This spinoff/continuation of the supernatural Beautiful Creatures (2009) world focuses on bad-girl Siren Ridley Duchannes.
The summer after the Gatlin, South Carolina, crew graduates high school, they share one last night of bonding before going their separate ways. Link’s created a hilarious religious-college hoax as cover for heading to New York City in pursuit of musical stardom. Ridley, Link’s on-again, off-again girlfriend, hitches a ride with him out of town—he thinks it’s for love, but she has her own agenda. At a Caster underworld club called Suffer, she lost a high-stakes game of Liar’s Trade. She owes a band a new drummer—luckily, Link is a drummer in need of a band—and to club owner Lennox Gates she owes one marker. Paying one debt, Ridley hooks up Link with the band—he gets on great with them, they not so much with her—and then tries to live as a regular person to please Link, who grows ever more suspicious of her secretive behavior. Sections related from Lennox’s perspective reveal dead antagonist Abraham Ravenwood’s plots against the heroes from beyond the grave. Readers new to Stohl and Garcia’s world, even those who have read the original novels but not the Dangerous Dreams novella e-book, may be disoriented despite the slow pace. Overall, the characters charm, and for hooked readers, the ending promises a sequel.
Prickly yet endearing Ridley makes a sturdy anchor for this expansion of the Caster world; fans will be pleased. (Paranormal romance. 12 & up)