Series: Caster Chronicles - Beautiful Creatures (book #1)
Source: BookExpo America
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.
In this sequel to the New York Times Best-Seller Beautiful Creatures, author Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl delve deeper into the supernatural secrets surrounding – or should I say, beneath – Gaitlin County.
If Beautiful Creatures was Lena’s coming of age story, Beautiful Darkness is Ethan’s. Though he was undeniably a huge part of the previous novel, much of his personal story was intertwined with the dominating storyline of Lena’s struggle to claim herself. This tended to overshadow Ethan’s own struggles. In Beautiful Darkness, however, Ethan truly comes to life. Rather than being caught up in a larger plot, he creates one for himself. All of his courage and righteousness from Beautiful Creatures remain, only now he uses those traits to become proactive. He doesn’t wait for things to happen, he chases after them. And even though the circumstances that provoke him to do so are not my favorite, I admired his perseverance and commitment to Lena. It made the book gripping and impossible to put down.
As with Ethan’s character traits, all of the supernatural undercurrents from the previous novel still play a role in Beautiful Darkness. Only instead of being subplots, they’ve grown and developed into full-fledged storylines. They permeate every aspect of the book, and give the story an entirely different feel. You can feel the foreboding atmosphere thick on the pages, drawing you further into Ethan’s whirlwind adventure.
And of course it wouldn’t be a Beautiful Creatures novel if it weren’t riddled with surprise turns and unexpected shockers. From the very beginning, Garcia and Stohl throw one curveball after another. These continue all the way up until the last page, ensuring that the wait for the next installment will have you on pins and needles. Even though many of the mysteries from the first novel were revealed, at the end of Beautiful Darkness I was left with even more questions than before. The multitude of the secrets was simply mind blowing.
Although an overall wonderful novel, its predecessor is still my favorite. However, as the storylines continue to develop and grow more intricate, there is no where for this series to go but up. Garcia and Stohl have left so many shocking open ends that there is no telling where they’ll take the story next. And no matter where they take it, you can bet it will have you wanting more. I can’t wait to find out!