Wednesday 3 November 2010

Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

For Review:  Puffin.  Published 28 October 2010
From Goodreads:  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.

I loved this!  Picking up the story where we left it with Beautiful Creatures, we find Ethan and Lena trying to deal with the aftermath of her birthday.  When Lena starts to pull away from Ethan he doesn't understand why, but when it looks like Lena is in trouble he does everything he can to help her...

I really liked Ethan in Beautiful Creatures but I absolutely adored him in this one.  The whole book was really his story and his journey to make sense of the supernatural world he has suddenly found himself in.  He really steps up to the plate and I loved his loyalty and courage. For me, his is voice is the anchor to this series, and through him we get to watch all the events unfold and interact with all the amazing characters.

Amma and Link are back and on fine form.  We also get more Marian, and the introduction of a new character Liv.  I really like her and thought she was a great addition.  Unfortunately, we get less Lena but because this is more Ethan's story I didn't find it too much of an issue.  I did miss her presence and the connection they had in Beautiful Creatures but that added to the pull of the story - I wanted them to get it back.

This is much more of an adventure than Beautiful Creatures.  The pacing and plotting is brilliant - I found myself really surprised with a number of revelations and, unlike Beautiful Creatures,  I did not lose track of anything that was going on.  What I really enjoyed was that as the reader I knew what had happened the night of Lena's Birthday whereas Ethan did not.  I couldn't wait for him to find out - but it also meant I understood Lena's actions even when he didn't.  I liked that Lena had trouble dealing with her choice - it make the story much more honest and gives it an emotional reality that paranormal stories need in order to make them believable.

I'm really interested to see what direction the authors take this now.  Considering the ending of this one I assume there will be another in the series - at least I hope there will be.  I am really invested in these character and love the world - I'm really looking forward to more.  A great continuation of what I hope will be many books in the series.

1 comment:

Splendibird said...

I really loved this one - it was pretty epic in it's scope and I totally agree with you about Ethan. It's nice to see a male protagonist with such a strong and likeable voice. Great review!


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