Title: Beautiful Darkness
Author: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Release Date: October 12, 2010
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 503 (Hardcover)
Before you continue reading, know that this might be a mixture of a review and me venting.
Okay, so. If you've read Beautiful Creatures, you know how big it is. It's huge, 563 pages long, and maybe as heavy as all get out (no idea where that came from). I was happy to find this one 60 pages shorter. Takes up less room on my bookcase. ;)
After finishing this book at about 1am, I found I both really loved it and really hated it. I've got a big love/hate relationship with this book.
I'll start with what I loved: no matter what happened, no matter how weird things got and how crazy characters acted, it still made me turn the page and continue reading. It was like a compulsion, or a drug. I had to know what happened next and I had to know right then before I went to bed.
The Caster world Kami and Margie have created is wicked. Different powers, Light and Dark, family feuds, Keepers (so awesome). It's world building at its finest. I can only imagine how many notebooks or Word files there are with all the Caster rules and types and powers and all the little fiddly bits we as the average reader don't know all about yet.
The relationship between Ethan and Lena is powerful, to say the least. They so can't be together, but Ethan forever tunes it out and goes after her time and time again. It's interesting, seeing what a guy will do to save the girl he loves. No book crush, I promise. Lena can keep him. ;)
And Liv. So cool, and so British. Just what Gatlin needs. ;)
Okay, what bugged me/bothered me/what I hated: the fact that Ethan and Lena had this massive break up and a huge mess of crap had to happen with them apart. Lena so needs Ethan, but Ripley and this new guy John Breed shows up and all hell breaks loose. I wanted to scream at Lena through the pages, but it wasn't meant to be. Yes, absence makes the heart grow fonder, but this was outrageous. I still want to beat the crap out of this book.
But, and this goes back to what I also love about the book, the evil was so evil and so manipulative and so 'I don't give a flying &%#@^*&%^$#@@$ what these people think cause I'm evil and I'm going to rule the world and totally use everyone I can to get what I want.' Everything was necessary to move the book along in weird twisty complicated ways (holy crap, Ethan's mom *weird look*). Everything had to happen, even when I totally wanted to punch Ripley right in her lollipop (not a euphemism) and nail John Breed right between the... eyes (or somewhere else).
It was torture, reading this 500 page monster. I hated it so much.
I loved it. It's awesome.
*sigh* I'm not going to survive book 3 and then the wait for book 4. If your books give me a heart attack, Kami and Margie, you owe me a pie. A big one. ;)