Author: Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Penguin (Imprint: Razorbill)
Publication Date: 12 October 2010
Stand alone or series: Series - The Caster Chronicles
Book Received from: Penguin
First Lines: I used to think our town, buried in the South Carolina backwoods, stuck in the muddy bottom of the Santee River valley, was the middle of nowhere.
Possible Spoilers if you haven't read Beautiful Creatures!
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.
After impatiently waiting for this to be released I was blessed with a copy in the mail by the lovely Erin from Penguin (Australia) before release date. I was so excited because I didn't know this was coming.
I really enjoyed Beautiful Creatures but I LOVED Beautiful Darkness. More of the Caster World is revealed and we get to delve deeper into both Ethan and Lena's stories and purpose, as well as Amma and a few others. A few new characters pop on the scene as well as ones we've met, Ridley.
As always, it's refreshing to read from a male POV when it comes to YA. When it comes to creating characters, Garcia & Stohl have done a brilliant job in bringing the characters to life and making you care about what they are going through. Both Ethan and Lena were definitely headed for a rough patch after certain events that take place at the end of Beautiful Creatures and in Beautiful Darkness things only seem to get worse. Ethan is such a likable character though, he's genuinely an all round nice guy stuck in the small town of Gatlin where everyone seems to know everyone elses business.
Lena was a little harder to like this time around. If you've read this you will know what I mean. We begin to see a side of her that (while understandable) had me questioning where the next book was going to lead. One thing I did love about Lena though in both the previous as well as this one was her creativity. Constantly carrying a notebook around scribbling in it, as well as drawing all over her walls, I mean how cool would that be.
Link Ethan's best friend, plays a bigger role in this one. He's easy going and loyal with his attempted charm and constant wandering eyes. He's the sort of character that brushes off some stuff and not dwell on things. With the story taking a darker turn, he tends to lighten things up alittle and had me smiling (Possible Spoiler below) , e.g -
"You can read minds, and you didn't tell me?" ...... "Hey man, all that stuff about Lena? I was yankin' your chain." He looked away. "Are you doin' it now? You're doin' it aren't you? Dude, get out of my head." Page 180
Beautiful Darkness is a more emotional in depth book about Ethan, Lena and the characters of Gatlin County. It will answer the questions you were left with at the end of Beautiful Creatures but at the same time create a ton more. Well written and a fantastic read.
NOTE: - Original posted over at Book Lovers Inc