In a follow up to finishing Beautiful Creatures the first Caster Chronicles Novel (which I talk about here), I immediately launched into the second book, Beautiful Darkness, also in enhanced audio. I can’t tell you how much I really enjoy enhanced audio. It’s everything cool about a movie without being visual. Anyway, first, here’s the blurb from Goodreads:
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.
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.
Now I feel compelled to issue a disclaimer here. I NEVER like Book 2 as well as Book 1 in any series where the hero and heroine end Book 1 together. I just don’t. Because Book 2 means they have to get split up again, and usually it’s over something that could be resolved if they would do something radical and have an honest conversation instead of being a serious problem–like Han being frozen in carbonite. So I admit I was predisposed to be cranky about this book. And for the third of the story, this held true to pattern. Lena kept pulling away from Ethan and saying “You don’t understand!” until I just wanted to slap her and say “Well, TALK TO THE BOY!”
But then, THEN the authors did something completely unexpected that turned the whole story on its ear and got me interested again for the drive home from Tennessee after FandrewCon. It’s not at all the direction I expected the story to go and it wound up opening the door for something seriously interesting for Book 3 (coming out next month). None of which I can really say anything about without spoiling the twist, so…I’m gonna remain all mysterious and stuff.
Beautiful Darkness absolutely retained all the things I loved about Beautiful Creatures–the characters, the southern Gothic feel, pets with an actual role, the added music. And it introduced some additional characters who were equally awesome. This dynamic author duo does such a fantastic job creating real CHARACTERS that stick with you. I cannot express to you my love for Amma. I totally want an Amma in my life. Voodoo charms and all.
All in all, I have to say I ultimately enjoyed it once Lena got past her emo whining thing (not that she didn’t have REASON for it, mind you), and I will absolutely be salivating until October the 18th when Beautiful Chaos comes out. As a tide me over, they were kind enough to release a novella or short story or something with Ethan and Link in the meantime–Dream Dark. I can’t wait to see where this series goes next.