Beautiful Darkness (Caster Chronicles #2)

 
4.0
 
3.5 (10)
2966 2
Beautiful Darkness (Caster Chronicles #2)
Genre(s)
Age Range
14+
Release Date
October 12, 2010
ISBN
0316077054
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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.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

A Triumphant Sequel
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
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.

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.

~ From Goodreads


All our favorites from Beautiful Creatures are back in this sequel from Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. Ethan's just as heroic and gentlemanly as ever, making him the sort of boy you want your sons to become. Amma's baking closes in on Olympic sport status, and I swear I gained five pounds just reading about her Coca-cola cake and fried chicken. Then there's Lena, whose path to self discovery may very well break your heart. (There are a few new characters, too, but I'll let you meet them for yourself between the pages.)

I've been waiting for this sequel for what felt like centuries, and I'm proud to say I wasn't disappointed.

Like Beautiful Creatures, Beautiful Darkness isn't a book you can devour in one sitting. It isn't dessert -- it's a main course, doused in thick gravy. Or as Amma would say, "A.S.S.I.M.I.L.A.T.E. Ten down. You've got to absorb and digest those words, Ethan Wate. Don't just gobble 'em down like one a Wesley Jefferson Lincoln's Slim Jims."

Kami and Margi's characters are deeply real, and their writing is beautifully wrought. It seeps inside, burrowing under your skin until it becomes a part of you. What readers have with this series isn't just a one night stand, it's a relationship.

And I'm head-over-heals in love.





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User reviews

10 reviews

 
(3)
 
(2)
 
(5)
2 stars
 
(0)
1 star
 
(0)
Overall rating 
 
3.5
Plot 
 
3.8  (10)
Characters 
 
3.2  (5)
Writing Style 
 
3.6  (5)
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Well
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Great series
Good Points
My only issue with this series is that it's too long. One book is almost 500 pages, but those pages are put too good use, so I don't really know why I should complain!?!?
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Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
I went into this book dying to know whether the issues that seemed kind of skimmed over in “Beautiful Creatures” would finally find solutions in this book. Instead I was confronted with something of a love… rectangle?

I knew with the events that happened in the end of “Beautiful Creatures” that Lena would be a bit scattered and mournful. I never thought it would manifest in the form of a tall, dark, and handsome stranger that seemed to be stealing her affections away from Ethan. There are so many ways Ethan could have confronted the situation rather than how he did. I was disappointed that Ethan didn’t show more spin. When someone threatens to come between two people in love, obviously one of them would fight to keep the relationship intact, right? I didn’t feel Ethan did much of that. Yes, he chased Lena as she continued to try to run away, but he did not actually confront her or try to reason with her. Instead he started to give up and look elsewhere same as her. That was by far the most frustrating part of the story. The fact that the two people who are fought so hard in the first book seemed to give up on the relationship they had finally gotten (moderately) approved.

The romance aspect was the only part of the book that I struggled with. I found the mysteries of the Caster world developing more and more intriguing qualities. The Tunnels, that were mentioned and explored only briefly in “Beautiful Creatures” is now one of the main focal points of this book. It was fascinating to explore the Tunnels along with Ethan and his, according to him, “motley crew” as they searched to save Lena from tall, dark, and yummy and virtually herself.

Throughout the book more and more revelations are made to show that even without Lena’s intervention in Ethan’s life he was always firmly embedded in the Caster world. If he hadn’t fallen for a Caster girl he would have still possibly discovered the society while attempting to understand his mother’s death. Lena has constantly chastised herself for involving Ethan in the Caster world but perhaps in later books she will stop doing so.

Lena is a character I struggle with on a book-by-book basis. In “Beautiful Creatures” I understood her self-deprecating ways a bit more due to the bullying of the entire town and a mother that discarded her until she needed her for her own selfish gain. The Lena of “Beautiful Darkness” I did not understand as easily. Yes, I understood she was devastated by events in “Beautiful Creatures” and that she is constantly struggling with whether she is good or bad, Light or Dark, but how that turned into a tryst with a stranger and despicable deeds she does throughout to both Ethan and the townspeople of Gatlin… I don’t 100% understand that. Grief can do things to a person, true, but to the extent that Lena was willing to give up the one person who has never faltered in their faith in her? What are you doing Lena? If you continue to be deputy downer all the time, you are going to ruin the series for me. First book, mild annoyance. Second book, starting to get worse. If the third book includes much of the same, I may have to step away from the Caster Chronicles for a while.

