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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Review: Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Beautiful DarknessBeautiful Darkness
Written by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Release Date: October 12, 2010
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
NOT a publisher requested review!

Summary (Courtesy of Barnes and Noble):
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.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

An exciting follow-up to Beautiful Darkness. Slow to start, but when the story got going, it was impossible to put down. Full review after the jump. WARNING: SPOILERS!

I had a really really REALLY hard time making it through the first third of this book. It took me WEEKS to get through the mind-numbing depressive teenage drama that filled those pages. While this might be the bees knees for the target audience (teenage girls), it was AWFUL for me. I kept fighting through it though, because if I learned anything from reading Beautiful Creatures, it's that Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl make getting through the boring part worth the payoff. They delivered in a big way in Beautiful Darkness, so much so that this book got a higher rating than the first of the series, in spite of the sluggish pace of the first third of the book.

I get why the first third of the book was practically swallowed by teenage melancholy. I'm sure I would be uber-depressed if my life had taken the turn that poor Lena Duchannes's had in Beautiful Creatures. But my goodness. I got tired of reading about how distant Lena was being to Ethan about 4 pages in. I almost gave up on the book, but I had faith that it would be worth it. And boy, was it worth it. First off, I did not expect the turns in the story that came about. Macon's return and Ridley's transformation were particularly jarring. The story was emotional and raw, but still exciting and action packed. It took me weeks to get through the first third of the book, but only hours to finish it once it picked up. I'm so ready for the third installment to hit shelves that I can hardly contain the excitement.

All in all, I would definitely recommend checking Beautiful Darkness out. You can pick it up from the Things Liz Loves Amazon Store below. Also check out Beautiful Creatures, the first installment in the Caster Chronicles.

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