Saturday, November 3, 2012

Book Review: A Beautiful Evil

A Beautiful Evil (Gods & Monsters #2)
Published By: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: February 2012
Page Count: 285
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Audience: Young Adult - Fantasy/Paranormal

I adored book one and bought this one the moment it came out. Sadly, with all the requests and other reading obligations, I wasn't able to work this novel in sooner. Reading it was a treat and one that was well worth the wait. Kelly Keaton has once again astounded me with her world, characters, and an action packed plot that left me with just enough of a cliffhanger to keep me anxious for more.

In this edition, Ari is settling into her life in New 2, a future New Orleans that has been devastated by natural disasters and is now inhabited by a group of powerful elite paranormal beings. She's attending school to learn more about her curse (you'll have to read book one to find out what exactly her curse is all about...) and to train for the epic battle with Athena that is lurking on the horizon. 

I loved watching Ari attend classes, fight with Bran, explore the library, and spend time in some of New Orleans' most famous haunts. Keaton does a beautiful job of bringing this fascinating setting to life. I took my first trip to New Orleans last summer and I kept seeing the scenes in my mind as I read. I could actually remembered the exact mansion that Ari and her friends have made their home. Those little connections to real places I have visited made the story even more appealing. You can still appreciate the sense of place in this one even if you have never had the pleasure of visiting this wonderful city. The creep factor in this one is influenced by history, mythology, and a heavy dose of the paranormal. It's a beautiful concoction of my favorite fictional treats; it makes for an irresistible read.

I don't want to spoil the plot of this one for readers, but trust me when I say that this one is action packed. From chapter one, Ari is in the thick of the action. She doesn't just sit idly by and allow others to handle her problems. I didn't agree with her course of action at times - I think she is too stubborn for her own good - but I couldn't help admiring her courage and spirit. Ari is certainly one of my favorite YA heroines.

I also really love the romance undercurrent of this series. The chemistry between Ari and Sebastian is always present, but it lives below the surface of the main action. I appreciate that it doesn't dominate the plot or change the characters. The romance feels more authentic to me because it allows both characters to maintain their own personalities and desires - this drives a major conflict in this novel. The feelings these two have for one another will put them into some pretty difficult situations. It's also nice to have a YA read that doesn't contain a love triangle or insta-love. 

In addition to everything else I've mentioned, the humor in this one kept me laughing. I love how sassy Ari can be and her sense of humor is right in line with my own. She is a girl after my own heart in so many ways.

If you haven't started this series, you really need to remedy that ASAP. I love everything about this world and Keaton's writing. I find the marriage of paranormal and Greek mythology in this series to be an inventive and entertaining pairing.


One Last Gripe: I mentioned this in the review, but it bothered me that Ari's emotions trumped her logic at times. I realize she had people to rescue, but I felt like she should have come up with a better plan before launching herself and her companions into the thick of danger.

My Favorite Thing About This Book: I love this world and everything about it. It's one of my favorite places to spend time.

First Sentence: "Everyone knows what you are now."

Favorite Character: Ari

Least Favorite Character: Athena



Myth and mayhem inhabit a richly reimagined New Orleans in this sequel to Darkness Becomes Her.After the epic graveyard battle at the end of Darkness Becomes Her, Ari and her friends know what they’re up against: Ari is facing the Medusa curse and is haunted by the image of what she will become. To make matters worse, the heinous goddess Athena has kidnapped young Violet and is threatening to destroy Ari. 

Ari, along with the superhot Sebastian, is doing everything she can to learn more about Athena and to get Violet back. But the battle of good and evil is bigger than she realizes, and she’s about to be pulled into a world more horrific than she could ever imagine....




15 comments:

  1. Well, I haven't read Darkness Becomes Her, but this series looks very interesting.
    I love the Greek Mythology. I made a report about it last year, and it is really intriguing. There are so many gods and goddesses to choose from. I love it!
    I am glad you liked it, Andrea. I will add it to my TBR list very soon.
    Your constant reader,
    Soma
    http://insomnia-of-books.blogspot.com/

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    1. You'll love this one if you're interested in Greek mythology. It's so creative. I love how it combines the myths with supernatural beings. It's a fun read and the setting is FABULOUS!

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  2. I enjoyed the first book, I love the cover for the second one, now I just need time to read!

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    1. I loved this one! It's action packed from start to finish. And Sebastian - sigh....

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  3. I don't think I've seen this series before. Thanks for the introduction and your thoughts. Adding it to my to-read list now!

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    1. You should try it out. This series is one of my favorites. I love how Kelly Keaton combines paranormal aspects with Greek mythology.

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  4. I don't know why I haven't read this one yet. I enjoyed the first book in this series. It keeps getting pushed back, but that will have to change and quickly.

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    1. Yes, I think you need to read it ASAP!

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  5. I love when blogs introduce me to series I've never heard of before! This one sounds really good- hopefully I can find the time to get to it soon :D

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    1. I'm so glad I could recommend something new!

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  6. I only skimmed this review because I haven't had the chance to read this one yet and I don't want to spoil a single sentence. Darkness Becomes Her was an out of the blue read for me last year, and I could not put it down once I got started. It is another favorite book of mine, and I have been looking forward to Book 2 since the end of Book 1. All that I needed to read of your review was that Kelly Keaton did it again! Thanks for that. Now I have to read this book already!

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    1. I loved this one just as much as Darkness Becomes Her. Read this one NOW!

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  7. Thanks for the review. I had not heard of the series before. Looking for the first book now---love the NOLA ties.

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    1. Kelly Keaton does a beautiful job of making NOLA her own in these books. I love the strong sense of place.

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  8. I really need to read this series, been wanting to for awhile but just haven't gotten it yet. But I'm really looking forward to this series. Thanks for the review!

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