Beautiful Darkness | Book Review

Please be aware that this is the second book in a series. I attempt to not include spoilers and references to events and important character information in any of my reviews, however it is recommended that you have read the first book in the series, Beautiful Creatures, before reading this review.  Check out my review for Beautiful Creatures.

Beautiful Darkness
Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Book 2 of 'The Caster Chronicles' series

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 harboured 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.

Recommended for those who enjoy:
gothic teen novels, teen romance, supernatural becomings, blossoming love, 'coming of age' transitions, freedom from being stuck in one place, fantasy fiction

Cold Tea and Crumbs rating:  ★★★

My thoughts:
Firstly, to sum up this book in one word it's 'WOW'. Continuing off where Beautiful Creatures (Book 1 in 'The Caster Chronicles') finished, this story grabbed me by about chapter 3 and I was hooked from then on in. To say that this book is miles better than the first is an understatement!

Following on from Lena's not quite so sweet sixteenth birthday and it's saddening end, Lena is understandably not the best company to be around, especially for Ethan, who just wants to support her and get her through this difficult time. Poor Ethan though, everything he does seems to be wrong and it's made all the more worst when John Breed turns up in town, hot on Ridley's heels, and seems to be manipulating Lena to ignore Ethan and spend her time with him instead. With her looming 'Claiming' now scheduled for her seventieth birthday, Ethan is worried about Sarafine's plans and if she'll succeed in turning Lena 'dark'.

When the trio (Lena, John and Ridley) go off in search for the Caster's Paradise (a place where Lena can truly be herself around others who too are 'different'), Ethan is shortly in tow fearing the worst for Lena as he is weary of John and his 'abilities' as well as Sarafine. With his friends there to help, Link and new character Liv, he quickly discovers more about the Caster tunnels that are below Gatlin and beyond and also uncovers more about his mother and her past within the Caster community.

Overall this book was a fantastic read, with so many different twists and turns. If I were to even mention one of them it would ruin the book for you. Some story developments were predictable but the one's that weren't had be gobsmacked and needing time to process the delicious surprise my brain had just discovered. Undeniably, a book worthy of 5 stars!

Over to you:
Have you read Beautiful Darkness, what did you think of it? Enjoyed reading it or disliked it?
Have you read any more of the series, do they continue to get better or does the story peak with book 2?

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