Sunday, April 14, 2013

Beautiful Darkness

Beautiful Darkness (Caster Chronicles, #2)
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 seems.

*May Contain Spoilers*

The curse continues for Ethan Wate and Lena Duchannes in the second novel of the Caster Chronicles series, Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. After Lena narrowly avoids being claimed in the first book, certain members of her family are planning to persuade Lena into darkness while Lena herself is suffering a deep depression no one can pull her out of. 

As in the first book, the story is told from Ethan's point of view and readers see what happens to the cursed teenagers after they fought off Sarafine in Beautiful Creatures. Lena is falling into darkness because of Macon's death while pulling away from Ethan. He tries to support and help her through this troubled time but Lena refuses to let him in. She blames herself for Macon's death and through this situation we see a deeper side of both Ethan and Lena.

The authors show how much Ethan really cares for Lena, building on the connection readers formed with him in the first book. Readers also will see that he is even more determined, dedicated, and good-hearted. He doesn't give up on Lena, even when she ceases their kelting, breaks his heart, and runs away with John Breed, who has sworn that he can help her find peace and a place she belongs. 

Readers will be excited to see more of Ridley and Link in this book as they both play important roles in the plot line. A deeper side of Ridley is depicted while Link's unwavering loyalty to his friends will make him a favorite for readers. The plot revolves around two key situations: Lena isolating herself (seemingly going dark) and Ethan discovering more about his family's (and the Ravenwood family's) past as he suffers from intense visions. The visions are the key to help Lena truly claim herself, but Ethan must decipher their true meaning before Lena's mother preys upon her daughter's depressed state. 

Rating: 4/5 Cups

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