Ready for the second installment of a series set in a smalltown where everything seems predictable but nothing really is? Where everyone from mad scientists to ordinary librarians seems to have a secret or two that are not ordinary at all?
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
I read Beautiful Creatures, the first book in the series, a few months ago and I loved every little detail about it. Especially the setting appealed to me. A small town where everyone and their grandma knows you and your family (like...literally!) and a boy who fit in the picture all his life until...he doesn't anymore. Throw in a cute and tragic love story and the book is for me. I bought Beautiful Darkness right after I finished Beautiful Creatures but somehow put it off until now. I have to say that I was a bit disappointed.
I still find the story in general amazing. All the little secrets in Gatlin that are uncovered throughout the novel always surprised me and kept me reading. I think Ethan is a great character. Not only is he absolutely nice and friendly and polite and funny (perfect boyfriend-material), but his development also is described so thoughtfully. During these two books and all the experiences Ethan makes the reader can really see him grow and make decisions that become more mature with every step he takes. Same with the other characters especially Link and Ridley. After finishing Beautiful Darkness I felt like I knew them all in real life.
The plot in this book was very different from the one in the first book which took me some time to get used to. There were so many new and different settings and characters and I didn't expect the story world to expand the way it did.
What I really didn't like in the book, though, was Lena. My favorite character from the first book turned into the most annoying one in Beautiful Darkness. Throughout the first 100 pages I was close to putting the book down quite often just because I couldn't stand Lena's behaviour. I mean, it was okay for her to act the way she did and totally reasonable, but still. Fifty pages to me would clearly have been enough to show her state of mind.
All in all, I didn't like this book as much as i liked the first one as it was very hard for me to get through the first 100 or so pages. After that, though, it was okay, I just felt like I couldn't really get into it anymore. I'd recommend continuing the series anyway, though, because the ending of this one made me look forward to number three so much. From what you can guess from Beautiful Darkness in my opinion makes reading Beautiful Chaos unavoidable :)
RATING: 2 out of 3 Smarties