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Beautiful Darkness (Beautiful Creatures) (edition 2011)

by Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl

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1,721924,121 (3.83)56
Member:sarahmontgomery19
Title:Beautiful Darkness (Beautiful Creatures)
Authors:Kami Garcia
Other authors:Margaret Stohl
Info:Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (2011), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 528 pages
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Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia

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English (90)  Italian (1)  All languages (91)
Showing 1-5 of 90 (next | show all)
Why I Read This: I really enjoyed Beautiful Creatures, which is book 1 in the Caster Chronicles series, and wanted to know what happened next.

Characters: The characters in this book are really interesting and they each have their own distinct personalities. My favorite would definitely have to be Link. He was a very minor character in the first book, but he is a big part of the second. He is a very fun character and I find myself laughing out loud to certain things he says throughout the book. Ethan, the main character, is also a pretty cool guy. He is very smart and sweet, but not as entertaining as Link. He has a very important role in the Caster world that, at first, he was a little tentative to believe. He eventually excepts this big responsibility and uses it to his advantage. The only character I don't really like is Lena, and I know she goes through some hard things throughout the book and there wouldn't even be The Caster Chronicles without her, but she just annoys me. She's always complaining and feeling sorry for herself which just makes me want to skip the parts she's in. She does get less annoying at the end, but not enough to make me change my mind about her.

Relatability: This book is very relatable because of the normal things the teenage characters face. Yes, the book is filled with Dark and Light Casters, Incubus' and a whole bunch of other supernatural beings, but that's not all it's about. It's a story about love, lose and friendship which are three topics anyone can relate to.

Cover: I really like this cover. It's simple, yet gives us an inside look to the story inside the book. I'm pretty sure that it's supposed to be a picture of the Tunnels which is the main setting for the story.

Overall Impression: The beginning dragged on a bit which is why I had to take away 1/2 a star, but after the action-y things started to happen, I couldn't put the book down! ( )
  joanab951 | May 21, 2015 |
* Spoilers for Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles #1) below - that review is here *


Small-town Gatlin, South Carolina was the town that never changed. It was the town Ethan Wate grew up in and where he thought he knew what to expect - from the Civil War reenactments to the mean girls at school to the DAR women. But then Lena Duchannes came along and changed everything.

Now Ethan knows about supernatural beings and that Amma's little charms aren't just things that humor her - they actually serve a purpose.

But, after the events of Beautiful Creatures -suffering a great loss, Lena has changed and is withdrawing from Ethan. Magical things are still happening in Ethan and Lena's lives - and relationship - but now some, if not most, of those things are darker and Ethan's forced to figure them out without Lena.

With visions only he can see and more danger at every turn - plus the chance of losing Lena - Ethan will have to turn to new friends - and old friends in new ways.


I wouldn't have thought it possible but I do believe I loved Beautiful Darkness more than I loved Beautiful Creatures. While the first book set up who the characters were, what the supernatural elements were and how the characters, the supernatural, and the town all worked together, this sequel more than builds on that.

Beautiful Darkness is definitely an epic second novel. It goes way beyond the story of Lena and Ethan - while still focusing on them just the right amount. We learn a lot about each of the different characters in this second novel - not just the main characters, but also the secondary other characters and the parts they play in this Caster (and Mortal) world.

The World also really expands in Darkness. It's a big novel, both page wise and story wise. The characters do a lot and I found myself marveling at how the authors were able to come up with such a plot and keep it all straight. At times it's hard to completely follow just every single thing that's going on if you're not careful, but it all comes together so well that it's okay.

All of the developments in this were fantastic and the writing was marvelous (I loved having it as an ebook because I could highlight so much!). The Southern feeling of these novels is likely my favorite of any Southern Gothic/Southern Whatever novels I have ever read, I just loved the atmosphere these writers have created in this series.

(Look for a review of Dream Dark and Beautiful Chaos soon!)

Rating: 10/10
  BookSpot | May 18, 2015 |
Okay.


Okay.


Okay.



OMG THIS IS SO UNFREAKINGBELIEVABLE!!! MACON IS A-L-I-V-E!!!!!! WHAT THE WHAT!!!!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!! LOVE THIS. I JUST HATE THAT LENA WAS SO FRAGILE AND VULNERABLE IN THIS BOOK!

BUT IT WAS GOOOOD. ( )
  englisherna | Apr 8, 2015 |
Beautiful Creatures was the popular beginning of a YA series by collaborative authors, Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. That book was turned into a movie which did not explode at the box office in the way producers had it would, following the lead of Harry Potter, Twilight and the Hunger Games. They changed the plot a little, in ways which won't entirely damage possibility of a sequel movie - if they get the go-ahead - but they do make continuing to film the Caster Chronicles difficult.

If you've read the first book, you won't be surprised that all the damage from the fight with Serafine has to be dealt with, and a large portion of Beautiful Darkness does just that. If you haven't read Beautiful Creatures yet, you might want to skip to the next paragraph. Ethan lives, but without the full details of his escape, unlike the readers, who know about Lena's trade, unknowingly giving Macon's life to save Ethan's. She blames herself for it, and while the whole Duchannes clan watches Lena procrastinate on her claiming further, she becomes convinced that she claimed herself when she sacrificed Macon. This is the main drama of Beautiful Darkness and preoccupies our moody teenagers for the entire book.

