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Review: Beautiful Darkness (Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl)

The Deets:

reading level: YA
pages: 503
Publisher: October 12th 2010 by Little, Brown and Company
ISBN: 9780316077057
genre: paranormal romance, mystery
source: my own copy

Beautiful Darkness (Caster Chronicles, #2)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.


Earlier, I posed my mid-book review on Beautiful Darkness. You can see it HERE.

If you are familiar with this series, then you know it is told from Ethan's point of view. I am almost always a fan of YA books with a male narrator, since there doesn't seem to be enough of them out there. The Caster Chronicles is unique because it's a paranormal romance/mystery that is told from the boy's perspective. Not your typical teen boy book, in my opinion.

This time around in book 2, Ethan actually sounds like a boy. He does digress from time to time and starts sounding like an over emotional girl when he pines away for Lena, but at least he is showing typical boy emotions now. He ran the spectrum from anger to jealousy to lust. That is much more believable than a boy describing how hair smells and his feelings.

The plot continues to develop in this series. It's rather complicated at times and a bit drawn out. Each of these books come in at just over 500 pages. That's a lot of words! The size of the books may scare off a few readers, but know that around page 300 or so the story does start to move rather quickly. You just have to make it that far.

Also along the way are new characters and repeats from Beautiful Creatures. New super villians are introduced and some are redeemed. Or are they? (dun dun dun) I have to admit, Link's interesting situation has me intrigued, but that will have to wait until book 3 (Beautiful Chaos) to be confirmed. Ethan continues to grow, and now has a new understanding of his place in The Order. Good for him. Lena is still Lena: confused, stubborn, overly dramatic. She wasn't in the majority of the book--except as glimpses in Ethan's visions-- so it seemed rather rushed that her outcome developed the way it did and had so much emphasis in the final 30 pages. Whatever. I knew what was going to happen there long before I reached the end of the book.

Finally, I want to mention that the southern characters didn't seem as ignorant this time around. The small town folks were limited, with the main emphasis being on Ethan and his motley crew of Dark Caster fighters. That helps with the level of stupid for sure. I also want to go ahead and mention my thoughts on the upcoming movie since that's why I'm reading these now. I am not happy with the casting and the cheesy Southern accents. Am I the only one that pictured Ethan differently and didn't think Lena or Macon had southern accents? I also didn't imagine Ethan with one either. Tacky. And what is up with Lena's eyes? With all the emphasis on green and gold (and her ever changing colors), why does she have brown eyes? Hmm??

Anyhow, if you enjoy this series, have a go at book 2: Beautiful Darkness. I'm one of those people that has to read the entire series before a movie adaptation hits the big screens because I want to know how badly they muck things up (or not) in the movie. So, I will be continuing with Beautiful Chaos.  


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The Search for Delicious Natalie Babbitt
Product Details

Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Square Fish (August 21, 2007)
ISBN-10: 9780312369828
Source: My personal book

Summary from Amazon: Gaylen, the King’s messenger, a skinny boy of twelve, is off to poll the kingdom, traveling from town to farmstead to town on his horse, Marrow. At first it is merely a question of disagreement at the royal castle over which food should stand for Delicious in the new dictionary. But soon it seems that the search for Delicious had better succeed if civil war is to be avoided.

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