Thursday, January 24, 2013

Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Release Date – October 12, 2010
Publisher Website - Little Brown and Company
Publisher Social Media -  Twitter
Pages -  503 pages
My Rating- 4/5
**Received from publisher for review**


Here is the Goodreads synopsis
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.
Secrets, lies, and loss weave together in the second novel in the Caster Chronicles series. This delightfully, sinfully magical tale has made me fall for it's southern charm, and characters.

I enjoyed the characters in the first novel, and was happy to return to them. Ethan’s friend Link is especially delightful. A true friend who would literally follow Ethan anywhere, and who is brave in his own right. He provides wonderful moments  of humour and contrasts Ethan’s more serious nature perfectly.

I missed Lena in this installment. Her absence is achingly present, and I felt it as strongly as Ethan does. Their love story drives the entire plot, but as much as the first book was Lena’s, the second is all Ethan’s story.  Ethan’s family have secrets of their own, and with Lena pulling away, Ethan takes centre stage.

The love story between Lena and Ethan is deep. Their connection is intense and heightened. I was delighted to gain more insight into their connection and the characters themselves.

The choice of Ethan as narrator really made sense in this instalment. Lena's point of view could have been wonderful, but would have slide into depressing after the events of the first novel. Ethan's weariness, and his almost jaded outlook provide a perfect outlet for this story.

Lena’s Uncle Macon, whose death is still fresh, is still so present. His ghost haunts these pages with Lena’s mourning, and Ravenwood family secrets being revealed. As I adored this character, I was happy to have more about him be revealed.

The fun twists and turns made this novel a page turner. It left me wanting to scream, yell, sigh, and hug people all at various times. I think that fact that I already care so much about these characters speaks volumes about the characterization and the depths the writers have given each of them.

The setting can make or break and novel, and this gothic Southern setting is a hit. I immediately was drawn into the world of not only the Casters, but the South itself. It’s charm, and manners back dropped with it’s cemeteries, and voodoo make for an even more enchanting setting.

My only complaint is that I feel these books are a little drawn out. There is some aspects that could have been edited out to create a sharper, even stronger story.

The Caster Chronicles is story where good and evil aren’t always clear cut,  and where things are never quite what they seem. This second installment has made me want to pick up the third book immediately, and continue Ethan and Lena’s story.


  1. I felt a little meh about Beautiful Creatures, it seemed a little long, but I do want to continue on with the series because I've hear it does get better. It will definitely be interesting to see how Lena deals with the fallout of the last book. Great review, I should pick this one up soon.

  2. Are you interested in the movie adaptation? I'm not sure if I am, if it's another Twilight, I'll be really sad.


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