Friday, August 20, 2021

Review: The Beautiful Ones

The Beautiful Ones The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I finally read this (she writes so fast I had two books by her on my eARC backlog! I made myself read this one before Velvet Was the Night).

It's like... alt history or just nameless vague regency plus a little bit of telekinetic magic. No Mexican folklore or mythology elements that I can identify although some reviews have labeled it as "telenovela" - perhaps only because of who the author is? It has quite a few similarities to Shades of Milk and Honey but the pacing is quite slow - I found myself skimming to the parts between Nina and Hector.

Here's my confession - there's a lot of space between expectation and experience in this one. I'm so used to her usual mode of taking a strong female, uprooting her, and placing her into a story that is somehow colored by Mexican or Central American mythology or folklore that I kind of felt like this story wasn't as interesting without that component. There is a woman, Nina, who is uprooted, and has been a bit of an outcast because of her telekinetic abilities. She bonds with a performer who has similar abilities and hopes to marry him, but his story has a lot of secrets that get in the way.

My second confession - since I've read her vampire book, her gods book, etc., I thought The Beautiful Ones would be some kind of supernatural being. I'm kind of bummed that they aren't.

In the society itself are the "beautiful ones" who seem to be old money types who don't actually have money, but they are well-mannered and still hold a place in society. She has this blood but was raised outside the city and starts out with her cousin who is supposed to help her find a husband. But nobody wants her to use her abilities in public! And okay I love telekinetic stuff in books (The Girl with the Silver Eyes was my absolutely favorite book as a kid) but it's a little too infrequent in this book that I found myself skimming to those parts, since the rest of it is paced pretty slowly. Some exciting things that happen, like a duel, just held no interest to me whatsoever.

One thing I really liked, and I hope we see this again from the author, was her omniscient narrator voice - the point of view doesn't switch but we are able to see the thinking of more than one character, and I really like being able to do this. The way she wrote it, it added a lot to the story, leaving the reader with a more complete picture than the characters sometimes had. Still, the other issues like pacing and lack of development make it at the bottom of the author's oeuvre for me.

Thanks to the publisher for granting me access to this title via Edelweiss. It came out April 27!

View all my reviews

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for visiting the Reading Envy blog and podcast. Word verification has become necessary because of spam.