8.13.2013 | Tuesday

Beautiful Darkness

category: Book Reviews

Beautiful Darknesstitle: Beautiful Darkness
author: Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl
series: Beautiful Creatures #2
published: 12 October 2010
genre(s): fantasy, gothic, romance
pages: 300
source: bought
format: eBook
buy/shelve it: Amazon | B&N | BookBub | Goodreads

rating: five-stars | series rating: five-stars

the blurb

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.

my review

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.

About Kami Garcia

Kami Garcia is the #1 New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Wall Street Journal & international bestselling co-author of the Beautiful Creatures Novels (Beautiful Creatures, Beautiful Darkness, Beautiful Chaos & Beautiful Redemption). Beautiful Creatures has been published in 50 countries and translated in 39 languages. The Beautiful Creatures movie released in theaters on February 14, 2013.

Kami is also the author of Unbreakable, the first book her paranormal solo series, THE LEGION (coming October 1, 2013.

Kami grew up outside of Washington DC, wore lots of black, and spent hours writing poetry in spiral notebooks. As a girl with Southern roots, she has always been fascinated by the paranormal and believes in lots of things “normal” people don’t. She’s very superstitious and would never sleep in a room with the number “13″ on the door. When she is not writing, Kami can usually be found watching disaster movies, listening to Soundgarden, or drinking Diet Coke.

Kami has an MA in education, and taught in the Washington DC area until she moved to Los Angeles, where she was a teacher & Reading Specialist for 14 years. In addition to teaching, Kami was a professional artist and led fantasy book groups for children and teens. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, son, daughter, and their dogs Spike and Oz (named after characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer).

About Margaret Stohl

Writing has gotten me in and out of trouble since I was 15 (back then, mostly just in trouble.) For 10 years, I designed &/or wrote for lots of video games, one of which was nominated for “Most Innovative Game Design,” but I lost to a rapping onion. If you know games you get why my two bad beagles are named Zelda and Kirby.

School: I spent more years in it than a person ever should, because let’s face it, reading books is so much better than having a job. I fell in love with American literature at Amherst and Yale, earned an MA in English from Stanford, and studied creative writing under the late great poet George MacBeth at the University of East Anglia, Norwich. I taught Intro to Film as a TA at Yale and Romantic Poetry as a TA at Stanford. Don’t tell the people at Yale but sometimes I taught the section before I’d seen the movie it was about…

I live in Santa Monica, CA, with my family, most of whom were enslaved into working with me in one form or another on my first YA book for Little, Brown. I’m not kidding; when my daughters wanted to go to school I said “Why are you so selfish? Get back in there and edit,” and by said I mean yelled and maybe threw things, it’s all a haze. Now the Beautiful series has wrapped, but you can see the movie on February 13, 2013 or read my new book ICONS on May 7th. Nothing gold can stay, Ponyboy.

::spread the love::

Leave a Reply