Book Review: Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

After the events of Lena’s sixteenth birthday, Ethan can feel her pulling away from him. She begins hanging out with a stranger that reeks of trouble and is becoming less and less the Lena he loves. Now plagued with strange visions, Ethan must join forces with his best friend and a young research assistant to navigate the secret underground passageways that are much more dangerous than they seem. Can he save Lena before it’s too late?

I have mixed feelings about the second book in the Beautiful Creatures series. There were parts that I absolutely loved and others that I didn’t particularly enjoy.

I have to say that the secondary characters shone through in this book. I got to see much more of Ethan’s best friend, Link, and he turned out to be a pretty awkward teenage boy who thinks that he’s all that. The research assistant, Liv, also brought in a whole new dynamic. Not only did she create tension between Lena and Ethan, but she acted exactly how I’d like to see a strong, female character react in a book.

This book was pretty heavy on Macon Ravenwood’s back-story. He was my favorite character in Beautiful Creatures, so I was looking forward to hearing more about how he became the character that he was in that book. I loved learning about his relationship with the woman he loved, what he did to protect her, and how that all influenced his present circumstances.

One of the two biggest things that got on my nerves was Lena’s depression at the beginning of the book. Given how the last book ended, it’s not surprising that she pulled away from Ethan. I had a hard time sympathizing with her, though, when she continued to make decisions that put an even greater distance from Ethan, who was only trying to help. The story did eventually go into why she did that, and I understand now. However it was difficult to continue to like her up until about two thirds of the way through the book.

The other major issue I had with the book was that a lot of things turned out to be pretty convenient. I’m not going to go too far into detail because those would be spoilers, but I felt a bit like deus ex machina happened several times if just to help Ethan (though not solve his problems). I could have lived with one incident; it just happened too often for me to find it believable.

Overall, I enjoyed Beautiful Darkness. It wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read, but it was fun. I’ll definitely be picking up the next book in the series once I finish with the backlog of other books that I need to read.

Rating: 

Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl is published by Little, Brown and Company.

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