Unfortunately Forgettable | Review of ‘Before the Claiming’ (Beautiful Creatures: The Untold Stories #3)

By Cynthia Ayala

Before the Claiming by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Image Credit: Goodreads

When Lena was a baby, Seer and gifted card reader Amma Treaudeau saw a terrifying future in the cards that sent her to Emmaline’s door. When a powerful Dark Caster sets fire to Lena’s house with baby Lena and her father trapped inside, Amma, Emmaline, and Macon vow to protect the child. Lena’s grandmother and her Uncle Macon whisk Lena away, protecting her and moving her to a new place at the first sign of trouble. But a Caster can only hide for so long, and Macon must rely on the teachings in an ancient book to control his Dark nature. Ultimately, it will be his job to protect Lena–and keep her from surrendering to a Dark fate.” (Goodreads)

Published October 13, 2015, by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers Before the Claiming by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl is a young adult novella that revisits some of the pivotal moments that would end up defining Lena’s future.

This one, while better than the previous novellas in the series still fails to capture everything that ended up defining Lena’s destiny. The authors once again brush against the details that led to defining who Lena would become without really delving into the backstory. There are probably so many moments that the authors could have included in the novella and they chose not to. The biggest thing this novel had to offer was the relationship between Lena and her cousin before her claiming. But, again, that’s something the readers are already somewhat familiar with.

Other than that small snippet, the story itself is utterly forgettable. Nothing happens. Sure there are hints of something sinister in the air, but really, nothing happens. Again, this is just another brush of detail that isn’t explored as well as it could have explored. The only thing worth reading is the opening where readers get to see the incident that left Lena separated from her mother and how it not only foreshadowed how powerful she was but also how it brought everyone together. Maybe the problem is that the story is too short. 44 pages aren’t much time to delve into the histories and the past, and it’s certainly not enough time to elaborate on pivotal moments hinted at through the series. It moves too quickly, jumps between moments too quickly, taking away any detail with it. This is just too small, too limited, and it offers nothing to the series. At the end of the day, it’s just forgettable. (★★★☆☆ | C)

Product Details:

Pub Date: Oct 13, 2015

Page count: 44pp

Age Range: 15 & Over


Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

List Price:  $1.99

Get a Copy:

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.