Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Beautiful Darkness: Review

Beautiful Darkness bookcoverTitle: Beautiful Darkness
Author: Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Series: Caster Chronicles, #2
Publication Date: October 12, 2010
Read: October 2012
Rating: 4 stars

"It was our curse now."

Synopsis from Goodreads:

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.

All choices have consequences, and sometimes those consequences can weigh heavy on our hearts.  Lena, despite not being mortal, is no exception.  She made a choice in Beautiful Creatures; she chose to save Ethan.  She didn't know the consequence would result in the death of Macon, her beloved uncle.

"We don't get to choose what is true.  We only get to choose what we do about."

In Beautiful Creatures, we saw the struggle Lena and Ethan went through as they tried to find a way to give Lena the chance to claim herself.  We start Beautiful Darkness seeing the ramifications of the choices made.  At first, I was annoyed with the reaction Lena had, although it did make sense.  Who wouldn't feel the weight of that decision?  Who wouldn't want to push away the physical reminder of what she did?  I suppose it served it's purpose of making me feel ambivalent toward her, as well as sorry at the same time.  Ethan didn't remember; he had no clue he was so deeply attached to her remorse, her loss.  

"There's something about sitting alone in the dark that reminds you how big the world really is, and how far apart we all are.  The stars look like they're so close, you could reach out and touch them.  But you can't.  Sometimes things look a lot closer than they are."

Enter Liv.  My initial reaction: *groan*  Not another triangle!  But it was done well and I quickly forgave the authors.  They didn't overplay it and his mixed feelings were realistic.  Mortal vs. Caster.  What to do?  All of the secondary characters from the first book held true to themselves and were just as strong and important as the first time around.  Link is the best friend everyone wants to have and everyone wants to be.  Who doesn't want a friend who would enter underground mystical tunnels with you with no questions asked.

I love that the books stand on their own somewhat (so far).  Although I'm itching to read the third one, I don't feel at all disappointed.  As much as I love reading series I like when the books have a sense of closure to them, even if not complete.  I don't want to read 503 pages and be left feeling lost or empty.  There is still a lot left unresolved and we still know there's more to come.  I'm anxious to see what that is and how the characters' lives unfold.  

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