Review: Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

, by Kt Clapsadl

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. 


After not being claimed for darkness like she feared, you would expect Lena to be happy to be able to stay with Ethan. However her guilt from her Uncle's death is threatening to consume her and causes Lena to pull further and further away from Ethan. When Ethan starts having mysterious visions again, this time without Lena, he knows she is in trouble, but he just isn't sure what the danger really is. When Lena really starts to take a turn for the worst, Ethan may just be the only person who can save her from herself, but what happens when she doesn't want to be saved? 

The teen love angst was majorly stepped up in this book. It really surprises me to say this, but I actually think the angst added to the story. Usually this is something that will turn me off of a series, but it was handled perfectly in this book. Everything between Ethan and Lena is thoroughly strained, ripped, torn apart. It's almost as if all of their differences grew together and formed an impenetrable wall between the two of them. However, while the issues between them made for a terribly nail biting read, if they can overcome those obstacles, they will only come out the other side that much stronger. I really enjoy these two together and I hope their relationship will stand the test of time despite the road blocks along the way.

A lot of questions get answered in this book. Many of those answers are ones you will never see coming. Things are really starting to come all together and the events in the past have woven a very intricate web to lead into the present. It's amazing to see how everything has led up to the current events, and its hard to believe there is still plenty we do not know. This book really has just the right amount of revelations to really keep the pace going, but it leaves plenty of mystery as well. This is a really fine line to follow, and can be one of my biggest pet peeves in a book. Too little information and the book is very frustrating, but too many revelations can become boring as there is no mystery left. I am very impressed with the way this series is progressing and handling the "information and mystery" issues.

If you thought the stakes were high in the first book, this one steps it up that much further. Be prepared to sit on the edge of your seat the entire book. I couldn't read it any faster! This book will definitely grip you every bit as hard as the first one. After the revelations in this book, I cannot imagine the direction the next book will have to take. If you enjoyed the first book, this one surely will not disappoint. If you are anything like me, as soon as you finish this book, you will be counting down until the next one.

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Beautiful Darkness
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