11 April 2016

Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Publication: 2010
# of Pages: 503
Source: Library Overdrive, Audiobook 

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.

Please be aware that this is the 2nd book in a series so this review may contain spoilers. 

Beautiful Darkness is the second book in the Caster Chronicles illustrating the struggles that have occurred after Lena did not become either dark or light during her 16th moon. Let me start by saying that I listened to this via audiobook and enjoyed it much more than reading the physical copy. Margaret Stohl & Kami Garcia utilize this novel to focus on character development than the romance between Ethan and Lena. They have to, in a sense, become individuals. I think that they grew too dependent upon each other and weren't really allowed to grow as individuals. This installment gave them that much needed space. 

One of my favorite aspects of this book was the introduction of the character Liv. She was a refreshingly strong, independent character that was the complete opposite of Lena. Her sense of humor and charm made the book that much more entertaining. Another aspect of the book that I enjoyed thoroughly was the new plot line and paranormal species introduced by John Breed. A dark and strange character, Breed introduces the reader to an aspect of this paranormal world. In all, I think he made the story more complex and dynamic. 

The main issue I had with this book as well as with the first novel was the writing and the ever present teenage angst between the two main characters. Although Ethan and Lena were forced to be less dependent on each other there were still moments where his emotions/feelings for Lena became a little too overwhelming. 

If you are into paranormal young adult novels I would recommend maybe giving this series a chance. It is not the best written paranormal series, but it is a fun, light, and easy read. In addition, if you have tried to read this series before and found that you were not successful I would definitely try out the audiobooks. The narrator is wonderful and makes the books that much more interesting. 


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