Saturday, December 4, 2010

Review: Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Title: Beautiful Darkness 
Series: The Caster Chronicles 
Book #: Two
Authors: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl 
Published: 2010
Source: Bought 

Ethan Wate used to think of Gatlin, the small Southern town he had always called home, as a place where nothing ever changed. Then he met mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes, who revealed a secret world that had been hidden in plain sight all along. A Gatlin that harbored ancient secrets beneath its moss-covered oaks and cracked sidewalks. A Gatlin where a curse has marked Lena's family of powerful Supernaturals for generations. A Gatlin where impossible, magical, life-altering events happen.

Sometimes life-ending.

Together they can face anything Gatlin throws at them, but after suffering a tragic loss, Lena starts to pull away, keeping secrets that test their relationship. And now that Ethan's eyes have been opened to the darker side of Gatlin, there's no going back. Haunted by strange visions only he can see, Ethan is pulled deeper into his town's tangled history and finds himself caught up in the dangerous network of underground passageways endlessly crisscrossing the South, where nothing is as it seems.(taken from
Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia have offered up another dark, seductive southern Gothic novel of magic and mystery to follow their first best-seller, Beautiful Creatures

For some reason, I found this second novel much harder to finish. I'm not quite sure why. The disjointed emotions and confusion of the characters tested my patience many a time. While I consider Beautiful Creatures to be a "dark" novel, Beautiful Darkness was even darker.

Beautiful Creatures was the story of Lena, Ethan, and their love that could overcome all obstacles. In my opinion, Beautiful Darkness was Ethan's story of self-discovery. For a good chunk of the story, Lena and Ethan are apart. This didn't bother me too much, seeing as everything Lena did annoyed me. I had a hard time putting up with her. I pitied her in BC, but I didn't have the patience for her in this book. 

Having said all of that, the writing was just as lyrical and enrapturing. Stohl and Garcia's combined styles lead to a work of real quality and substance. The supporting characters captured my heart, providing comic relief throughout the story. Link might be my favorite character. Or Amma, with her delicious pies and fierce protectiveness. Lena and Ethan became more complicated as the series progressed, but the supportive characters are still endearing.  

If you cannot get enough of the Caster world and the gossipy town of Gaitlin, then you'll definitely want to check out this sequel. Gaitlin is nowhere near done revealing it's hidden secrets. While I didn't just love this novel, I was still impressed. I'll definitely look into the third Caster Chronicle book when it comes out.