Don’t take my harsh words to mean that I hated the book. As I said, the aspects that didn’t involve the romance, were amazingly written and very Alice in Wonderland-like (which I LOVE by the way). That part of the book made up for all the woe-is-me’s from Lena and the I-love-her-but-give-up’s from Ethan. Would I say this was as good as “Beautiful Creatures”? No. Worse? Not by much.

Review Posted on: http://www.ladybugliterature.blogspot.com
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Ethan is growing on me
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
If you are familiar with this series, then you know it is told from Ethan's point of view. I am almost always a fan of YA books with a male narrator, since there doesn't seem to be enough of them out there. The Caster Chronicles is unique because it's a paranormal romance/mystery that is told from the boy's perspective. Not your typical teen boy book, in my opinion.

This time around in book 2, Ethan actually sounds like a boy. He does digress from time to time and starts sounding like an over emotional girl when he pines away for Lena, but at least he is showing typical boy emotions now. He ran the spectrum from anger to jealousy to lust. That is much more believable than a boy describing how hair smells and his feelings.

The plot continues to develop in this series. It's rather complicated at times and a bit drawn out. Each of these books come in at just over 500 pages. That's a lot of words! The size of the books may scare off a few readers, but know that around page 300 or so the story does start to move rather quickly. You just have to make it that far.

Also along the way are new characters and repeats from Beautiful Creatures. New super villians are introduced and some are redeemed. Or are they? (dun dun dun) I have to admit, Link's interesting situation has me intrigued, but that will have to wait until book 3 (Beautiful Chaos) to be confirmed. Ethan continues to grow, and now has a new understanding of his place in The Order. Good for him. Lena is still Lena: confused, stubborn, overly dramatic. She wasn't in the majority of the book--except as glimpses in Ethan's visions-- so it seemed rather rushed that her outcome developed the way it did and had so much emphasis in the final 30 pages. Whatever. I knew what was going to happen there long before I reached the end of the book.

Finally, I want to mention that the southern characters didn't seem as ignorant this time around. The small town folks were limited, with the main emphasis being on Ethan and his motley crew of Dark Caster fighters. That helps with the level of stupid for sure. I also want to go ahead and mention my thoughts on the upcoming movie since that's why I'm reading these now. I am not happy with the casting and the cheesy Southern accents. Am I the only one that pictured Ethan differently and didn't think Lena or Macon had southern accents? I also didn't imagine Ethan with one either. Tacky. And what is up with Lena's eyes? With all the emphasis on green and gold (and her ever changing colors), why does she have brown eyes? Hmm??

Anyhow, if you enjoy this series, have a go at book 2: Beautiful Darkness. I'm one of those people that has to read the entire series before a movie adaptation hits the big screens because I want to know how badly they muck things up (or not) in the movie. So, I will be continuing with Beautiful Chaos.
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It's okay, not the best
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
I'm very sorry that we are starting off on the wrong foot, but this wasn't the best book. I was okay, not completely amazing. I only finished it because I have never left a book unfinished and this was okay.

So the book starts off, with Ethan wondering what the hell went wrong with him and Lena. Lena doesn't know what to do, Macon has died and she is lost. So she hooks up with Ridley, a Dark Caster, and John Breed, an Incubus/Mortal/Caster whatchamathingy (we don't know exactly. He's a cross breed). Ethan wants to get Lena back, but every time he sees her, she runs away, or Liv's with him, and Lena is just plain jealous of Liv.

Okay, I'll admit it. Lena was not good throughout this book. I wanted to scream at her "What is going through your mind? Would you stop treating Ethan like garbage? What is with your attitude/change of heart?" The rest of them weren't bad, except maybe for those parts where I felt like yelling at Ethan for letting Lena treat him like dirt on her shoe, and then always obsessing/going after her when she made it very hard for him, basically dumped him, and made it pretty darn clear she was going Dark. But I guess that's love for you.

I liked Ridley and Link more than Ethan and Lena, to be honest. Link was funny and lighthearted, which is just what you need when all the forces of Darkness are coming after you, and Ridley was an enigma. First she was bad, then she was good, and I just liked her because she was actually better than Lena, I think. Anyway. You'd understand if you read the book. I mean, probably. I dunno if you'd follow my train of thought.

