Sep 14, 2010

Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

MAJOR SPOILERS for Beautiful Creatures. You've been warned.

After the non-claiming event that lead to Macon Ravenwood's death on Lena's 16th birthday, Ethan didn't think things could get a whole lot worse. His girlfriend was depressed and confused, not to mention not coming to school, Amma was beside herself with grief, and his dad was in the looney bin. And that was the happier side of his life in Gatlin.

Lena is very confused about what and who she is now that she is supposed to "claim herself." She harbors both light and dark within herself and in this novel, she chooses to follow the dark path. As a result, her relationship with Ethan is strained, but allows him to seek out his own abilities elsewhere. It's among the caster tunnels with Link and Keeper/librarian-in-training Liv, that Ethan discovers his own powers. Naturally, where Ethan and Link go, trouble follows and it takes some mighty casting to help dig them out.

While a strange man named John Breed tries to lure Lena to the dark side of casting and Riley is still lurking around, Lena and Ethan are not really free to claim anything. It will take a lot of will-power and determination in order to make their choices possible. If they can do it all by her 17th moon.

Beautiful Darkness is a roller coaster ride of a book that won't disappoint fans of the first novel. Like many second novels before it, this book is kind of a holding place for the next big action that I am sure is imminent in the next installment. In this story, we learn more about Ethan and Lena's relationship. We already know how it has come to exist, but now we learn how it will grow and change as their abilities develop.

I was very pleased to see that we got to learn more about the history of both sides of Gatlin as the two cannot be separated. Liv was such a lovely character to assist in this facet. She really gave Caster Gatlin a more youthful take than Marian. I felt like Caster Gatlin was more accessible when it was being discovered secretly than having a knowledgeable librarian escort you. John Breed and Riley were also very helpful in moving the story along. They add a dark balance to Liv and Link's light.

With an ending that you'll be sure to tune in for, Beautiful Darkness certainly ranks high on my picks for 2010. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!


Kelly Bryson said...

I enjoyed Beautiful Creatures. Thanks for reminding me about his series. BD sounds good!

kimscarecrow said...

Gosh I'm so ready for this book. I really liked BC. Thanks for the review.

Mary Brebner said...

Can't wait for this book! Thanks for the great review.