You Read What? Book Review: Beautiful Darkness

Authors: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Publisher: Hachette Book Group

  • Imprint: Little, Brown and Company

Date Published: October 12th, 2010

Format: Hard Cover

Source: Toronto Public Library

Synopsis:

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.

Number of Days It Took to Read: 4

Cover:

Beautiful Darkness (Caster Chronicles, #2)

Love this cover. The beautiful font. The richness of the blue against the colorless background. The depth of the background that gives the reader a foreboding feeling. Like I said, I love this cover.

The Writing Score: 4 out of 5

Recommendation: Casual Perusal

Memorable or Forgettable: Sadly, Forgettable

Rating: 4 out of 5

Review:

So I joined this cool challenge hosted by Ciara (Lost at Midnight) where those involved try to finish the Beautiful Creatures series before the movie’s debut February 13th, 2013. Now, I’ve read Beautiful Creatures two years ago (it was one of the only books I read during my first year of University) and found it to be okay. Just okay. What do I think of the second book? About the same.

Here me out: The writing is really good and solid. Much better than your average young adult book but not “ah-mazing” as in overly poetic, unique or instills salivation-inspired gushing. The plot? A really good one. In fact, the entire series thus far is an interesting take on the Supernatural. In this particular book, I enjoyed the intricacies of the plot as it unfolded. The characters? Well rounded and felt authentic BUT the difference between the first  book’s 3 stars versus the second’s 4 star is the addition of ONE character and the expansion of another: Olivia and Link. I’m Team Olivia all the way (there will be a t-shirt dammit!). I prefer her over Lena ANY DAY (blasphemous, I know, for the hard core fans. SO WHAT?). I was also happy that Link got to appear in the book WAY more. He’s a funny, charismatic character on the page and he’s a great vehicle to get the southern lifestyle across which was another reason why I like this book. I feel like I KNOW the south (USA) and that in some ways I want to visit (the food!) but then it think: “Those women will eat me alive.”

Now, if I liked all this, then why only a 4 stars? I honestly couldn’t decide between 4 stars or 3. Despite all the positives below, I was still plagued with the same issue I had with the last book: Ethan’s Point of View. First off, I have nothing against male first person point of view (just throwing that out there). Nothing against Ethan but seeing things through his eyes is super boring because, frankly, I didn’t feel anything while reading this. I didn’t feel sad, ecstatic, on edge…nothing. When I first started this book, I couldn’t remember what happened in the last because it had the same effect. It wasn’t until a) Olivia’s character was involved b) when Link was involved and c) more than half way through the book that I remembered I had a reader’s pulse.

That reminds me. I felt like the first half focused way too much on Ethan’s feelings and didn’t speed up enough in terms of plot. I’m not saying add more heart pounding scenes or anything but just move up the clues/nuggets of the plot so the story can move along more. I don’t think it was necessary for the book to be 500 pages.

Oh and Lena? I don’t like her. I can’t remember if she was the same way in the last book (Haha! See?) but in this book I felt like she was a Debbie Downer. Yes, I do realize there are reasons such as her general predicament but still…I got depressed a bit. I had no reason to feel naturally sad.

Anyways, this may just be me and I’m cool with that. I still recommend it to people because there is some solid writing in this book which I liked and a good story.

A. A. Omer

The opinions expressed here are mine and readers are welcome to disagree. In fact, I encourage it! I never believed in putting particular books or authors on some sort of universal pedestal but you’re free to put it on your individualized pedestal because I most certainly will.

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