Before the events of Beautiful Creatures and the love story of Ethan Wate and Lena Duchannes, there was the story of Lila Jane Evers and Macon Ravenwood. Lila Jane might have been an honors student at Duke University, but she’s baffled by a line text written on parchment. “In the Light there is Dark, and in the Dark there is Light.” The mysterious Macon Ravenwood might have the answers she’s looking for in the library. However Macon is not all that he appears and keeps secrets all his own.
I went into The Mortal Heart with so much excitment to finally read a story with Macon Ravenwood as a main character. Unfortunately, it ended up being the most disappointing book I’ve read in a long time. This book was about 40 pages of story when it should have been well over 200 pages. There simply wasn’t enough time to develop any of the characters or to create a compelling story.
Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl relied too heavily on the development of characters in the original series. So rather than showing how Lila and Macon falling in love changed them as people, they glossed over the relationship. There’s no chance for the reader to fall in love with Macon as Lila does. There’s no reason for the reader to root for Macon when he stands up against his brother and father. If the reader didn’t know the characters to begin with, they would be completely lost.
As for the story, nothing dramatic happened. The couple didn’t overcome any obstacles in order to be together. Considering that The Mortal Heart is tied to the Beautiful Creatures series where each book ends pretty dramatically, this one was a huge letdown. There was no reason for the reader to sit on the edge of their seat or to hold their breath. It was just blah.
A lot of my frustration with this book comes from the potential that it had. The story of Lila and Macon could have been an amazing romance/adventure story spanning from when they first met to her death. And I saw scenes in this book that wanted to make a story like that happen. There just wasn’t enough time in the limited amount of pages.
I plan on reading The Mortal Heart again after I read the final book in the Beautiful Creatures series, Beautiful Redemption, as I think there may be more information about Lila and Macon’s relationship in there. Be forewarned if you plan on reading The Mortal Heart, it does have spoilers for Beautiful Redemption.
The Mortal Heart by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl was published by Brown Books for Young Readers in 2015 and is available as an eBook.