Book Review: Beautiful Dead by Eden Maguire
Beautiful Dead by Eden Maguire
A fast-paced young adult novel, Beautiful Dead begins with Darina seeing her dead boyfriend Phoenix standing in an old barn with a group of other dead teenagers from Ellerton High School – Jonas, Arizona and Summer. At first Darina thinks she is seeing things, going crazy even, but then she learns that they are all the ‘beautiful dead’, caught in limbo between the living world and the after world. Each of them died in mysterious circumstances and they are there to resolve unfinished business. Darina becomes involved with these beautiful zombies by agreeing to try to solve the mystery of Jonas’ death. Was it a simply a tragic motorbike accident or something more sinister? Her motivation in helping is the opportunity to spend time with her beautifully preserved living-dead boyfriend.
This is an intriguing read and the first book cleverly sets the stage for the rest in the series, where Darina will clearly have a murder mystery to solve in each book. Darina is a feisty character – although initially she is so self-focussed she isn’t as likeable as she is by the end of the tale. She has a supporting cast of fairly stereotypical teenage characters in the backdrop, generally hindering her investigations because she is forbidden to reveal to anyone the existence of the beautiful dead. But the plot races away and the beautiful dead are compelling and original. I guarantee you will want to keep reading to see the first mystery solved.