Cynthia Ayala ‘17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
They’re finally graduating! But a simple graduation soon ends in disaster when Dark Caster Ridley makes an appearance. And when Link makes a love(ly) declaration, things take a turn for the worst. Angry and hurt, Ridley travels the world in order to push a certain Linkubus out of her mind. And when she is caught in New York City, she becomes entangled in a dangerous underground Caster game where the stakes are higher than ever.
Dangerous Dream is the new novella from the Dangerous Creatures series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. Published on December 17, 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, this young adult fantasy novel follows the Dark Caster Ridley as she finds herself in a bit of trouble of her own making.
Who doesn’t love the bad girl? Well, writers Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl most certainly do. Here they have written a book about Ridley, a secondary character, one of the anti-heroes from the Caster Chronicles series. But as that character’s popularity rose amongst the audiences, alongside her tempestuous romance with Link, Ethan Wate’s (the former protagonist) best friend.
As the story goes, it begins through the point of view of Ethan Wate, a smart decision from the writers, reintroducing a new story with a familiar personality and narrative. This was a smart way to bring old and new readers into the flow because it has been a while since the Caster Chronicles series concluded, and the summarization of everything that has happened was simple, short, sweet, and concise.
Once the past is concluded and all the other characters have been reintroduced, the direction quickly shifts to Link, and there the relationship between him and Ridley is explained. Again, it is brief. This is an ebook novella, it’s not that long and the writers are masterfully working together to describe what the book is about. Link’s perspective is where the premise of the novel really starts to set in and is made clear for the reader. It’s a slow and steady flow and the best part is hearing it from Link. All fans have always known he was a fun character while Ethan was the more thoughtful one. He’s a drummer in a band and he just goes with the flow. It was a lot of fun to read and has a lighter, more fun personality. It resonates with more familiarity towards the reader than something more serious.
Once again, when the story shifts towards Ridley, that’s where the real fun begins. She was the anti-hero, never quite good, never quite evil, always in between, and really just lost and angry. That’s where her charm is, because she’s the cool chick with lots of dark power, and yet she’s so fragile. But the spunk that follows her character around and her attitude makes her incredibly lovable. She’s a mischief-maker, and she loves it. She’s almost like the child of Catwoman and Harley Quinn, all serious and suave, but insanely dark and mischievous.
Admittedly though, considering her character, the ending was anti-climactic. Readers are prepared for something more dangerous, more explosive. And while it’s understandable why the author would set that ending up as the launching point for their new series, it doesn’t make the readers want to tune in unless they’re fans. This is not an ending that is going to bring in new fans. Ridley gets herself into a bind, but one that is just, well, kind of lame. Knowing her character, this is something she could handle easily if she wanted to, not something she needs her ex-boyfriend to rescue her from. She’s an empowered character and that ending just did not suit her at all.
The key point is that fans are going to be interested to see where this book takes them. But newbies, they are going to have a little trouble getting into it because, at the end of the day, not a lot happens in the novella: it’s all about the characters.