I have been slow to jump on the Silvia Moreno-Garcia bandwagon, mostly because I read one of her earlier books and it wasn’t for me. Then everyone lost their minds over Mexican Gothic. And I did nothing! But I’m glad I eventually gave her another shot, because this book shows me that I can like what she does, though it still didn’t perfectly gel with my tastes.
SM-G is a genre hopping author, and with The Beautiful Ones, she takes on a fantastical version of Regency England, for a romance/comedy of manners hybrid plotline, except the two main characters are telekinetics. A lot of people compare this to Jane Austen, but that doesn’t quite work for me. The level of drama and misunderstanding here, not to mention the over the top villain, is on a whole other level. It was almost melodrama. It was a little too much for me. I haaaaated her. And not in a fun way. And though the romance between the two main characters was sweet and the narrative voice engaging (I really liked the audio!), I’m still giving this a 3.5 star because I feel like I don’t really know them and the only strong emotional connection I formed was to the villain.
I think where we’re probably going to end up is that occasionally Moreno-Garcia will write a book that interests me and I will read it, but she won’t be an autobuy author for me. I still have zero interest in The Daughter of Doctor Moreau, for instance, but I did finally pick up a copy of Mexican Gothic, and I’m tentatively interested in Silver Nitrate . . . we’ll see! This one, at least, was a success!
[3.5 stars, rounded up]