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Beautiful Darkness April 29, 2013

Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl


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…