by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Lena's cousin Ridley has some powers of her own. But before we get started, can we get another Nintendo shout out? In Nintendo's Metroid series, space pirate Ridley is always causing trouble for bounty hunter Samus Aran. Metroid Ridley is a winged, spike-tailed, alien creature of some sort. Beautiful Creatures Ridley is a little sexier, but maybe just as deadly.
Even without her Siren powers, Ridley would be unforgettable. Just the way she sucks on that lollipop of hers is enough to cement her into any teen boy's memory.
She's pretty much the opposite of Lena—long blonde hair, short skirts, exposed bra straps, piercings, and tattoos. Where Lena is mysterious and elusive, Ridley is up-front, explicit, and in-your-face.
We get the impression she wasn't always that way. She and Lena used to be close. They used to share hopes and dreams. But that was before Ridley was Claimed—the pesky Duchannes curse turned her Dark. In this case, Dark might be synonymous with, um, promiscuous.
Skin So Cold, She'll Freeze Your Lollipop
The boys' blood might be boiling after getting an eyeful of Ridley, but it turns out she's as cold as ice.
When we say cold, we mean cold—and not just because of how skimpy her clothes are. When she touches Ethan, he says, "it was like all the life had been sucked out of me, with the warmth of my blood" (10.09.190). That's quite the opposite of the pulse-racing electricity he feels when touching Lena, wouldn't you say?
Lena's scantily clad cousin is also cold emotionally. Those Siren powers allow her to manipulate anyone. Lena puts it best when she says that if Ridley "told you to jump off a cliff—you'd jump" (10.09.37). She'd probably make you think it was your idea in the first place, too.
And you know what? She expresses no remorse about any of her manipulative ways—in fact, she seems to enjoy it. For example, when she tricks Ethan into bringing her to Ravenwood, she revels in the success with no sense of remorse. It seems like Lena might have been right when she said that everything good went out of Ridley when she was Claimed.
We know that Sarafine, Dark Caster extraordinaire, is the one pulling Ridley's strings—she's using Ridley to get to Lena. But we're thinking that Ridley might have some sort of control. For example, she almost persuades Ethan's dad to jump off a balcony in order for her to reach her goals—but she doesn't make him jump. Maybe she has a heart of gold somewhere deep beneath that icy exterior?
Okay, heart of gold might be too generous. Maybe she has an aorta of gold. Or a mitral valve of gold. Anyway, what we're saying is that Ridley may not be 100% bad. Why doesn't she make Ethan's dad jump? Who knows—but it might have something to do with her feelings for Link and, by proxy, his best friend Ethan.
Lena thinks that if she goes Dark, it's all over. She'll be an evil, conniving backstabber. Ridley's most of that, yes. But there seems to be a shred of decency in there somewhere, and maybe it's just the tip of the iceberg.