Book Review: The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Audiobook Review: The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Posted September 19, 2022 by Amber in Reviews / 1 Comment

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The Beautiful Ones

The Beautiful Ones

by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books on October 24, 2017
Genre: Fantasy, Fiction, Historical, Romance
Target Age Group: Adult
Representation: BIPOC Authors, Latino/a/x/e Authors
Content Warnings: Alcohol, Classism, Gun Violence, Sexual Content

Rating: ★★★★½

Check out this book on Goodreads or buy the book at Bookshop.org

They are the Beautiful Ones, Loisail’s most notable socialites, and this spring is Nina’s chance to join their ranks, courtesy of her well-connected cousin and his calculating wife. But the Grand Season has just begun, and already Nina’s debut has gone disastrously awry. She has always struggled to control her telekinesis—neighbors call her the Witch of Oldhouse—and the haphazard manifestations of her powers make her the subject of malicious gossip.

When entertainer Hector Auvray arrives to town, Nina is dazzled. A telekinetic like her, he has traveled the world performing his talents for admiring audiences. He sees Nina not as a witch, but ripe with potential to master her power under his tutelage. With Hector’s help, Nina’s talent blossoms, as does her love for him.

But great romances are for fairytales, and Hector is hiding a truth from Nina — and himself — that threatens to end their courtship before it truly begins.


Silvia Moreno-Garcia captured the attention of the online book community at large with Mexican Gothic in 2020, but her brilliance didn’t start there. While not her debut, The Beautiful Ones is a book of particular note, managing to both entice and disgust in easy flourishes. This book has one of the best crafted villains I’ve ever read, and an ending I didn’t expect.

The Beautiful Ones is more magical realism than fantasy. It is a bit of romance and a bit of the unusual, but the cold steel heart of it is an examination of social structure and elitism and it is harsh. Harsh in the best way possible. Subjects such as old money vs. new money, decorum, family responsibility, and honor are all on bright display here. I love being able to fall into step with the characters, but also the ability to detach and watch the storylines play out to their own nefarious ends. I savored The Beautiful Ones in a way I did not expect.

All the characters are intriguing, although the contrast between Nina and Valerie was my favorite. Valerie was a surprise – not mentioned in the book’s description but a constant presence in its pages. What a good foil they are to one another! I think, in its depths, this is more Valerie’s book than Nina’s. I generally find the description misleading, as it is much less about Nina’s ability and more about the twisted relationships between various parties.

Without specifics, the scene at Clocktower Hill and leading up to it was my absolute favorite. I was so, so certain there would be a different outcome. No idea what I’m talking about? You’ll have to read the book to see.

The Beautiful Ones is an easy recommendation, particularly for those who enjoy period romances without too much steam and with a great deal of manipulation. I would read it again, and I have placed it on my long list of books I want to purchase in hardcopy.

Setting

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Characters

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Pacing

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Personal Enjoyment

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Plot

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Writing

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Narrator

Rating: 4 out of 5.
send me your thoughts

Have you read this book or anything by this author?

If so, did you enjoy it? If not, what would you do differently?

Share with me in the comments!

stay magical amber

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Other Books Published in October 2017

13 books found

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