its usage, but it is still overly choppy. And the reader may have a hard time making that possible connection.
Once the novel began to progress, I found the writing to be much easier to follow. Is this because I became accustomed to Maguire’s writing style… I do not know. But what I do know is that I was able to enjoy the novel a lot more. The characters are interesting, and for the most part, I liked them. The only downside, there cannot be a lot of character growth when 85% of the main characters are already dead. And unfortunately, the reader only gets so many descriptions in regards to each character… hair and eye color, some other physical descriptions, and maybe a few personality traits, but that is about it. I for one am hoping that as the other novels progress, I will get to learn a little bit more about each character and flesh them out better in my mind.
However, what made this book so interesting for me, is the story behind the Beautiful Dead. I was intrigued with this idea of people who are angels, but not. (Unfortunately, this is a hard concept to describe without spoilers, so I am just going to leave that statement at that.) I loved how Maguire took two seemly unrelated topics and made them blend together so well. It really made me think, “Wow, this actually makes sense.”
Despite a few missteps, I throughly enjoyed this novel. And at 279 pages (ARC copy), I breezed through this read in a matter of a few hours. This is a great read for paranormal fans who like a touch of romance added in.