Sunday, October 31, 2010

Beautiful Darkness (Caster Chronicals, #2)

by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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.

Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1) is one of my all-time favorite stories, so I couldn't wait to get lost in this book.
I sincerely love the world Kami and Maggie have created. Amazing characters, unique settings, mysterious and suspenseful enough to keep me pining for it every time I had to put it down.
In this sequel I missed the romance between Ethan and Lena. Although there were new relationships budding (some I'm not so happy about) there were no fireworks. I know this is part of the plot and wholly intentional, but the romance was one of the reasons I LOVE Beautiful Creatures.
To make up for it, there is SO much more paranormal! We get to learn more about not only the Casters, but the Keepers, the Incubuses, the Greats, and a Wayward (shhh)!
At times I felt like the story flow was a bit choppy; definitely NOT 'Bad", but just difficult to follow. This didn't effect the thrill of the tale, but did make me slow down and re-read paragraphs in a few spots.
Overall, this was a great modern-day southern paranormal adventure with beautiful creatures as well as beautiful darkness (and beautiful Ethan, too).

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