AH's Reviews > Beautiful Darkness

Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia
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's review
Mar 20, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: own, young-adult, chubby-chunkster, demons, zzread-dec-2010, succubus, vampires

What a sombre, dreary beginning.

That was my first update on this book and unfortunately the first 200 pages are just that: Sombre, dreary, with lots of crying and sadness. I wanted to like this book. I really did. I liked its predecessor Beautiful Creatures. But this book just didn’t do it for me.

Why the 3 star rating? There were a lot of things that I did enjoy in the book:

I liked the Caster magic and lore. Every reference to Caster magic was interesting and well thought out. I liked that the Caster world existed in plain sight of our world. I liked how each member of Lena’s family had different abilities.

The cultural references were fun. There were references to the prime directive from Star Trek, Superman’s kryptonite, even Aquaman. Sadly, there were no references to Scooby Doo, the one cartoon show that seemed to fit in well especially when the gang was in the spooky Caster tunnels. (Thank you, Greta for that image!)

The secondary characters were amazing. I enjoyed Link’s happy-go-lucky go with the flow character. Link also had special skills in the lock picking field. While his language was not necessarily representative of an average 17 year old boy, Link provided some much needed comic relief.

Liv was an interesting character. Not one to follow the prime directive or Marian’s annoying non-interference policy, Liv was a great resource of information for Ethan. She also provided a sexy, British accented, secondary love interest for Ethan as well. Yes, the love triangle has made an appearance. The best surprise was Ridley. I’ll just leave it as that so as not to spoil the story. Special mention goes to Lucille Ball, the Caster cat.

There were a lot more things that I disliked about this book. First of all, it was way too long and could have been edited down. It was a slow read for me. Nothing really happens in the first 200 pages except that the main characters are mopey and sad. How many 17 year old boys cry as much as Ethan does? I hated Lena in this book. I felt absolutely no connection to her. I wanted Ethan to hook up with Liv. She would have made a better match for him. I really did not understand why Ethan’s father was returned to the story. Was it so that he could have the birds and the bees talk with Ethan? Right after that, he seems to disappear into his study yet again.

While I enjoyed the exciting conclusion to the book, I was disappointed with the last page. I kept turning the page and when it kept coming up blank, I was mad. When I saw a reference to 18 moons, all I could think about was another book was coming.

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Reading Progress

March 20, 2010 – Shelved
November 29, 2010 – Started Reading
November 29, 2010 –
page 17
3.38% "What a sombre, dreary beginning."
November 29, 2010 –
page 57
11.33% "Still slow going. Lena needs to snap out of her funk. Ethan's father returns from the hospital and the first thing he wants to do is have a talk about girls and relationships."
November 29, 2010 –
page 94
18.69% "Mystery Harley motorcycle guy - who are you?"
November 30, 2010 –
page 108
21.47% "Amma knows something... I think that so far, Link is the most realistic teenager in the story. He really shines in this book."
November 30, 2010 –
page 122
24.25% "Star Trek is mentioned: "It's like the prime directive for Star Trek...Unlike Captain Kirk, there is no choice in my case. Bound to act neither for the Dark nor the Light. I couldn't change my destiny, even if I wanted to. I have my own place in the natural order of the Caster world, in the order of things." (p114) Then he touches a gum wrapper and FLASHBACK!"
November 30, 2010 –
page 130
25.84% "Ovaltine girl meets Quik boy. I think I like Olivia way better than Lena."
November 30, 2010 –
page 133
26.44% ""The girl I was madly in love with was still the girl I was madly in love with. That hadn't changed. Only now the girl I was madly in love with was keeping secrets from me and barely speaking to me.""
November 30, 2010 –
page 158
31.41% "Nothing beats a good county fair pie contest except a pie contest with some Caster magic. Amma had to take out her wooden spoon..."
December 1, 2010 –
page 193
38.37% "OK, now I am into this."
December 1, 2010 –
page 265
52.68% ""Fact. Not killing the love of your life doesn't make you a hero." - Amen."
December 1, 2010 –
page 287
57.06% ""You know anyone else dumb enough to search for a mythical place where a rogue Supernatural is trying to call a Claiming moon?""
December 1, 2010 –
page 319
63.42% "The Caster Tunnels is a really neat method of transportation. There doesn't seem to be any logic to them - one part can be day, the other night and you can literally walk all over the world in a few hours through them. Ethan, Liv, and Link end up in Savannah. It does feel like a Scooby Doo-ish."
December 2, 2010 –
page 351
69.78% ""My life had taken a stranger turn that I could've ever imagined. What was I doing on this path? Where was I headed really? Who was I to take on a battle between powers I didn't understand - armed with a runaway cat, a uniquely bad drummer, a pair of garden shears, and an Ovaltine-drinking teen Galileo? To save a girl who didn't want to be saved?"
December 2, 2010 –
page 371
73.76% "Ridley, Ridley, Ridley...."
December 3, 2010 –
page 418
83.1% "Still feeling a little Scooby-Doo-ish as they go through the tunnels. Macon is getting way more interesting as we learn more about him."
December 3, 2010 –
page 503
100.0% "Exciting conclusion. Page 503 was annoying because I expected a little more. I sense another book coming."
December 3, 2010 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-20 of 20) (20 new)

