Review – The Beautiful by Reneé Ahdieh

Title The Beautiful

Author Reneé Ahdieh

Description from Amazon

In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans is a safe haven after she’s forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent in the middle of the carnival season, Celine is quickly enraptured by the vibrant city, from its music to its fancy soirées and even its danger. She becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s enigmatic leader, Sébastien Saint Germain.

When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in Sébastien’s own lair–the second dead girl to turn up in recent weeks–Celine battles her attraction to Sébastien and suspicions about his guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.

After a third murder, New Orleans becomes gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose–one who has now set Celine in his sights. As the murderer stalks her, Celine finally takes matters into her own hands, only to find herself caught in the midst of an age-old feud between the darkest creatures of the night, where the price of forbidden love is her life.

Initial Thoughts

For those of you who follow me on Instagram [insert shameless plug @books_over_everything], I have been posting the #TwelveNightsOfHalloween (it was going to be thirteen but, I forgot to post on day one). Anyway, I’ve been trying to read Halloween-y books this month and The Beautiful seemed liked a perfect choice.

Some Things I Liked

  • New Orleans! I loved the setting. I thought it was a little cliché (vampires in New Orleans has been done several times), but I really loved it with the time period.
  • Murder. I love a good murder mystery and this story had not one but THREE murders! So much mystery, so little time!
  • Witty banter. There was so much glorious wit and banter between Celine and Sebastian and I loved every second of it. I loved them so much! I can’t wait to see what they get up to in The Damned.

One Thing I Wasn’t Crazy About

  • Predictability. This story, while an excellent Halloween book, was quite predictable. I knew who the villain was less than half-way through the book and I found the “big reveal” at the end fell flat.

Series Value

I really enjoyed this book. The setting, time period, and characters were perfect for this time of year and fit together perfectly. I can easily see myself re-reading this book before the next book comes out and I will definitely read The Damned when it comes out next year.

Final Thoughts

This book was perfect. I got everything I wanted out of it and it just confirmed what I already knew, Reneé Ahdieh is a literary genius.


Recommendations for Further Reading

  • A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness – if you liked the supernatural elements of The Beautiful and the various types of beings described, definitely give The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness a read.
  • The Wrath & the Dawn by Reneé Ahdieh – if you liked the writing style of The Beautiful, check out Reneé Ahdieh’s other books – my favorite is The Wrath & the Dawn.
  • The Damned by Reneé Ahdieh – this book is not out yet, but if you enjoyed the first book, give book two a read when it’s available.

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