Thursday, May 1, 2014

Dangerous Dream (short story) and Dangerous Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

 Main character:  Ridley Duchannes, Siren and dark Caster
Location: Gatlin, South Carolina,plus a world tour
Time period: Contemporary
Genre: Fantasy, YA Fiction

Graduation marks the end of one period of time and the beginning of another.  It's also a good time to shift from the Beautiful Creatures series with its focus on Lena Duchannes and Ethan Waite, to the new Dangerous Creatures series with its focus on Ridley Duchannes and Wesley "Link" Lincoln.  Dangerous Dream is a transitional short story that bridges the summer between high school and what comes after.

When Link says three fatal words ("I love you") to Ridley, she flees from him and embarks on a world tour, reasserting her Siren nature to attract men to her like moths to a flame and then move on, leaving behind her a string of broken hearts.  She eventually finds her way to a Caster club where she bluffs her way into a game of Liar's Trade which Casters play for talents, favors and powers.  She thinks her power of Persuasion makes her sure to win, but she is set up for a major fall, owing the House a band drummer and a favor to be named later.  Who does she know that's a drummer? 

Back to Gatlin and her half-mortal, half-Incubus boyfriend.

Main character: Ridley, the dark Siren, and Link, the half-Incubus
Location: New York City
Time period contemporary
Genre: Fantasy, YA Fiction

Ridley returns to Gatlin in time for a "last night" party with Link, Lena and Ethan, and John and Liv.  Around a campfire they roast marshmallows and speculate on the future, and Lena casts a binding spell.  The spell creates rings for each of them which not only symbolize their connection, but can change color to alert them if one needs help.  The following morning they split up, and we follow along with Ridley and Link as they head up to New York.

Ridley maneuvers Link into meeting with the members of the band he is (unknown to him) going to join to fulfill one of Ridley's debts.  This is a Caster band, and includes an Illusionist, a Necromancer, and a Darkborn.  When Link finds out why he's accepted into the band, he is furious with Ridley and makes her promise not to use her powers anymore.  But the club owner, Lennox Gates, who holds Ridley's markers, has some dark purpose that includes both Ridley and Link--at the bidding of a mysterious and dangerous spirit.  How will she be able to protect him?

I really enjoyed the Beautiful Creatures series (which I actually listened to as audiobooks),but I think I might wind up liking this series better.  Ethan and Lena were often in danger--both of their lives and their souls--but there was rarely any doubt of the strength and purity of their love and that they would ultimately prevail.

Ridley has a much more complicated relationship with Link.  Sirens are supposed to go through life wreaking emotional damage without being touched by it.  Link loves her despite of (or maybe because of) her faults, but she fights her growing affection for him.  Despite herself, she also comes to care for Link's band members, especially Necro. 

I suspect that we may see this series develop into a redemptive journey for Ridley, and those kinds of stories are always fun.  I kept thinking of Faith from Buffy the Vampire Slayer--how she reveled in her badness for so long until she had her (mostly off-screen) redemptive journey and became a force for good.  I can see Ridley beginning such a journey--though she may need to be dragged kicking and screaming at some parts--and becoming good.  It may not be within the rules of the Caster world to go to the Light when you've been claimed by the Dark, but we've already seen rules of the Caster world ignored and broken.  I will be keeping my eye out for the next Dangerous Creatures book.

(I wonder, will there be a third series following John and Liv?)

I read Dangerous Dream and Dangerous Creatures as ebooks from NetGalley.

No comments: