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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Review: Beautiful Darkness (Caster Chronicles #2) by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl


Release Date: October 12, 2010
Publisher: Penguin
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 516
Source: Penguin Australia

Blurb (from Penguin Australia)

One night in the rain, Ethan Wate opened his eyes and fell in love with Lena Duchannes. His life would never be the same.

Lena is a Caster and her family is locked in a supernatural civil war: full of darkness and demons. On her sixteenth birthday Lena made a terrifying choice, which now haunts her day and night.

And as her seventeenth birthday approaches Lena and Ethan face even greater danger. A Caster and a Mortal can never truly be together.

Every kiss is a curse.
Ethan's next heartbeat could be his last.
It is their curse now . . .

The Quickie Review

Lena, Ethan, Link (my personal favourite) and Ridley are all back and getting themselves into trouble once again. With even more intrigue and mystery as we learn more secrets about both Lena’s and Ethan’s families as well as the magical world Lena is apart of, Beautiful Darkness will not disappoint fans of Beautiful Creatures, the first book in the Caster Chronicle series.

The Full Blown Review

*Slight spoilers are mentioned in my review so if you haven’t read the first book in the series, Beautiful Creatures, I wouldn’t suggest reading on, well unless your desperate to read this review that is*

Poor old Ethan, Lena his Caster girlfriend is blaming her uncle’s death on herself and is pulling away from everyone apart from her Siren cousin, Ridley. She’s also hanging around a strange guy who’s not what he seems. Suddenly Ethan finds himself having to imagine a future without the love of his life unless he can get through to her which is hard when the darkness is pulling Lena in, what’s a boy to do?

First off I’m going to strongly recommend to all of those who cannot remember what happened in Beautiful Creatures all that well, which was me, to re-read it (or even skim it) as it will be very helpful when reading Beautiful Darkness because I found the start to be a tad confusing due to my inability to recall what happened at the end of Beautiful Creatures.

Once again I am amazed how both Garcia and Stohl can write with such fluidity, you simply cannot tell that two people wrote the book as it all blends so well. It shows to me that these two really understand each others writing and they are on the same page regarding what they want to convey to the reader which isn’t as easy as it sounds I’m sure. Without this deep understanding I don’t think the book would read as well as it does, nothing is worse (for me anyway) than reading a book written by two authors where the reader can tell which author wrote what.

At first I was a tad worried about where this book was going, I was finding it pretty slow going and because of that I took my sweet time reading it which definitely disappointed me because I was chafing at the bit to read this as I loved Beautiful Creatures. However fear not my readers because I continued to read on and then out of the blue the action picked up and didn’t stop until the end, suddenly I couldn’t read the book fast enough. Once the action picked up we were also given information galore on the supernatural world that lives below Gatlin plus more info on both Lena and Ethan’s families’ (one particular bit of info really had me going holy cow I wasn’t expecting that all all!). So I guess what I’m trying to say not very eloquently is that if your finding it a bit slow going keep reading because it will pick up and then all of a sudden you’ll find yourself at the end which will leave you wanting to read the next book in the series and soon as whilst it did answer some questions it left so many more unanswered questions which need answers especially what’s going to happen to my favourite wannabe musician Link?

What I loved about the first book was the very gothic southern setting and how Garcia and Stohl described the small town politics, gossiping and thinly veiled politeness (this is the South after all) Ethan and Lena had to endure. Both Garcia and Stohl captured the setting so well I could envision myself sitting on Ethan’s porch or lying down in the Greenbrier garden. Thankfully, once again in Beautiful Darkness we are reintroduced to the beautiful American South setting via Garcia and Stohl’s beautiful descriptive writing.

I feel that whilst the first book had a dark tone to it, Beautiful Darkness has an even darker tone to it (duh Romy it is called Beautiful Darkness after all!). Lena’s in a bad place, her Uncle who she loved so dearly has died and she blames herself consequently throughout most of the book Lena’s emotional state is all over the place and she appears to be in a dark state of mind. Lena cuts herself off from her own family and even Ethan, the only people she can talk to are Ridley, her cousin, and John Breed, a very interesting new character we are introduced to. Meanwhile, poor Ethan doesn’t understand why Lena is doing this to herself, he knows it’s not her fault for Macon’s death but what can he do? Throughout most of the book Ethan is examining his relationship with Lena particularly why she pulled away from him. During Lena’s absence from his life Ethan befriends Liv, a feisty new character who works at the local library with Marian. Whilst Ethan spends more time with Liv and it’s clear to both the readers and Ethan that being with Liv definitely would be easier, Ethan never gives up on Lena, it will always be Lena for Ethan, she is the love of his life, which is very sweet.

Whilst Beautiful Darkness is a solid sequel that kept me intrigued, I found that I preferred the first book in the series more simply due to the fact that I found the start of Beautiful Darkness to be very slow and frankly a bit boring, that said however once the pace picked up and the revelations started coming I was hooked!

Rating

4 out of 5

There’s Another Book?!?

Yes there are at least two more books (according to the Caster Chronicles Website). The third book in the series will be released during the Fall of 2011, the fourth book will follow releasing in the Fall of 2012.

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About Me

Romy @ Lost.in.Stories
Greetings fellow blog readers, welcome to my blog and thank you for stopping by. Now you may be wondering who is lost.in.stories? Well lost.in.stories is also known as Romy, a 23 year old graduate student from Australia who loves to read. I read (maybe devour would be a more appropriate word) largely young adult novels, with a particular love of fantasy and paranormal novels, however I am also a sucker for a good romance.
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