Published: April 2nd 2009, Sourcebooks Fire
Pages: 271 pages, paperback
Series: Yes, book two (Arizona) was released in October 2009, book three (Summer) was released in May 2010 and the final book (Phoenix) will be released in October 2010.
Acquired: Sent for review by Sourcebooks Fire
Summary (from Goodreads): 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 ...more 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?
My review: Beautiful Dead: Jonas has been sitting on my bookshelves for almost a month and, for some reason, I kept putting off reading it. I’m not sure why, as the beautiful cover art really intrigued me and the premise seemed interesting but I had to force myself to read it, which didn’t bode particularly well.
My feelings about the first book in the Beautiful Dead series are mixed but the main strength for me was the plot, as it drew me in from the outset and kept me turning the pages to try and find out what was going to happen to the members of the Beautiful Dead. They describe themselves as zombies but they were nothing like your stereotypical shuffling, brain dead horror movie zombies. They’re intelligent, beautiful and ethereal – more like angels.
There are moments of brilliance in this book, certain sentences that really struck a chord with me and it was pretty entertaining from beginning to end, though I did find myself skimming over the chapters that didn’t contain much action.
The whole novel was just a bit lacklustre. I wasn’t particularly inspired by any of it, nothing was challenging and I won’t remember any of the characters in a few weeks. The writing was a little choppy and jumped around, without giving away much information at all. For me, it felt like an early draft of a novel that hadn’t quite been edited enough. I think it could have been a great book with a little more attention, as the story is great.
That said, there’s something I find very interesting about the Beautiful Dead books and I’m keen to read the rest in the series, if only to find out the fates of the ‘zombies’.
First line: ‘The first thing I heard was a door banging in the wind.’
Final thoughts: Not for everybody, but paranormal romance fans may fall in love with this series
Read if you liked...: City of Glass – Cassandra Clare
Total: 14/20 (B)