Monday, June 15, 2009

Review: Beautiful Dead: Book 1 - Jonas by Eden Maguire

Eden Maguire is a British author who spends part of the year living in the US. This book appears to be her first. The second book in the series is due out in October and the third and fourth (and final I assume) will be out in 2010.

Beautiful Dead: Book 1 - Jonas by Eden Maguire (April 2009, Hodder Children's Books, ISBN: 0340988614)

I spotted this title in Book Time magazine which is supplied to libraries with their delivery of books and I was fortunate to snap up the first (and only so far) copy in the Birmingham Library system. I have since been recommending it to colleagues and a short waiting list has begun.

The main character is Darina, a sixteen/seventeen year old whose boyfriend Phoenix has recently died from a knife wound in a fight. Phoenix is the fourth of Darina's peers to die in the last year, the other three being: Jonas in a motorcycling accident, Arizona by drowning and Summer by gun-shot wound. All apparently accidents.

Darina is heartbroken and finds herself drawn to the same spot a few miles from home, where the unbelievable happens - she sees Phoenix and the others, apparently alive and well. Is she delusional or are they real?

I don't want to give too much away so I'll just say that Darina is about to get some relief, at least temporarily, from her grief and she will be investigating the deaths of her classmates.

Beautiful Dead 1 does take a while to get going but once I got about a third of the way in I was dipping into it at every opportunity. It has a mystery angle - why did Jonas crash? and a romance between a couple who, in theory at least, do not have a future together - there's more than a similarity to the relationship between Bella (human) and Edward (vampire) in Twilight. It's quite a serious book which shows how grief affects people and what it can drive them to do. I'm very interested in seeing where Eden Maguire takes this series and especially what she decides to do in the final book.

The official Beautiful Dead website is here (nb. it gives more of the plot away than I do).

(review first posted on the Euro Crime blog)


  1. This is an amzing book i read it in 2 days cant wait for the others to come out. I recommend this!

  2. I LOVE IT!!! im reading the second 1 and it is awesome!!!!!!!!! x

  3. it is one of the best book i have read dont read alot but this is an amazing book read it in 2 days just buying the next one =D

  4. Great review, I liked this one too.

  5. luv da book, it rox

  6. what age do u think its for round 12 and above or 15 and above