24 July 2012

Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Ethan Wate thought he was getting used to the strange, impossible events happening in Gatlin, his small Southern town. But now that Ethan and Lena have returned home, strange and impossible have taken on new meanings. Swarms of locusts, record-breaking heat, and devastating storms ravage Gatlin as Ethan and Lena struggle to understand the impact of Lena's Claiming. Even Lena's family of powerful Supernaturals is affected - and their abilities begin to dangerously misfire. As time passes, one question becomes clear: What - or who - will need to be sacrificed to save Gatlin?

For Ethan, the chaos is a frightening but welcome distraction. He's being haunted in his dreams again, but this time it isn't by Lena - and whatever is haunting him is following him out of his dreams and into his everyday life. Even worse, Ethan is gradually losing pieces of himself - forgetting names, phone numbers, even memories. He doesn't know why, and most days he's too afraid to ask.

Sometimes there isn't just one answer or one choice. Sometimes there's no going back. And this time there won't be a happy ending.

When I picked up Beautiful Creatures however long ago, I was intrigued by the characters and the fresh world.  Beautiful Darkness made me love the characters.  Beautiful Chaos has me hooked for life.  Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl's dual authorship on this novel has wielded a fantastic result: I fell even harder for the characters, and shivered even more from the spookiness of the world.  I cheered for the romances (lamented a few) and bit my nails during the action scenes.  In this newest installation in the Caster Chronicles, I feel that Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl managed to capture every element of writing perfectly, from the characters to the plot to the setting, they had it down.

What struck me most about this book was the prose.  Ms. Garcia and Ms. Stohl have ironed out all the kinks -- their writing was fantastic.  Every line brought new life to the story; it was so easy to disappear from this world and reappear in that one.  It makes me want to move down a state and live in South Carolina (even though there is nothing down there, trust me).

Some of my all-time favorite characters are from this series.  Though I'm still not a huge fan of Lena, and I can't quite pinpoint why.  Honestly, I like Liv more than Lena because Lena seems so dramatic and Debby Downer all the time.  She's so...abstract.  Still, there was nothing in Beautiful Chaos that made me dislike her horribly, but when I cheer for her, I'm really cheering for her and Ethan.  I loved their romance and Ethan's dedication really makes him an endearing character, especially since it isn't all about Lena.  A boy with sense is a boy worth cheering for.

Gatlin's cracks really showed in this one, and such is Garcia and Stohl's talent with world-building, I felt devastated right along with the characters when they were forced to face some truly rough times.  The evil they'd been trying to fight off for so long really hit home for them, and it popped right off the page.

Garcia and Stohl have greatly stepped up their game with this one; they brought it all to the table. Since it set the bar so high, my anticipation for Beautiful Redemption is mixed with some apprehension.  As the last book in the series, they've gotta bring it all and then some.  I think they're up for it, though.  If the ending of Beautiful Chaos sent a shiver through me, I think Beautiful Redemption will leave me quaking in my chair.

Quotes
The bigger the breakfast, the bigger the day, in Amma's mind.  At this rate, by the time I graduated I'd be one giant biscuit floating in a bathtub full of pancake batter. (p. 8)

Ridley was nowhere to be found, but when she figured out where Link had gone, things would probably get even worse.  Maybe it was a good thing Link was familiarizing himself with the county hospital. (p. 63)

"Dude, why does it always have to be graveyards and crypts with you?  Can't we hang out somewhere that isn't full a dead bodies?" (p. 362-3)
Book Info

  • pages - hardcover, 518
  • published - October 2011
  • publisher - Little, Brown and Co.
  • genre - paranormal romance
  • received via - Christmas gift :)
  • rating - 5/5
  • series - Caster Chronicles
    • Beautiful Creatures
    • Beautiful Darkness
    • Beautiful Chaos
    • Beautiful Redemption (coming Oct. 23, 2012)