Author: Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Publisher: Little Brown
Release: October 12th 2010
Buy the Book at: Book Depository / Amazon
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.
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.
As Good as the First One
Beautiful Darkness brings back the dark Gothic setting plus the strong amount of paranormal elements that was introduced in Beautiful Creatures, but this time the world Garcia and Stohl created expands itself beyond the underground tunnels of the southern town of Gatlin. Caster Chronicles #2 is an enjoyable read that keeps the same good level of its prequel and that I would certainly recommend to fans of the paranormal genre.
Beautiful Darkness picks-up right after Beautiful Creatures ended. However, the firsts couple of months pass pretty fast and we see how the tragic ending of Beautiful Creatures affects Lena and her relationship with Ethan. From that moment, the story unfolds putting Ethan in a place where he feels he must do everything to help Lena. In fact, he goes to the underground and beyond, reaching unimaginable places to help her! I love that in this book we get to share a big amount of time with Ethan's best friend Link and a new character who could jeopardize Ethan and Lena's relationship, Liv. Also Ridley is back and we get to see a lot of her and discover that she might not be that bad.
The Southern Gothic atmosphere is always there as a trademark for this series. This setting and its descriptions is one of the thing I most like about these books. In fact, it is this atmosphere that made me pick this series in the first place. In addition, Beautiful Darkness goes beyond the town of Gatling and its underground tunnels in the search of love, truth and self-discovery. I loved being in all those places where Ethan could just magically pop-up through doors! The underground tunnels and what lies beyond those many doors is something I would never get tired of reading!
Beautiful Darkness is an entertaining story and reveal some mysteries that were not answered in the Caster Chronicles #1. There are some twist and surprises as well that kept me enthusiastically reading through the 503 pages. However, even though I liked and enjoyed this book, as a good reader, I was expecting more. For me, Beautiful Darkness keeps the same good level of enjoyment and engagement that I had with Beautiful Creatures. This is not a bad thing but I always want more and with each new book I read in a series, I want to feel more attached to story than ever before. Unfortunately, this didn't happen with this book even though I liked it and enjoyed it. Still, I wish I had more...I know, I'm greedy!
The Caster Chronicles are highly well acclaimed books by fans of the paranormal YA world as well as many popular authors such as Cassandra Clare and Carrie Ryan. Although I like the books but I do not consider myself a hardcore fan of the series, I do think that Beautiful Darkness is absolutely and enjoyable, different and well written story that has strongly grabbed and will keep grabbing YA readers attention.
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