06 November 2010

Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

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.
  • Holy freaking fudge.  So I just gotta say it, like I have to say it for every other A and A+ book.  THAT WAS SO GOOD!  Closing a great book is like stepping onto solid land after being on a roller coaster.  You take a deep breath, orient yourself, and the real world comes back into focus slowly.  Ms. Garcia and Ms. Stohl would be great roller coaster engineers if they ever decided to steer in that direction.  As for literary coasters, they're set for life. :)
  • Now, another thing I believe.  Mystery is hard.  Consider Arthur Conan Doyle.  Now there's a guy who can write mystery.  When you write a mystery, you have to consider every single detail.  You have to imagine that your readers aren't just young adults and adults with nothing better to do, you have to make yourself believe you're handing this into the director of the CIA--someone who can pick apart anything you throw out there and predict the outcome miles ahead of the game.  That's how awesome the mystery was.  I was left going, "Ohhhh snap!  That's brilliant!"  Needless to say, I'm taking pointers from these lovely ladies.  (Actually, I'm planning to get myself a paperback copy as soon as they come out.  Ready the highlighters!)
  • Amateur hour is over, people.  I swear these ladies must be fooling people.  I think maybe they've published a dozen books apiece under different names 'cause they sure do know how to write.  Writers and their work mature over time--I can't imagine what these ladies' work will be like, say, ten books down the line.  Both "Beautiful Creatures" and "Beautiful Darkness" offer an inspiring journey full with believable characters that we can not only identify with, but root for.  And really!  The Southern drawl?  Perfection!  They do wonderfully with that without being cliche and noisy with it.
  • Alright, alright, so I had some major issues with Ethan throughout the book.  But hey, guys are mostly idiots right?  (Don't huff at me like that, boys, ya'll can do really stupid stuff.)  But Ethan overall is pretty awesome.  A true Southern gentleman--worthy of a country boy.  (I'm from Kentucky and that is high praise, ladies and gents.)  Still.  There had to be a test in the relationship, right?  So while I appreciated that, I STILL think Ethan would have done better playing the field a bit.  (Ya'll who have read the book, you know what I mean.  If you haven't read the book, GET WITH THE PROGRAM!)
  • I loved the new addition to the crew!  Now if only I could pull off sounding like Liv and still be accepted by my friends. XD  (Another reason I like both Ethan and Link's characters.  Some cool dudes.  God, can we get some more of those in the world?)
  • Overall, a fantastic sequel to a fantastic debut.  I loved the continuation of the story and the new development with the characters.  As always with debuts, I'm always looking for a rehashing of the previous book.  But this was a great exploration into new territories.  I loved it.
Book Info:
  • pages - 503
  • published - October 2010
  • publisher - Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • genre - urban fantasy
  • rating - 5/5
  • series - Caster Chronicles
    • Beautiful Creatures
    • Beautiful Darkness
    • Book #3 (coming soon)
    • Book #4 (coming soon)
  • received via - Borders :)