Hardcover, 512 pages
Published October 12th 2010 by Little Brown ISBN0316077054
series Caster Chronicles #2
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
First of all a special thanks to fellow Twilight MOM Laura for letting me borrow her advanced reading copy of Beautiful Darkness before its release. She’s the best! I enjoyed this installment even more that I did Beautiful Creatures, finished it almost two weeks ago and the story has really stuck with me.
Beautiful Darkness picks up with Lena in a tough place after the events that unfolded on the night of her 16th birthday. She’s grieving and trying to figure out where she stands…torn between the world of a light and dark caster. Book #2 of the Caster Chronicles has a much more angst feel as she explores her dark side.
Here’s what I loved about the book
-New boy character John Breed. I wish we could have learned more about him but I have a hunch he will be back in a big way in book #3.
-The rich world building that combines every day southern culture and caster underground. In this book you are introduced to tunnels laying under Gatlin and secret passageways into a whole other world. Picture The Wizard of Oz’ ish alternate reality.
-The background history behind who Ethan’s mother Lila was and how intertwined his family is with Lena’s. She is a strong female adult character who influences past and future.
-We see more of Ethan’s housekeeper Amma. She keeps popping up in random places during the story to save the day. She’s got some sass and know how to whip up a mean pie for the county faire.
-The detail in Kami and Margie’s writing. They pack so much information in there its hard to process it all. But wow, they’ve upped the anty in this book. Intelligent, beautiful rich passages make the story immersive.
On the flipside, it took me a while to get back into the groove after a year has lapsed since the first book Beautiful Creatures. I would recommend reading that one again before picking up #2. There are a lot of repeat characters and back history that would be difficult to understand without the prequel. The series definitely builds on itself.
My favorite scene: when Ethan finds Lena on her ceiling surrounded in her thoughts. For some reason is an image that stuck with me after I finished. She is dealing with so many complex emotions and her writing, doodling and dress portray outwardly what she is feeling on the inside.
My favorite thing overall about the series: all of the symbolism and objects they tie into the story. It makes the book more tangible and real.
I’ll be at the Beautiful Darkness signing tonight at Kings English Bookshop -7 PM. Stay tuned for photos and news. And if you are in Utah… stop by! Margie and Kami are so fun to meet in person. If you are some where else, catch live coverage via blog TV. See their website for details http://beautifulcreaturesthebook.com/