Beautiful Creatures Discussion Recap – Week 8

SPOILER WARNING: This post discusses the plot of the book Beautiful Creatures. If you have not read the book and don’t want to know what happens, don’t read any further.

It’s so hard to believe that we’re only a week away from the last recap post! *sniffle* Where in the world has the last 8 weeks gone?

Many thanks again to Cutie for her completely awesome discussion post! And she may have mentioned that later this year she’s doing a Hush, Hush discussion on her blog – make sure to keep an eye out for it!

So, here we go with our next to last recap *sob*

1. What do you make of Macon’s confessions to Ethan? And do you, like Ethan, feel that he is holding back an essential piece of the puzzle?

Oh, that Macon! Just when you think you might kinda sorta a little bit have him figured out, he dumps even more weirdness into your lap! I don’t trust him as far as I can throw him. What do y’all think?

I was FLOORED by Macon’s appearance in Ethan’s room and his confession as to WHAT he truly is. I do think Macon holds information back from Ethan here, it definitely seems to be his standard M.O. but I loved the sense of loss and longing in his speech about the beautiful creatures. It almost seems to me that he had loved and lost his own beautiful creature. It’s something I’ve been wondering about ever since I read the book and a question I hope is answered one way or another in the later books.
~ One Pushy Fox

I totally think that MACON is holding back. It wouldn’t be a series if there wasn’t more to the story. I sometimes thought that MACON might be Lena’s real dad. You think?

I don’t get why MACON is trying to keep all the ending from Ethan’s dreams out of his head. What is he so worried about? It must be something big. Perhaps Macon has been there before. Maybe there was a girl in the past that he wasn’t able to keep and he’s just trying to keep both kids safe. I don’t think he’s trying to be mean… I think he’s just trying to keep a watchful eye on things.
~ Greta

Well knowing that Macon’s an Incubus, and not a Caster, but enlightens and confuses me. He has seemed to have different powers, but he’s related to Lena – so is being a Caster not genetic? Are they not actually a separate “species” at CW Ethan out it? Curiouser and curiouser. I think Macon is doing what he thinks is best for Lena – I an convinced that he truly cares for her and wants to protect her – so while I think he’s holding back something, I’m not sure that it’s an essential piece that could save her. I think it’s more likely that he’s holding back something that he thinks will frighten Ethan completely away, and whatever power it is that Ethan has that might help with Lena’s situation would be lost. That’s working off a big assumption that Macon’s acting in what he believes are Lena’s best interest, but I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt for now – he’s definitely grown on me.
~ SophiaAnne

Macon has been stealing the ending of Ethan’s dreams for months, he knows much more than he’s letting on. I still don’t get how Macon is related to Lena and everybody when they are Caster’s and he is an Incubus.
~ Heather (Call of Duty Widow)

I think that Mason is basically good even though is is kind of scary and creepy. I do think he is holding something back. I do not know what it is, and I think he has good intentions by holding back. I think he truly cares for her and wants whats best for her. I think there is alot more to learn about Macon.
~ bierbeck

2. Having read The Heart of Darkness (if you have seen Apocalypse Now the movie is based off the short story) and knowing the story of Glacitica swallowing the universe, it was clear to me that Ethan was not escaping by reading but wallowing in his own depression. Interestingly enough, the so called stronger species in this story (Lena) is unable to handle the stress she faces, while Ethan man’s up and wallows in private where he cannot hurt her. Which got me thinking, who do you view as the strongest person in Lena and Ethan’s relationship? Ethan? Lena? Or are they pretty even? And in the end, how will this effect the outcome of the story?

I have to admit that I usually see Ethan as the stronger of the two. He seems to be willing to tough it out when Lena is ready to throw in the towel. Then again, Lena’s got a lot of crap on her shoulders, and she has to be strong just to get through it.

