Monday, December 6, 2010

Review: Beautiful Darkness

Title: Beautiful Darkness
Author: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Date Released: October 12, 2010
Pages: 503
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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.

Well after i read Beautiful Creatures and found out how AMAZING it was i couldn't WAIT to read Beautiful Darkness and i had to wait a while to get my hands on it but it was SO very worth it.
The summary doesn't give a lot of the book away, and to me was really confusing and intriguing. This book had what i love most about great novels - the suspense and the fact you had no idea what was going to happen next. Ethan has a great mystery to solve in this book, and in the end, every single detail is tied up together in a conclusion that you wouldn't expect. And it's really amazing, because of the surprises and what the characters discover about themselves and others.
Beautiful Darkness isn't as focused on the human world like Beautiful Creatures, where Lena, the Caster is the outcast, but opens a whole new Caster world where Ethan is now the intruder. It's really interesting, because a lot is left unsaid about Lena's world and this book opens a lot of it up. It kind of gives the novel a mystical quality, but since some things are left unexplained, and its so much more fantasy-like, it gives the reader a harder time to relate to it and make it real, so i have it a 4.5 :) This doesn't change how fantastic the book is, because it so full of surprises and revelations.
However, though the book is mainly focused on Lena's world, Lena herself is missing for a great deal of the book, which disappointed me, because Lena's and Ethan's bond was a great factor in Beautiful Creatures and to have it kind of dissipate in Beautiful Darkness made me miss it a lot. While Lena is missing, some new characters come into play too, and Ethan discovers a lot in his human world is intertwined in the Caster world, and maybe he's not the only one in the know....;)
The addition of the new characters was really exciting for me, and it's surprising the amount of depth the authors manage to give them despite the limited time some of them spend in the novel. I love how Link becomes a much more important character and how some of his virtues are revealed in this book. A new human girl also comes into play, called Liv (and she's BRITISH :O) and i really do like her personality, but at the same time, she does get in the way of Ethan and Lena's relationship
Which also brings up the love triangle(s) that forms in this book. WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS. HIGHLIGHT TO READ
Since Lena leaves Gatlin to travel with half Incubus John out of guilt of her thinking she's responsible for Macon's death, and Ethan is left alone to bond with Liv, a kinda complicated double love triangle forms. And though its easier for each to be with another, due to the complications that a Caster and a mortal can never be together, i love the determination and strength Lena and Ethan eventually prove in the end, because of all that true love stuff thats goopy but really makes your heart ache :)
ANYWAY, in conclusion, this is an amazing sequel to Beautiful Creatures, and if you enjoyed that, Beautiful Darkness just ups the epic-ness of the series :D i loved love LOVED it and you should definitely pick it up if you haven't yet :)

Cover Review: The font is in keeping to the one from Beautiful Creatures, only it's blue, and i love the swirls. The background is simply of stairs, but that represents a lot about Ethan's adventures in this book through the tunnels....its dark, simple, but gives a good representation of the mystical-ity of the book :D

keep reading folks!
signing off

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