Rating: 3.5 stars
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.
Ecstatic to be reunited, he tells her about the Beautiful Dead. Souls in limbo, they have been chosen to return to the world to set right a wrong linked to their deaths and bring about justice. Beautiful, superhuman and powerful, they are marked by a ‘death mark’ – a small tattoo of angel’s wings. Phoenix tells her that the sound of invisible wings beating are the millions of souls in limbo, desperate to return to earth.Darina’s mission is clear: she must help Jonas, Summer, Arizona, and impossibly, her beloved Phoenix, right the wrong linked to their deaths to set them free from limbo so that they can finally rest in peace. Will love conquer death? And if it does, can Darina set it free?
The Beautiful Dead was an enjoyable read that kept you guessing. There was so much mystery involved with each of the Beautiful Dead, and it was great trying to figure out what really happened. One of my favorite parts of the whole book was Eden Maguire’s spin on zombies! It was really interesting. The plot was a ton of fun!
I liked the characters, but I would’ve really liked to see them a bit more developed. All of the “Beautiful Dead” are dead, obviously, and I would’ve loved to see more of how they were in life. I think that would’ve helped me connect more with the characters. I like to have a sort of picture in my mind of characters when I read, and I really couldn’t formulate a picture. I did really enjoy the Beautiful Dead and their attitudes. They all had their own thing. Darina had a great voice for a narrator. I do wish though, that she wasn’t quite so dependent upon Pheonix. I understand she was in love, but they dated for 2 months and she based every decision in the book upon him.
The other thing I found a little off, was all the things Darina is just opening telling her shrink. Her shrinks just accepts them, and really makes no comment on all these. I won’t say too much – but to me, I’d think some reaction would be in order from her shrink.
This seems like a great start to an interesting series! I’m definately intrigued, and cannot wait to find out what will happen in book 2, Arizona’s book.