Some of you thought Ethan was the stronger of the two:

I always thought of Ethan being the stronger one. Maybe it was always his positive attitude but he just seemed like the more powerful to me, especially in his belief that everything will turn out ok.
~ One Pushy Fox

I think Ethan is the stronger of the two. Like I said last week, I think Lena is been kind of whiney and Ethan has been holding it together much better. Also Ethan can leave this situation any time, but he chooses to stay and work through it. Lena is strong because she has to deal with this possibly terrible thing that is coming. When you have no choice in the matter you will find the strength to figure it out. But Ethan does not have to stay, but has found the strength to stay. I know I am rambling. Does that make sense?
~ bierbeck

Ethan is definitely by far the strongest in their relationship. He has been the one time and time again to hold strong and soldier forward while Lena is always retreating and standing down. She is resigned to her fate, while Ethan knows that you make your own fate from the beginning. As to how this affects the outcome of the story, Lena must make the giant leap in becoming much stronger as a person. She has to step up to Ethan’s level or their relationship is doomed. Such an inequity in human will can be a deal breaker eventually.
~ Heather (Call of Duty Widow)

One thought it was Lena:

I think Lena is the strongest. I think she wants ETHAN to be the man of the relationship and hold her hand through times becuase believe it or not… that is the girl thing to do. I think in the end it will be ETHAN who will be the one falling and not LENA.
~ Greta

And one was indecisive like me ;) :

This is kind of hard for me to tell, because we have the advantage of being in Ethan’s POV, not Lena’s, so we viewing her through his filter. And she’s also the one things are about to happen to – Ethan loves her, whatever happens will impact him, but he’s not the one about to be claimed. So they’re facing two different things – she’s facing loss of self and identity, in addition to possibly losing her first love, and he’s just facing the latter. So . . . given all that, although Lena’s definitely not handling everything that well, in some ways the fact that she’s still there at all indicates how strong she is. Although Ethan is too. I don’t know! Pretty even, I think! I think they’re both doing better than I would! In the end, I think the fact that they’re both pretty even will be important, that they’ll both have to make choices and possibly sacrifices to try to deal with this curse, and they’ll both need to be strong to do so.
~ SophiaAnne

3. If Lena had never met Ethan, do you think she’d had the strength necessary to face her birthday? Or were the two destined to meet?

Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart.
~ Marcus Aurelius

Were our young lovers brought together by destiny or chance?  I’m a sucker for destiny, but what do you think?

I’m completely on the destiny bandwagon. Those two have been pulled together like magnets before they ever met, and there have been too many “coincidences” for them to actually be coincidences – they were meant to be. I think Ethan was her destiny so that she’d have the strength to face her birthday.
~ SophiaAnne

If Lena had never met Ethan, she would have waited depressingly for her birthday thinking there is nothing that she can do about her fate. She would not even contemplate the possibility of being able to claim herself. I do believe that the two were destined to meet. Too many coincidences brought them together and helped them many times to be just random occurrences.
~ Heather (Call of Duty Widow)

I do think Lena would have found the strength to handle it even without Ethan. As I stated in my last comment- I think people find the strength to deal with things when they have to. I state this from personal experience. However, saying that, I do think Ethan and Lena were destined to meet and he definitly makes a big difference in helping her find more strength. Even if you have to face something alone, its nice to have someone to share it with.
~ bierbeck

I definitely believe that Ethan and Lena were fated to meet. I think they are each others fates and I agree with Greta that there’s something about their love that seems to echo that of Ethan and Genevieve in a reincarnation sort of way. BUT if Lena didn’t have Ethan to lean on, I still think she would have faced these changes. For one thing, she doesn’t have much choice, but also, she has Macon and the GOOD Casters in her family to help her.
~ One Pushy Fox

I think the two were destined to meet. I mean they have been dreaming about each other for now and a day… it was bound to happen.
~ Greta

4. After the real kiss, Ethan declares “We’re really going to have to figure out what to do about that.” What exactly is that? What do you make of the heart attacks and crazy happenings whenever Ethan and Lena touch or kiss?

Okay, I’ve read and written enough fanfic to know that true lovers always feel a shock when they touch, but this is going a bit far, don’t you think? Is it a sign of Lena’s power or one big warning sign that maybe they should keep their hands off each other?

I think there is still more to Ethan than we know. I think there is some of power in him that he has not figured out. Maybe their powers clash in some way? I think there is alot more to learn about Ethan.
~ bierbeck

Every time they get hot and heavy, Ethan is electrocuted and his heart starts to fail. I think that as a mortal, Ethan is a sort of lightning rod for Lena’s magic which manifests itself as electricity.
~ Heather (Call of Duty Widow)

I think the electricity that pours through Ethan when he kisses Lena is a direct result of her power unleashing when she’s in a vulnerable place. I know that Macon would point to it and say that it’s one more reason they can’t be together, but I’d be willing to bet that it’s something Lena can learn to harness and control.
~ One Pushy Fox

