Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
“The rest of us had to make our own destiny.
Lena and I knew that better than anyone. Ridley and Link, they still had to learn it the hard way.
I guess that’s sort of where this whole story begins.”
Ethan from Dangerous Dream by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
When Frances sent me a message that she had seen Dangerous Dream listed on NetGalley and told me it was a short story set in the Beautiful Creatures Series, I was not happy. In fact I believe my exact words were, “Goddamn it, I thought I was done.” While I enjoyed the first book of the series and part of the second book in the series, the last book (the fourth) was a struggle to finish (in fact, I celebrated finishing the series. This was a first in my life, since usually I hate ending a series). There were only three reasons that I read this: the focus was not on Lena, it was short, and I hate leaving a series unfinished. So take this all with a grain of salt, as I was really not looking forward to reading this.
This is a short novella/taster for the new series (Dangerous Creatures) that Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl are working on that will continue the Caster Chronicles. Dangerous Dream is set directly after the events in Beautiful Redemption. The story shows Lena, Ethan, and Link’s graduation from high school, and Ridley and Link’s on-again-off-again relationship. Specifically, Ridley and Link hit a very off period, and, after two months, Ridley ends up at a new dark caster club in New York. There she joins a very high stakes card game, one that could cost her more than she is willing to let go.
I think to be perfectly fair to this short story, it surprised me, and I liked it more than I thought I would. It reminded me of some of the things that I had loved about the Caster Chronicles. However, it also reminded me of why I hated parts of the series as well.
As with the Caster Chronicles, the strength of the story lies in the world that is created. The light and dark casters and all the other creatures out there are fascinating. Even after four books, there are still new creatures and powers that the readers are learning about, and that is great. With the events of the previous series having completely disrupted the caster world, it was neat to see what was happening after.
My least favorite part was the same thing that had plagued the previous few books; the romances. The reason that I found the last few books excruciating was the completely soppy and cringe worthy love stories. I do not like Lena and Ethan together, and when they are together, I get annoyed or bored. This happened again, even though they weren’t the main characters. Then we got to deal with Ridley and Link’s totally dysfunctional, but ‘meant to be’ love, and if you can’t hear my sarcasm in that last bit, let me emphasize how unhappy with this I was! Honestly, Ridley and Link’s on and off again relationship ruined this short story.
Also, I know it a very small thing, but the card game that was being played in this short story really angered me. They are playing a game that I have played often, which I enjoyed. The authors even go to pretty great lengths to explain how to play the card game. However, unless there is a new way to play the card game that I am unaware of, you can’t play with just two people, which is how the tournament was going. If I am right, and the game is about lying about what cards you have and only one other person has cards, it should be fairly obvious if you are lying! It is a very minor detail, but it was an aggravatingly easy one to have fixed. It just reminds me of how much these authors miss the mark sometimes (like how teenage boys act!).
Final Verdict: Not bad, but not nearly enough to tempt me back to this series.
Note: In case it wasn’t clear, this is my last review for this series, I will not be reading the Dangerous Creatures Series.