Thursday, March 28, 2013

Review - Beautiful Darkness (Caster Chronicles, #2) by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Beautiful Darkness (Caster Chronicles, #2)Title: Beautiful Darkness
Author: Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Series: 2nd (Beautiful Creatures)
Pages: 503
Published: October 12th 2010 by Little, Brown and Company 
ISBN: 9780316077057
Source: Personal Copy

Description: 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. I Give This ...

 I was a little worried when I cracked open this one.  It's been quite a few years since I read the first one.  The details were extremely fuzzy, and I have to be honest that they never really came back to me.  But, I read on and really enjoyed the story.

I think what threw me for a loop was that Lena is definitely not that same character that I remembered.  Lena has always seemed intense, but managed to make the best of her situation.  Plus, she had a deep connection with Ethan.  All that seems lost in the beginning of this book.  I understood part of it because her uncle Macon died during her claiming ceremony.  But,  I thought she took to much blame upon herself.  She was trying so hard to convince herself that she was evil.  Before hurting anybody else she loves, including Ethan, she begins to follow Ridley and a mysterious newcomer.  They promise her peace and land rumored to exist.   But, what will the cost be to get there.

Ethan is the rock in this book, a character trait and perhaps a flaw as well.  I'm truly glad that he never gave up on Lena.  Even though we eventually learn there is a reason for his connection to Lena, he knew that her actions were not a reflections of who she really was.  All he needed to do was to lead her the right way.  It was making her see that the choices she made the night of her claiming did not make her evil.  He will follow her through to the end, even defying those who claim the world she lives in is to much for her.

I love how we learn more about the Caster world in this book.  I don't remember the first one giving away this much detail, from the keepers role to the tunnels.  It's much more involved than I thought.  I loved the introduction of Liv to the story.  It gave it the slight indication of a love triangle, even though I knew that there really was no one else for Ethan but Lena.  And as always, I loved Link and Ridley.  I'm looking forward to the next one.  Perhaps it won't take me as long to read it. 

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