Beautiful Darkness (Caster Chronicles #2)
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; Reprint (paperback)
September 19, 2011
* Spoilers for Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles #1) below - that review is here *
Now Ethan knows about supernatural beings and that Amma's little charms aren't just things that humor her - they actually serve a purpose.
But, after the events of Beautiful Creatures -suffering a great loss, Lena has changed and is withdrawing from Ethan. Magical things are still happening in Ethan and Lena's lives - and relationship - but now some, if not most, of those things are darker and Ethan's forced to figure them out without Lena.
With visions only he can see and more danger at every turn - plus the chance of losing Lena - Ethan will have to turn to new friends - and old friends in new ways.
I wouldn't have thought it possible but I do believe I loved Beautiful Darkness more than I loved Beautiful Creatures. While the first book set up who the characters were, what the supernatural elements were and how the characters, the supernatural, and the town all worked together, this sequel more than builds on that.
Beautiful Darkness is definitely an epic second novel. It goes way beyond the story of Lena and Ethan - while still focusing on them just the right amount. We learn a lot about each of the different characters in this second novel - not just the main characters, but also the secondary other characters and the parts they play in this Caster (and Mortal) world.
The World also really expands in Darkness. It's a big novel, both page wise and story wise. The characters do a lot and I found myself marveling at how the authors were able to come up with such a plot and keep it all straight. At times it's hard to completely follow just every single thing that's going on if you're not careful, but it all comes together so well that it's okay.
All of the developments in this were fantastic and the writing was marvelous (I loved having it as an ebook because I could highlight so much!). The Southern feeling of these novels is likely my favorite of any Southern Gothic/Southern Whatever novels I have ever read, I just loved the atmosphere these writers have created in this series.
(Look for a review of Dream Dark and Beautiful Chaos soon!)