I liked the ending. It made me quite interested to read the next book, not for Ethan and Lena, because it was a bit obvious that they were just going to be another couple, obsessing over each other, but because of Link and Ridley, two completely different people than what they were at the start of the book (Literally). It was an interesting twist.

So, to sum it up, this wasn't a bad book that made me want to throw up/throw the book in the trash/hide it behind a shelf in the library so no one could read it, but I wasn't that impressed either. It was just a bit slow, which was a problem I found in the last book as well. I will get the next book, because the part at the end made me interested to see what would happen next.
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Beatuiful Darkness (A Room with Books review)
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
I am pretty unimpressed by this book. I finished because it wasn't bad and I prefer to finish whatever I start unless it's completely unbearable. The problem with this one was the character changes. I know they're important when it comes to a series, especially the second book. I also take issue with the fact that every second book seems to always be about problems in a relationship. I know that can be a big help in making the story go somewhere, but man, it's getting pretty old.

I really didn't like Lena much throughout the book. In fact, I enjoyed the parts she wasn't in quite a bit more. She was pulling the same ol' tricks as last time and her attitude was quite annoying. I liked Ethan pretty well, but I just wanted to scream at him "Hello! Can you please stop letting Lena treat you like garbage?!" I can say that I really liked Link's character and we got to see quite a bit more of him this time. I was also quite interested in the new twist in his story.

There were a few surprising and interesting parts that will help me want to read the next book, but overall I wasn't that impressed. Somehow, it managed to be predictable and confusing at the same time. I found myself just wading through to the end. An end which I wasn't that impressed with, but was just intriguing enough to make me go pick up the next book.

Overall, I wasn't too impressed but it really wasn't bad either. Just slow. Most of the good parts are so intertwined with the story that I can't really mention them.
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Darkness and Depression.
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Ms.Stephanie

I was not impressed with this book. You have these two young lovers that are madly in love with each other, but Lena is throwing herself a pity party throughout the whole book. She ends things with Ethan because she doesn't feel as if he could possibly love her if she goes 'dark' Ethan is one of the most real characters. I really enjoyed reading about Ethan altough, being Left, Cheated on, and Beat Up all through the book. Don't you think that he would get the Hint and just give Up on Lena? It wouldn't be a romance book if Ethan finally gets to Lena and They get back together. BIG SHOCKER THERE! The Spunky Ridley really becomes quite a main charater but towards the middle her sassy additude made me want to pull her hair out. Some of the Context was hard to comprehend especially when they are in the Tunnels. It's about a 700 page book that could be shortened into about 400.
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Hmm. Wasn't the best
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Nikki (sng2098)

This is the second installment of Ethan Wate and Lena Duchannes.  The book starts off where the first one left off, Lena is still unclaimed; but she knows she has to claim herself. However, there is this new guy in town that is hanging, John Breed, around and Ridley is back in town; and that always means TROUBLE.  Ethan soon learns what being with and "unclaimed" confused Caster means.  Lena has a major decision to make and it will affect everyone.

Obviously the second book in MOST series is not as good as the first.  This one follows that suit.  It's not that I didn't care for this one, it's just that I didn't feel like a lot was explained.  It seemed like there was some information that we could have been given that we weren't.  There were "action" scenes that did not have the right amount of action.  Especially one particular scene near the end (Gosh, I wanna rant about it SO bad; but I don't wanna spoil it for anybody!)


In Beautiful Darkness, Ethan seems to be the same boy that he was in the first one.  He grows and develops his own traits and characteristics in this book.  He also receives his own destiny! Lena got on my nerves in this book, she was also kind of annoying the last book to; but she was VERY annoying in this one.  I like that there was more of Link and Ridley; I didn't like how they handled things at the end! 

I thought the plot in this book flowed better than Beautiful Creatures. I did like that there was actually traveling. The "action" scene at the end was kind of annoying.  It was the one thing you were waiting for the WHOLE book and it was a let down.
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OMG! This is AWESOME!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by WulfLuva

The second installment of the Caster Chronicles series will captivate you from the first line. There's a roller coaster of unsuspecting romances, mysteries and betrayal that all come unraveling around the small area of Gatlin County, keeping Ethan Wate from mending the gap that's been growing stronger between him and Lena Duchannes- a Caster with major mojo. Her guilt will haunt you while Ethan's story will make you fall for the poor mortal boy all over again.