I always took it to be something like Bella and Edward. You know.. the feeling of young love and the electricity that runs through the bits. Uhhh what? Oh yeah, baby.. I said it. But, since LENA is one for shattering windows and starting up storms I figure that her getting a little tongue action from Ethan just makes her loose her concentration and BAMO. I would think STORM or ROGUE form the Xmen would do the same thing.
~ Greta

I’ve been putting down Ethan and Lena’s “electric connection” to her budding powers and not really having everything under control quite yet. We know Ridley has been interacting with Linc, so there’s another human/Caster relationship (of sorts) going on, and Linc’s not dead (yet), so I’m assuming that it won’t literally kill a human and Caster to be together. I think this must tie into Lena’s particular gifts as a Natural that she doesn’t have a handle on yet, especially since there seem to often be quite a few side effects when they kiss besides Ethan’s heart problems!
~ SophiaAnne

5. Why did Ridley relent and let Ethan’s dad live? Was it due solely to Link? Bordem? A moment of compassion? And what does this say about the claiming and it’s power? Is there a way to defeat the curse?

I think that, deep down, Ridley isn’t as bad as she tries to be on the outside. She didn’t want to be Dark, and I think, if she really tried (and if someone encouraged her to), she might just break the curse.

I love that Ridley, despite claimed for Dark still has a conscience. I firmly believe she relented because she felt the human emotion of regret. She didn’t get to know her parents. She never had time with her father. And I think the idea of killing someone else’s parent was abhorrent to her. In addition to that, I think that she doesn’t want to hurt Ethan because 1) he was kind to her, even though he knows what she is and even if his kindness was partially siren induced and 2) Ethan is Lena’s beloved and she does still care for Lena, I’d bet the farm on that.
~ One Pushy Fox

I think RIDLEY let ETHAN’S dad live because she really does dig LINK and she just was able to overpower her bad mojo and be a girl for a few minutes.

I really think that the curse can be defeated but maybe in small doses.
~ Greta

I know Ridley’s supposed to be the bad guy, but I feel for her. I don’t think letting Ethan’s dad live was out of boredom – I think there was some compassion, and maybe even some emotion for Link that made her do it. Ridley went Dark, but she has these little lost girl flashes at times that make you wonder exactly what that even means – if she’d gone light, wouldn’t she still have been a Siren? Is there a “light” way to seduce people into doing what you want? Does being Dark = evil, or are there other layers here? We’ve seen that Macon’s not exactly pure as the driven snow and not above manipulating people, even those he loves, and these others have remained peripheral enough characters that I’m not sure what being light entails for them, exactly. Ridley’s not so complete darkness does suggest that maybe the curse isn’t complete though and that someone who’s dark may still be able to be good sometimes.
~ SophiaAnne

I truly believe that Ridley is not completely evil. It’s pretty clear that she wasn’t using Link only for “business” and she does have feelings for him. The fact that Ridley shows some compassion with her actions, although not with her words, proves that the claiming is not absolute. You can be claimed Dark and not be completely evil. I’m sure there’s a way to break the curse. Isn’t there always?
~ Heather (Call of Duty Widow)

I truly think Ridley is not as evil as she is supposed to be. I think somewhere inside the old person she used to be is still there and fighting the darkness. Even if it was all for Link, that still shows compassion. She also showed compassion for Lena at the dance by defending her against the kids at school, even if it was in a terrible way. I do think there is some good in there, and hopefully we will learn more about here in future books. There is something about her I like, not sure why.
~ bierbeck

Don’t forget to enter Mrs. Vanquish’s BC giveaway, where she’s going to give an awesome bracelet by Mary Tippett Designs to one lucky discussion participant! You’re running out of time to enter – the giveaway is on March 26th!

You’ve also got a chance to win a signed copy of BC from the Bewitched Bookworms blog! The giveaway is March 28th.

And thank you so much to this week’s wonderful commenters – without you, there’s no discussion!

One Pushy Fox ~ SophiaAnne
Heather (Call of Duty Widow)bierbeck

~ by fragile little human on 18 March 2010.

2 Responses to “Beautiful Creatures Discussion Recap – Week 8”

  1. [...] Week 8 (Recap) 2.04 The Sandman or Something Like Him (p 438-447) 2.05 The Battle of Honey Hill (p 448-466) 2.11 [...]

  2. YAY!!!!!! =D Pointer Sister for the win.

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