Authors: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Publication: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (October 12, 2010)
Description: Ethan Wate used to think of Gatlin, the small Southern town he had always called home, as a place where nothing ever changed. Then he met mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes, who revealed a secret world that had been hidden in plain sight all along. A Gatlin that harbored ancient secrets beneath its moss-covered oaks and cracked sidewalks. A Gatlin where a curse has marked Lena's family of powerful Supernaturals for generations. A Gatlin where impossible, magical, life-altering events happen.
Together they can face anything Gatlin throws at them, but after suffering a tragic loss, Lena starts to pull away, keeping secrets that test their relationship. And now that Ethan's eyes have been opened to the darker side of Gatlin, there's no going back. Haunted by strange visions only he can see, Ethan is pulled deeper into his town's tangled history and finds himself caught up in the dangerous network of underground passageways endlessly crisscrossing the South, where nothing is as it seems.
My Thoughts: This was a lush, compelling read. The prose was dense and rich. It was a book that needed to be savored and not gulped. And at over 500 pages, it filled almost a week of my reading time. Also rather unusual for the genre, the viewpoint character is Ethan Wate the male main character. We see the town and the story through his eyes. The events in this book begin very soon after the conclusion of Beautiful Creatures. This review does contain some spoilers if you haven't read the first book.
The story begins with Lena pulling away from Ethan. Ethan thinks that she is pulling away because of depression after the death of her beloved uncle. But nothing he can say or do is helping her. It doesn't help that he is being plagued with disturbing visions of both Macon and Abraham. When Lena gets involved again with her cousin Ridley and John Breed - the newcomer to town who is part incubus and part something else, Ethan doesn't know what to do. He turns to the new girl in town - Liv - who is a keeper-in-training to help him find some answers.
Many adventures happen as Ethan, Liv and Ethan's best friend Link explore the many hidden tunnels under the Southeastern United States as they try to find Lena and save her from committing herself to the Dark. Everyone learns more about themselves in this one. Life-altering and world-altering decisions are made. I recommend this book to older YAs and others who enjoyed the first volume of this series. I thought it was an extremely entertaining and well-written book.
There's something about sitting alone in the dark that reminds you how big the world really is, and how far apart we all are. The stars look like they're so close, you could reach out and touch them. But you can't. Sometimes things look a lot closer than they are.