Fans of the Beautiful Creatures saga will revel in the first in Garcia and Stohl’s spin-off series. No longer the arrogant Siren, Ridley is the star here, and her first adult experiences with fear and love are rendered in beautiful passages. An edgy cast, authentic New York City settings — including the grit and grime of Brooklyn and the glamour of Manhattan’s Upper East Side — and the story’s spot-on 21st-century dialogue make this an impressive work. Be sure to read the “Dangerous Dream” novella to fully grasp Ridley’s predicament.
Link is finally getting out of Gatlin, S.C., for good. His God-fearing mother thinks he’s starting his freshman year at Georgia Redeemer, but the hybrid Incubus’ final destination is New York City, where he’s convinced he’ll be a rock star in no time. To Link’s surprise, Ridley Duchannes, his on-again-off-again Siren girlfriend, is coming along for the ride. Ridley might love Link — at least the superficial kind of love a Siren knows — but unbeknownst to her boyfriend, there’s a powerful Dark Caster in New York to whom she owes two debts, and she’s ready to settle them. Too bad nothing involving dark magic is ever simple. (LITTLE, BROWN, May, 384 pp., $19.00, ISBN: 9780316370318, HC, 12 & Up)