And fall I did. Ethan's poor plight had me in tears for almost half of the book. I couldn't help but think, "Why? Why must this happen to such a wonderful couple?" But I know that Kami and Margaret had beautiful reasons.


The plot constantly caught me by surprise and I loved the book so much for that because lately there has been too much repetition in paranormal novels. The introduction of two other love interests (for whom I will not say) is painful but welcome and kept me screaming "MORE! I need more!" which made me powerless when it came to putting the book down. I had to finish it and I did so in less than 12 hours, a major feat if you ask me.


So all-in-all, the secret Caster world and it's twisting ways are addicting and the ending will have you begging on your hands and knees, ready to become Kami and Margaret's slaves, for the next installment in this life-altering series.


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Review: Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Courtney Rae

We last left Ethan, Lena, and the little town of Gatlin right after
Lenas 16th birthday. Or as the Caster world calls it, her claiming.
The
choice between Light and Dark was looming over Lenas head, with
consequences on both sides.

Beautiful Darkness starts off days
after the Sixteenth Moon.
We are back in Ethan Wates head, following
him through life in a small town with a Caster girlfriend. But life
isnt back to normal like we all hope.
Lena changed after her
claiming. Pushing the one who loves her further and further away.
Ethan
wants nothing more than to help Lena and make her happy again. He
understands what it is like to lose someone you care so much about.
But
the more he tries the more she pulls away. And now Ethan is hearing a
new song, Seventeen Moons, and seeing visions that relate to Lenas dead
Uncle Macon. What does all this mean to him? And why is Lena acting
like she was claimed and is going dark?

Kami Garcia and Margaret
Stohl are absolutely brilliant. I thought it was going to be tough to
top Beautiful Creatures, but they did it!
I knew something wasnt
going to go right with Ethan and Lena, just that feeling you get when
you pick up a book. But the story line exceeded my expectations by
miles!
You read about your favorites from Beautiful Creatures, but
you are also introduced to some new, very memorable characters.
I was
very excited to see that Link was in it, a lot! I love him and his
studly ways. And he is extremely studly in this one! I almost like him
more than Ethan... almost.
In BD, you will also get more into the
Caster world. Wanted to learn more about the Lunae Libri?
Well, just wait until you pick up
Beautiful Darkness. And when you do, strap in your seat belts, kids.
This read is like riding a wild roller coaster, at night, on Halloween.
Trust me, that is a very high praise from me!
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Beautiful Darkness Review
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by The Bookshelf Sophisticate

When I tried to formulate my review for this book I was torn, and I kind of still am. I'm a big fan of Garcia and Stohl's writing and enjoyed the first installment in the Caster Chronicles series, Beautiful Creatures, but I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it's sequel. There were some elements that I loved and some that I didn't enjoy much at all. Let me try to make some sense of my ramblings.

To start off, I can say that while I found Beautiful Creatures to be slow in some parts, that was not the case with Beautiful Darkness. We did get more background and of course some histories and mysteries were cleared up, but at the same time the plot wasn't slowed down because of this. Ethan is back as our narrator and this time around he really (for me at least) became a stronger character. If anyone thought he and Lena's troubles/obstacles were over, they were wrong. In fact, their previous problems were nothing in comparison in my opinion. Garcia and Stohl upped the anti (so to speak) in this one and that aspect won me over and kept me reading. Ethan's personality came out more and I think readers will get the chance to see him as an individual as far as his feelings go and will only grow to love him even more.

Now for what I wasn't really loving about this book. We meet some new characters in Beautiful Darkness and they didn't really win me over like I expected them to. Garcia and Stohl gave us such an all star cast in Beautiful Creatures, maybe in my mind they just didn't stand a chance of measuring up, I don't know? But some of the original characters upset and disappointed me too. I don't want to spoil anything for anyone so I can't be specific, but when this book hits the shelves and readers get their hands on it, I don't think I'll be the only one feeling this way.

But to end on a good note, I did like the wrap-up Garcia and Stohl wove together in the end. All I will say is that the Caster Chronicles series can only get more interesting and I'm extremely curious to see what happens next. Cliffhangers vs. neatly tied up endings, which do I prefer? I'm not really sure, but what I do know is that I'm still a fan of Garcia and Stohl's writing and I'm looking forward to reading what the Caster Chronicles will bring us next.
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