Title: Beautiful Chaos
Author: Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Release Date: October 18, 2011
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (Hachette Book Group imprint)
Ethan and Lena have returned to Gatlin, but nothing is the same. Heat waves, swarms of locusts, powerful storms. The town is being ravaged. As Ethan and Lena struggle to understand the impact of Lena's Claiming, they learn her family has been affected, their abilities now imperfect and misfiring. As times passes, they realize something, or someone, has to be sacrificed to save Gatlin. For Ethan, the chaos is a welcome distraction from the changes he's feeling in himself. Something is haunting his dreams, and his life, and he's starting to lose pieces of his memory. Sometimes there isn't one answer or one choice, sometimes there's no going back. And this time there won't be a happy ending.
This series has turned into one that I dread reading because I know that at the end, the wait for so many questions to be answered will be long and painful. If you've seen my review of Beautiful Darkness, you know I had a problem with it. This book, thankfully, was better. This was a lot of question answering but also a lot of realization. We learn what the end of Beautiful Darkness has meant to Gatlin, as well as a certain event from the end of Beautiful Creatures. Consequences. They are important, even when you want to save the person you love.
Lena's back to normal, so to speak (no distancing herself from Ethan this time, thank God). She's wary of Ethan's friendship with Olivia, but come on, when you totally shove your boyfriend away and hand out with some hot Incubus guy, you can't blame your boyfriend for not totally pining after you and staying away from all girls for the rest of time. Besides, he's just friends with Liv.
Ethan's memories are starting to going. He can't remember class work or conversations, something's haunting him in and out of his dreams. Something's wrong, broken, and he needs to figure out what it is before he's completely ripped apart.
A large part of this book has to do with the Wheel of Fate. Everything is meant to be, meant to happen. There's no turning your back on it, no running from it. Even when it hurts. Sometimes figuring it out is what hurts the most.
Die-hard fans of the series will dive into this book with open arms, heading straight back into the sweltering days and still warm nights of Gatlin, the Southern sights and smells, the kudzu creeping up over other plants. For those who weren't fans of the previous book in the series, you might want to give Beautiful Chaos another chance.
(I received a finished copy of this book from Hachette Book Group Canada to review.)