The Beautiful Ones‘ upcoming publication is a historical fantasy re-release by author Silvia Moreno-Garcia, and it’s a worthy addition to your stack of beach reads this summer. Set in fictional Loisail, this story follows headstrong Nina, the elusive Hector, and the beautiful, embittered Valérie. Nina and Hector are from vastly different backgrounds but share the same mysterious gift— while Valérie is part of the eponymous Beautiful Ones. As the story unfolds, we see their past and current motivations intertwine in more ways than one— with far deeper scars than the love triangle trope might suggest.
In the author’s signature style, the writing in The Beautiful Ones drips with expertly woven imagery. The story features a stunningly fleshed-out setting that you can see, feel, even smell — Moreno-Garcia’s imagination jumps off the pages. The dialogue is expressive and engaging, bringing life to the characters and artfully communicating their emotions— showing us and not just telling us.
I appreciated the exploration of class divide and social norms in The Beautiful Ones, notably how Moreno-Garcia presented these ideas across three discrete points of view. We see how the conventions of society uniquely stifle each character. Ultimately, a desire for autonomy over their life drives each character’s actions through the plot.
The Beautiful Ones is only the second book I’ve read by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, but I’m sensing a theme here: While Mexican Gothic and The Beautiful Ones offer wildly different narratives, she uses a motif of how duty and desire could be twisted, morphing into something sinister that threatens to destroy anything in its way. Moreno-Garcia’s writing casts a spell over the reader, whispering lyrical claim to deeper, darker emotions— while maintaining a gaze firmly fixed on the plot’s meaningful advancement.
I enjoyed this story, and I recommend The Beautiful Ones to fans of Romance and Historical Fantasy books where the plot plays the starring role (rather than the intrigue). And if you’re a proper Historical Romance fan, you may also enjoy this tale. But FYI, this is very much smut-free, so no bodice ripper here 🔥.
I received an eARC of this book to review and provide my honest opinion. Thank you to Tor/Forge for the digital copy.
Content warning: mild violence depicted
Where to find The Beautiful Ones
(Re)Publication Date: April 27, 2021
- Bookshop.org (support independent book stores!)
- Barnes and Noble