The second installment in the Caster Chronicles continues where the Beautiful Creatures left off. Let’s do a little recap for those of you who may have forgotten. Gatlin, South Carolina was turned upside down last year when beautiful Lena Duchannes came to town. After being drawn to Ethan Wate, Lena lets down her guard and falls in love. Fearful of her sixteenth birthday, Lena reveals her true self to Ethan. She comes from the Ravenwood family, Casters with tremendous supernatural abilities. On her birthday, Lena must claim herself, thus maturing in her powers. The only catch is she must decide if she’s Light or Dark – basically good or evil. After facing the wrath of Gatlin’s bible-thumping DAR, Lena and Ethan came face to face with Sarafine, Lena’s Dark Caster mother. Lean was able to resist her urges and not claim herself at the sixteenth moon. But all’s well that ends well, or so they say.
Beautiful Darkness opens with Ethan, recovered from the past events, attempting to return to normal life in Gatlin. But that’s impossible now that he know what lurks in the Darkness. Despondent over the death of her uncle, Macon Ravenwood, Lena falls into a spiral of darkness. Ethan, the love of her life, is trying to keep her afloat and remind her she’s not evil. As the seventeenth moon fast approaches, the Dark Casters in her family are targeting in on Lena. Her cousin Ridley and mysterious newcomer John Breed seem to be luring her away.
Meanwhile, Ethan is having visions again. Discovering the death of his mother may have more to do with the Casters than he realized, Ethan is determined to save Lena. There is also a new girl in town. Liv is interning with Marian the librarian and training to be a Keeper, like Ethan’s mother. Amma, her ancestors, and a mischievous cat are there to assist Ethan in his quest. Ever faithful sidekick, Link is on board to fight for Lena and their very lives. Will Ethan’s love again be enough to save Lena from her family curse? Not if Sarafine, Hunting and Blood Incubus Abraham Ravenwood have anything to say about it.
Wow! I loved Beautiful Creatures, but I think Darkness is even better! Still present are the lush descriptions and multifaceted characters, dripping with southern charm. The plotline has thickened, giving us even more details to devour. Garcia and Stohl have integrated a fantastic supernatural romance (not too mushy) with a Gothic tale of family bloodlines so thick you’ll keep referring to the Ravenwood family tree. There’s no way to draw out the experience of reading this book because you simply can’t put it down. On to the third…
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The Lost Prince
Ethan Chase has always been able to see Them, the fey. The fey have once again gotten Ethan expelled from school so he is starting all over again at a new one. At his new school he meets Todd, the half-breed, and Kenzie, the school reporter. When Todd gets kidknapped by a mysterious new breed of fey, Ethan and Kenzie set off for the Nevernever to see his sister Meagan, the Iron Queen, and ask for help. In the Iron Relm, Ethan meets a strange Iron fey who joins Kenzie and him in their search for Todd and the mysterious new fey.
After trying to read Julie Kagawa’s last book, The Immortal Rules, I was a little skeptical about reading this book, especially since there was another series before this, The Iron Fey. Although I wasn’t a fan of The Immortal Rules I really enjoyed this book. Ethan is a tough guy who avoids relationships with everyone because he is constanly being harrassed by the fey. He can see Them but no one else can, which makes it hard for your principal to believe faeries burned down the school library. Although Ethan starts off having a tough exterior, he eases up while on his adventure with Kenzie. Kenzie is persistant and determined to get to know Ethan and he can’t seem to avoid her for long.
Even though I haven’t read the previous books in this world/series, I was able to enjoy the characters and understand the world that Kagawa had created. I’m not a big fan of faerie books but I liked the unique concept of the Iron Fey and the all the characters in the book. Ethan was a great main character; he had a good sense of humor, was loyal to those he cared for and was fought to protect people he cared for and what he thought was right. I think I will have to go back and read the rest of the Iron Fey books!
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Lena Duchannes is new in town and living with her uncle, resident hermit Macon Ravenwood. It’s not easy being accepted in small-minded Gatlin where daily life is dictated by the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution). Life-time resident, 16-year old Ethan Wate is drawn to the mysterious Lena. What is their connection? You have to go back 150 years to find out! And what is so different about the Ravenwoods? Lena’s 16th birthday is fast approaching, and things will never be the same.
Colorful extended-family members and a dog named Boo Radley add charm and depth. Homage to Anne Rice, Stephen King’s Carrie, and Harper Lee is appreciated by the eclectic reader.
First published in 2009, Beautiful Creatures is sure to generate a lot of hype as the long-awaited movie is about to be released.
Check this out in audio book or manga, gorgeously illustrated by Cassandra Jean.
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