Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl — Review

Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & margaret stohlSummary:

There were no surprises in Gatlin County. At least, that’s what I thought. Turns out, I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Ethan Wate used to think of Gatlin as a place where nothing ever changed. Then mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes revealed a secret world of curses and Supernaturals with terrifying abilities. Lena showed him a Gatlin where impossible, magical, life-altering events happen. Sometimes life-ending.

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.

Review: 4 Stars

I was really excited to continue this series after re-reading Beautiful Creatures. I had only read the first book in the series and it was years ago, so I reread Beautiful Creatures and I’ve been loving continuing the series. After the heart wrenching ending of Beautiful Creatures I knew that Beautiful Darkness was going to be a darker and more angsty book than the first one. Ethan and Lena were both pretty lost and at times it was really an emotional read. I have really become quite invested in these characters and this series, it’s just so good an I love the gothic vibes.

While this book is pretty dark emotionally, it is also filled with adventure. A lot of this book takes place within the Caster Tunnels, which was a really cool setting. I loved the descriptions of the underground Caster world and could easily picture the adventure Ethan went on with his friends. I really loved the Caster Tunnels and that this installment had more magic and built upon the world you learned about in the first book. But I did miss the small town atmosphere in this book since the setting moved underground for the majority of the book rather than taking place in the town.  Since less of this book is set in Gatilin there isn’t as much of a southern vibe to this book either, which was something that I missed as well.

Ethan and Lena are both a bit of an emotional mess in this book. Lena is pretty broken and started hanging out with dark casters, including a boy, John Breed. While Ethan is lost without Lena and starts hanging out with Liv, who works at the library with him. They were both lost and the love triangles were hard to read because I just wanted them to be together so bad. So this book was less about their romance and more about each of them finding themselves. Their character arcs are done really well and I think the authors did a fantastic job capturing teenage angst. I thought Liv and John Breed were interesting additions to the story, but while I enjoyed the new characters, I did wish that Ethan’s great aunts were in the book more.  They were one of my favorite aspects of Beautiful Creatures and I thought they were a great source of comedic relief in the first book.

It did take me about 50 pages to fully sink into this installment, but once I got sucked in I had a hard time setting the book down. The pacing is really consistent an there is a lot more action in this installment. The climax of the book was done really well too. The tension built up slowly until I was on the edge of my seat and I couldn’t rip myself away. The ending has me excited for the next book, but it wasn’t a cliffhanger ending. I loved the plot in this installment, but it is the characters and the writing that has me so addicted to this series. The writing is just done so well and vividly and the characters feel so real that I am extremely emotionally invested.

I have really been loving this series. I read these huge books so fast and I love these characters so much and I root for them every step of the way. Beautiful Darkness was action packed and a bit more plot driven than the first book. Lena and Ethan were both pretty lost and they each went through a lot in this book. Beautiful Darkness was heart wrenching at times and at others I couldn’t set it down. If you’re looking for a series to binge read I highly recommend The Caster Chronicles. I was happy to find out that there is a spin off series and several novellas. Hopefully I can continue reading about this world and these characters for a long time.

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