Thursday, June 16, 2011

Beautiful Creatures & Beautiful Darkness

Beautiful CreaturesI must confess to you that I LOVE To Kill a Mockingbird.  I mean true, lasting love.  I can't tell you how many times I've read this book.  I can, however, tell you that I love it so much I made my mom and bff load up last summer to visit Monroe, Alabama for the fiftieth anniversary of the novel so I could stand in Atticus's courtroom and peek through the branches of Boo's tree.  Yes, indeed, I even have the t-shirt.  So, as you might have guessed, I also love anything that can bring the Mockingbird into my mind.  Oh, Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, you had me at hello.

To me, Beautiful Creatures and Beautiful Darkness are like To Kill a Mockingbird meets National Treasure peppered with just enough not sappy love to grab me and never let go.  Shall I share?  Oh, I think so.

Beautiful Darkness
Both Beautiful Creatures and Beautiful Darkness are set in Gatlin, South Carolina, which I imagine as a more modern Macon, Alabama of course.  And, by modern, I mean the streets are paved and the library is pristine.  The narrator, Ethan Wate, finds himself pulled into the mysterious and sometimes dangerous world of The Casters when Lena Duchannes comes to town to live at Ravenwood Manor with her uncle, Macon.  Macon is described as being both the Atticus Finch and Boo Radley of the book, depending on your position in Gatlin.  I, of course, fell promptly in love with him.  I must say I was also surprised and delighted to find a male narrator in this book.

Ethan begins to sense something has changed in himself.  He is drawn to the new and taboo Lena Duchannes.  In this close knit community Lena Duchannes may as well be an alien as a beautiful girl awaiting her sixteenth birthday.  Ethan and Lena discover they have an unexplained connection; they can hear each other's thoughts.  As these two fall in love, Ethan learns that Lena is a Caster.  This means she has powers, either light or dark, that will be revealed to her upon her sixteenth moon.  The problem is that Lena learns that her mother is the most powerful dark Caster, since...forever.  Lena fears that she too will become a dark Caster.

As Ethan and Lena struggle to learn about her fate they learn more about the seemingly sleepy town of Gatlin, Ethan's family, Lena's family, and everyone Ethan thought he understood. 

Just like the names of the books imply, they are beautiful.  The third installment, Beautiful Chaos, is due out October 12, 2011.  I have recently learned (Thanks, Compulsive Reader) that a short story called "Dream Dark" will be released August 2.  Just right around the corner!  This story features Link, Ethan's best friend, as the narrator.  It will give the reader insight into Link's transformation that begins in Beautiful Darkness. I know!  Way to go ladies.  I wish more writers would send out a teaser between the long awaited next installment of a series.  Perhaps others will follow your lead.  A girl can dream, right?


  1. Thanks for literary placing this book in my hands! Not entirely finished but will soon be----I only put it down to eat and go to Splash! Keep the reviews coming!!! Fabulous content without spoilers? YES, please! (LOL! )

  2. I'm beyond jealous over you standing in that courtroom! That (and GWTW) are my much so that the babe's middle name is Harper. Cheesy, I know. Great blog!