author: Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl
series: Beautiful Creatures #2
published: 12 October 2010
genre(s): fantasy, gothic, romance
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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.
This next book picks up not long after the first in the series, Beautiful Creatures, ends. In my opinion, this book is darker than the first, coming on the heels of personal tragedy within the story line. I think one of the things I loved the most was how grief was handled. It wasn’t glossed over at all, giving it total reality.
The setting of a southern small town, along with the gothic elements, is a definite stereotype of southern living, and maybe a little over the top. But it works perfectly within the context of the story and sets the stage for even more secrets to be revealed.
There was much more development of the characters in this book, too, which really brought some of the characters to life. Interestingly, one of the characters that most came to life for me was one that was actually dead. Ethan was much more of a strong presence in this book, a lot of his story being his own instead of entwined with Lena’s.
The angst level was a lot higher in this book, something that usually tends to annoy me. But it is something that really worked for this story. It added a pretty dark layer to the entire story and served to underscore a lot of the issues in the book.
Things to love about Beautiful Darkness…
- Answers. A lot of questions were answered in this installment of the Beautiful Creatures series.
- Questions. As many questions that were answered, there were all kinds of new questions that leave me wanting to start the next book.
Things I wanted more of…
- The mundane world. Most of the story took place in the Caster world and not nearly as much in the non-magical world. I missed the blend.
You definitely have to read these in order to experience the flow of the story. I think the story was better than the last and I recommend this one just as much as the first.