In Review: Beautiful Darkness

Released: October 12, 2010                       512 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; 1 edition
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 0316077057

On the night of Lena’s sixteenth birthday she chose not to chose, and remained unclaimed by either side saving her entire family from certain death. While she did choose to go down the same path as her ancestor Genevieve and use the book of moons to save her beloved Ethan, her Uncle Macon was sacrificed in his place.

Beautiful Darkness picks up after the events of Beautiful Creatures with the funeral of Macon Ravenswood, and Lena slowly slipping into darkness under the weight of her guilt. Grieving from her loss, and worried about destroying those closest to her, Lena pulls away from Ethan, leaving him equally devastated and determined to save her. He plunges deeper into her world when she runs away with her Siren cousin Ridley, and sexy mysterious John Breed to the Great Barrier, a place of pure magic where there is no Light or Dark.

Armed with a pair of mortals, his best friend Link, and Keeper-In- training Liv, Ethan must decipher the mystery of the Seventeenth Moon, and save Lena before its too late. Lena’s mom, Sarafine works to pulling the Seventeeth Moon in early, hoping to capitalize on Lena’s loss. Traveling the Casters Tunnels, Ethan learns more about his families tangled up history with the casters, and discovers things about himself he never expected.

The caster world is expanded a bit in this one, as is the idea that good vs evil isn’t so black and white. While Lena’s tumble into darkness takes away from some of the sympathy for her ordeal, Ridley certainly shines as she struggles to be what she is versus what she thinks she should be. Liv is a welcome addition to the cast of characters bringing shining hope, curiosity, and a normalcy that was slowly being swallowed by all the supernatural elements on scene.

Beautiful Darkness is a fitting sequel that won't disappoint fans of Beautiful Creatures, being both very detailed and layered, and well paced.  Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl's world is vivid and rich, drawing in Southern elements and traditions that enrich their world rather than distract. Though there is a good chunk of the story dealing with Ethan discovering what the audience already knew from the night of Lena’s birthday, it doesn’t feel too repetitive, and the discovery retains its impact. The cliffhanging ending will certainly leave readers wanting more.


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