(Caster Chronicles #2)
Published By: Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: October 10, 2010
Page Count: 503 pages
Source: Book Purchased by Reviewer
Audience: Young Adult Paranormal/Fantasy
We all know that most second books in a series often involves a painful journey for the main character and his/her love interest. In that respect, Beautiful Darkness is no different. But by the end of this book, you understand why this journey needed to be taken.
The story continues after the tumultuous ending of Beautiful Creatures. Both Ethan and Lena are left stunned and confused by the events that occured on Lena's birthday. Still... Ethan is madly in love with Lena and promises to get her through this. Meanwhile, Lena is really beating herself up about what happened... she feels extremely guilty about the choices she had to make and the consequences of those choices.
As the story unfolds, Lena withdraws from Ethan leaving him questioning everything. Lena is hanging out with her dark cousin Ridley and this new mysterious guy named John Breed, who seems to be some unusual supernatural character himself... someone soooo not mortal... someone very different from Ethan.
Ethan's journey to rescue Lena from herself takes him on his own road to self-discovery and revelations, including what part he has in the order of things. Conveniently, Ethan's summer job is helping Marian out at the library (BOTH libraries)... where he meets Olivia (Liv), an English exchange student who has a vested interest in this supernatural world too. There is an attraction between them. While Lena is absent, Ethan finds Liv so easy to be with... she represents everything "normal" that he can't do or have with Lena. I really liked Liv's character too... especially because I found Lena somewhat frustrating for most of the story... until the end when we truly understand the reasons behind her actions.
Ridley and Link, among our other favourite characters, return in this sequel. They add so much to the story and are quite integral to it, as well. Of course, Amma is back always helping Ethan when things look especially hopeless. Lots of surprising tidbits with some of the other characters introduced in book one we find in this story. Being especially fond of cats myself... I absolutely adored Lucille.
The ending was brilliant! I couldn't have hoped for a better ending... while still quite shocking with many twists and turns you didn't see coming... and of course, more threads left dangling for the next book.
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.