Book Review: Beautiful Darkness

Book Review: Beautiful DarknessBeautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl
Series: Caster Chronicles #2
Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers on October 10th 2010
Pages: 503

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.

After the ending of the first book, Lena seems different and keeps changing as the book goes on – she starts distancing herself from Ethan and doing uncharacteristic things – like dressing more gothy and hanging out with the bad crowd. Also, she spends a lot more time with a dangerous looking guy on a motorcycle than with Ethan and cuts him off from what she is feeling inside. What Ethan must do is figure out how to help Lena without losing her. But does Lena want saving?

The plot of the second book does not disappoint, there's danger and emotional ups and downs for both the characters and the reader. And this book brings you deeper into a different world, one which I wasn't sure we'd ever see them explore. It's definitely a journey and I cannot wait to see what happens next.

Ethan really is a great guy. You can tell by the way he thinks – it's much different from being inside a girl's head – that is certain. He's worried, but he keeps his distance even when Lena seems to be going off the deep end – he's respectful of her space and her decisions, but that doesn't mean he doesn't want to help. I really like that it's from his perspective and that the girl is the mystery, not the guy… it's nice to see how different a guy reacts to similar situations we see in other paranormal novels featuring the voice of a girl (aka Evermore, Evernight, etc…).

I worry about Lena in this book, as Ethan does as well. She's definitely changing and there's something influencing that change. I really just love the mystery surrounding her in both this book and the first.

Final Verdict: I think anyone can relate to this story, it's mainly about relationships and change along with some dealing with grief. I love the feel this book has and it's definitely great to have a good male viewpoint.


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