Lena, unable to forgive herself, pulls away from Ethan, unwilling to be reminded everyday of what she has done, and afraid she will hurt Ethan again. To up the ante, a nice caster boy shows up, with all the strength of an Incubus, but none of the weaknesses. Marianne, who is unsurprisingly absent, since her role as Keeper forces her neutrality, has a protégé who offers Ethan the same distraction that John offers Lena. Tell-tale twitches and over-stated side-long glances aside, we have no idea what John and the siren Ridley are bringing with them. But this time it's not just Serafine with her eyes on Lena and Ethan, someone bigger and badder is backing her now, and someone whom everyone is afraid of.

It was hard to get through all the emotional baggage that this book carries with it from the previous one, and I'm not the first one to say a serious slim-down of these novels would most likely have meant books that really pack a punch. But the story is interesting none-the-less for the same reasons, suffering from book-in-the-middle syndrome, but if you can fly through this 500 page book, you will enjoy it. I often got bogged down with all the brow-rumpling I was doing, but once I relaxed and let my inner critic doze through it, the interaction and angst got downright exciting.

Anyone who was paying close attention to Ridley, and not skimming too much, noticed that she isn't not as Dark as she is said to be. Especially toward the end when she's saying bye to her toy, we suddenly see she isn't as invulnerable as she claims. That continues when Link tags along with Ethan on his quest across the underground Caster world, Ridley's nervous ticks, frowns and sad eyes make us keenly aware of what should have been more subtle. Ridley doesn't shine as a character, but we are very sympathetic for her because she's a girl, and she's given a bad hand. Since most of those reading the Chronicles are girls, Ridley is the character we get emotionally intimate with, not only because her Cousin is absent for the majority of this book as well.

Amma also kicks it up a notch with her spiritual intervention, and the ancestors get downright bad-ass toward the end, using their strengths to help Ethan protect Lena from her claiming. The historical snapshots as well are much less tedious than those we saw about Genevieve in the last book. And since it's a book, the glimpses we get are much more tantalizing, making some plot-twists really fascinating.

As for the new characters in this one, John and Olivia "Liv" Durand. John is so suspicious that he's boring, and works better on the page when he's merely alluded to. Liv on the other hand, has cool gadgets, and a handy role in the story. She's a Keeper-in-training, filled to the brim with caster knowledge, and like her Giles-like role-model, is forbidden from interfering She is, thankfully, insatiably curious, and tags along with Ethan and Link to 'observe'.

Beautiful Darkness is not the strong sequel that Beautiful Creatures needed, and it sits, like Liv does, on the edge of passive and adventurous. Middle books in a trilogy or quartet are hard. There's often a formulaic need to have your heroes running across Middle Earth for the majority of the book. In middle books, your going from first book to last book, without much to do, unless you skimp on the fluff, which none of the Caster Chronicles do. This installment reassures me that the serious is mild, yet refreshing. A dude in distress who can barely handle himself, but doesn't mope, weep or brood. He gets angry, but also gets on his feet and faces the dangers of being in love with a Caster girl, no matter what. I just wished he had been a little more demanding of all the people who wanted to shut him out, and I wish Lena had felt less contrived. If you find yourself flipping slowly, listlessly in the first 200 pages, stick with it, skim if you want, but push through. Because if you are really interested in learning how all these freaking moons that Lena has to deal with are resolved, the latter half really is the more interesting part of the book. Here's to hoping the sequel throws some serious surprises at us.

503pp. Little, Brown & Company. 10th Oct. 2010.
  knotbox | Dec 1, 2014 |
The Characters

Ethan, Lena, Link, Riddly, Marion, Liv, and a host of others. They go through a lot in this book. A lot a lot. Lena’s guilt, Ethan learns so much, Riddly and an un0named party go through huge transformations. The gang really goes through the ringer. In the end they are all different but okay, I think. I suppose time will tell.

The Story

Like I said about a lot happens in this book. I won’t even try to sum it all up. I’ll just say that I was interested, intrigued and surprised throughout my time in Gatlin. Things are very complicated and I think they will get more so in the near future. I think Ethan and Lena will handle it well as long as they stick together.

The Random Thoughts

This is difficult to write as the problem I have with audiobooks is that I’m often listening to them while driving so I can’t make notes or reread anything and I’m totally dependent on my terrible memory. :-(

I’m left with the impression that Riddly is still up to no good.

4 Stars ( )
  bookjunkie57 | Oct 14, 2014 |
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Kami Garciaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Stohl, Margaretmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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I used to think our town, buried in the South Carolina backwoods, stuck in the muddy bottom of the Santee River Valley, was the middle of nowhere.
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One night in the rain, Ethan Wate opened his eyes and fell in love with Lena Duchannes. His life would never be the same. Lena is a Caster and her family is locked in a supernatural civil war: full of darkness and demons. On her sixteenth birthday Lena made a terrifying choice, which now haunts her day and night. And as her seventeenth birthday approaches Lena and Ethan face even greater danger. A Caster and a Mortal can never truly be together. Every kiss is a curse. Ethan’s next heartbeat could be his last. It is their curse now . .
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In a small southern town with a secret world hidden in plain sight, sixteen-year-old Lena, who possesses supernatural powers and faces a life-altering decision, draws away from her true love, Ethan, a mortal with frightening visions.

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