|Genre||Young adult fiction, fantasy|
|Publisher||Little, Brown and Company|
|Media type||Print, e-book, audiobook|
|No. of books||4|
|Followed by||Dangerous Creatures|
The Caster Chronicles is a series of young adult fiction novels written by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl that were published in the United States by Little, Brown and Company. It comprises four novels that were published between 2009 and 2012, and in 2014 was followed by a second series set in the same universe, Dangerous Creatures. The series differs from other young adult fiction in that the books are told from the viewpoint of the teenage boy Ethan, whereas other works are traditionally narrated by or center upon a female protagonist.
The series follows Ethan Wate, a 16-year-old boy that dreams of leaving his small South Carolina town for something larger. At the start of the series he falls in love with Lena Duchannes, a new girl that is part of a secret section of humanity called Casters, people who are capable of working magic. They find that there are several obstacles to their love, most notably the social and cultural differences between their two societies and the fact that Ethan is incapable of touching Lena for extended periods of time without suffering a severe electric shock. Throughout the series Lena is troubled by the fact that she must claim herself as either a Light or Dark Caster on her sixteenth birthday and in the first novel she manages to perform a spell that prevents her from having to make this choice. However, in the process Ethan is mortally wounded and Lena is forced to perform another spell to bring him back to life, which causes her to distance herself from him out of fear that he will be further harmed. Their relationship is further harmed by the introduction of Liv, a secondary love interest for Ethan that is also aware of the Caster world.
As the series progresses Ethan finds that he is constantly haunted by a series of strange songs and Lena is further tempted by various family members (including her mother and her cousin Ridley) to claim herself as a Dark Caster. These ongoing problems pose serious threats to their romance but are ultimately unsuccessful as Ethan and Lena are inevitably and continually drawn to one another. The only true barrier to their love comes in the form of a prophecy that the "One Who Is Two" must be sacrificed to bring Order back to the world. Initially they believe this to be Lena due to her dual Light/Dark nature, but find that it actually refers to Ethan, as his resurrection was done too quickly and part of his soul was left behind in the underworld. Knowing that this is the only way to keep everyone he knows and loves safe, Ethan voluntarily throws himself off of the town's water tower to his death and both parts of his soul are reunited.
In the underworld Ethan finds that he still has limited communication with the living world and through this he manages to communicate with family members. He also discovers that he can come back to life, but only through a difficult ordeal that requires him to remove his page from The Caster Chronicles held by the Keepers at the Gates of the Far Keep. Ethan barely manages to succeed at this task and returns to the living world, where he is reunited with Lena. Although left with more questions than answers to everything, Ethan finds that he can now touch Lena without physical harm, allowing them to finally become a true couple.
There have been two adaptations of the work, the 2013 film Beautiful Creatures and a manga adaptation that was illustrated by Cassandra Jean.
In 2013 Alcon Entertainment produced a movie version of the film, which was directed by Richard LaGravenese. The movie starred Alden Ehrenreich and Alice Englert as Ethan Wate and Lena Duchannes and was released on February 14, 2013. The film was a box office and critical disappointment.
In 2013 Garcia and Stohl announced that they had begun work on a new series set within the same universe as the Caster Chronicles. The series, which is entitled Dangerous Creatures, follows the relationship between Ethan's friend Link and his girlfriend Ridley, a Siren and Lena's cousin. The two authors launched the series on December 17, 2013 with the e-novella Dangerous Dream and the first novel in the series was published on May 6, 2014.
- Dangerous Dream (2013)
- Dangerous Creatures (2014)
- Dangerous Deception (2015)
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- Cooper, Ilene (1 November 2009). "Beautiful Creatures". Booklist: 1. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
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- Beautiful Creatures at Rotten Tomatoes
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- Dristcoll, Molly. "'Beautiful Creatures' authors will pen a spin-off series". CS Monitor. Retrieved 18 March 2015.
- Wilkinson, Amy. "Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl Reveal Secrets Of New 'Dangerous Creatures' Series". MTV. Retrieved 18 March 2015.
- Springen, Karen. "Beautiful Creatures Authors to Write Spinoff Series". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 18 March 2015.
- "Spoiled: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohls Dangerous Creatures". RT Book Reviews. Retrieved 18 March 2015.