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Greta is Erikasbuddy woah!! You are way way ahead of me!! I'm on p. 25 :) I hope to do a lot of catch-up today :)

message 2: by AH (new) - rated it 3 stars

AH I won't get to it til later this PM. Gotta go to work and do stuff around the house.

Greta is Erikasbuddy ahh!! Dang chores lolz!! :) That was soo my yesterday :P

Greta is Erikasbuddy LMAO!! Why did you put this in a chubby chnkster shelf? LOLZ!!! I can only think of one thins hahahahs!

message 5: by AH (new) - rated it 3 stars

AH It's a chubby chunkster book. Book over 500 pages get put on that shelf.

Greta is Erikasbuddy Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!! I got cha ;)

Greta is Erikasbuddy U know what I thought of when we thought Dad wanted to have the talk? I just thought of Renee talking to Bella on the phone about boys... AND THEN!! to find out Daddy wanted to talk about girl's FEELINGS was wiggity whack!! Dudes don't think that way! lolz! at least not the 17 year old boys I went to school with :)

Next time we'll have to make a drinking game out of all the crying that goes on like Catherine suggested. I'm sure we'll be wasted by the 2nd chapter day hahahs!

*Pound it

message 8: by AH (new) - rated it 3 stars

AH I did have 2 glasses of wine last night. It really helped the creative process.

message 10: by Quinn (new)

Quinn Great review, AH. Doesn't sound like one for me. If I'm going to invest in a 500 page book, I need it to be worth it!

message 11: by AH (new) - rated it 3 stars

AH Thanks, Quinn. It was a slow read. I agree, a 500 page book definitely needs to be worth the time.

message 12: by Tatiana (new)

Tatiana At least two more books are on the way, AH...

message 13: by AH (new) - rated it 3 stars

AH No! Is 4 a magic number?

message 14: by Tatiana (new)

Tatiana I am sure it will increase to magic 7 if the 4th still sells well. I don't expect these authors to have their series pre-planned. They just go with the flow.

message 15: by Penny (last edited Dec 04, 2010 08:11PM) (new) - added it

Penny I was planning on reading this book, but every time I go to purchase it I chicken-out. It's just so massive, but not in that good oh-look-its-another-fattycakes-Harry-Potter-book way. I suspect it's going to read more like a really depressing text book. And honestly? I had to force myself to finish reading Beautiful Creatures. So yeah, not really wanting to spend money on a book that might be a struggle to finish. Again.

But thanks for reading this so I don't have to. I think I'm done with this series. :S

message 16: by Cory (new)

Cory This series is way too long and way too boring. Ridley is my favorite character and she's evil. Why am I always siding with the evil characters in these new YA books? And I can't believe Lena gets even more unlikable. That's possible? And Ethan gets even more effeminate?

message 17: by AH (new) - rated it 3 stars

AH Ridley was one of the redeeming features of this book. Loved her character.

Penny, if you had to force yourself to finish Beautiful Creatures, then this is not the book for you.

Angela Agree. Agree. Agree.
On all points, in fact.
Great review. I just finished the book today and plan on reading over the discussion on Bewitched. I can't wait to read your post. =)

message 19: by AH (new) - rated it 3 stars

AH Thanks, cutie! I was nice in my post. You should read Greta and my update comments just for their entertainment value. I'm glad I read it with her, I don't know if I would have finished it otherwise.

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