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Beautiful Darkness | [Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl]

Beautiful Darkness

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

Sometimes life-ending.

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.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©2010 Kami Garcia (P)2010 Hachette Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (1729 )
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Performance
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  •  
    FanB14 03-04-14
    FanB14 03-04-14

    Short, Simple, No Spoilers

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4434
    ratings
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    134
    124
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    7
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "One Was Enough"

    Lena and Ethan, the star-crossed couple battling dark magic, and the prejudices of the townsfolk in Gatlin, SC in Beautiful Creatures was fresh and engaging. This one falls peril to the mistakes of most second novels, they tried to make it bigger and more complicated.

    The first 20 min continued with Lena and Ethan fighting their feelings and then an enormous chasm opens with new characters, supernatural beings, and other worlds followed through tunnels beneath the Caster Library, creating a jumbled mess. Peripheral characters receive too much time, revealing how uninteresting they truly are and takes attention away from the main focal point. The last 10 minutes finally brought the young lovers back together, but also set up a new problem for further books; those I will not read.



    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tamra 10-16-10
    Tamra 10-16-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    420
    3
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    Overall
    "Engaging and entertaining"

    Once again Ethan Wade's world comes to life. The characters are three dimensional and the mystery gets steeped pretty deeply in the paranormal. The castor world is even more firmly entrenched in Gatlin than we first thought. Add a strange and unusual incubus to the mix and Lena is in over her head. Top the story off with the phenomenal vocal talents of Kevin T. Collins and you will believe you are really hearing from Ethan. This story is a perfect follow-up for 'Beautiful Creatures'. I recommend it whole-heartedly.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teddy Bronx, NY, United States 08-04-13
    Teddy Bronx, NY, United States 08-04-13

    "A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one." - Jojen Reed. #ADanceWithDragons

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Better than the first...."

    I found myself actually enjoying this one more than the first one in the series. I was by no means floored by the epicness of the story but this one went down much better than the first.

    They returned the narrator which to me was an EXCELLENT choice seeing that he was more or less the star of the first one in my opinion and the story line was just a bit stronger. There are a number of very interesting twists that occurred in this story especially with the minor characters in the book. I actually found myself gravitating more to some of the other characters than the main ones because of the more 'flawed' nature of said main characters themselves. I found myself having the same problem with the two main characters in this book as I did in the last albeit to a lesser extent. They both seemed flawed in atypical ways and despite me actually enjoy reading about flawed characters I am not seeing growth in these characters (the main ones) in any meaningful fashion.

    Still an interesting read though which has the potential to be an amazing story if only the authors will aim for more than creating a novel designed for love sick teen scene....

    13 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy Devault Woodburn, OR United States 01-28-13
    Nancy Devault Woodburn, OR United States 01-28-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    101
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    Story
    "Just ok"
    Any additional comments?

    This one was just okay. I kind of got a bit tired of Lena's constant whining. Waa Waambulance! She's so moody and just got on my last nerve!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arwen Boise, ID, United States 12-09-11
    Arwen Boise, ID, United States 12-09-11 Member Since 2009

    Just a little bibliophile! ;)

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Love This Story!"

    ..and I'm confident you will, also, particularly if you do read in this genre. This second installment of the Beautiful Creatures saga contains some interesting twists and turns. It is true that at some points, the story take it's time to develop but I think that is part of the story..keeping "true to it's nature", if you will. The same can be said for the tension between the characters, and some dialogue that you find yourself wishing would or would not be exchanged between them. If you become invested enough that you get "mad" a character for what she (or he) is not doing or saying, (as I did) then the author(s) have done their job! It would not be the same story if things were "easier", or things were said differently. I find Kevin T. Collins' narrative performance pretty much impeccable. He really makes Ethan real. He does this so well that the character of Ethan himself really becomes the driving force of the story, and not just because it is, in fact, relayed in first person from his perspective. His genuineness and personality really come through. You feel like you are in his head and experiencing these events from the inside out. Also, I liked the song and the sound effects and did not find them to be too much. Highly recommend!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julius Butcher 09-20-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting, but could be better"

    I have bought this book for my daughter, she is in the right age for a YA novel. But then I thought, what the hell, the book is out in public for anyone to read, so I read it. I try to write my review as if I were a few years younger :)

    The story is interesting. The idea of the hidden magic world below a real town is not that original, but still compelling. There is still much can be said or written about it. I thought I was familiar with the story of the first book in the series since I saw the movie, but listening I gathered that the book was different. Anyway, I learned enough backstory to enjoy this volume. The creatures and the magic system was awesome. I could hardly wait to see them in work. Unfortunately the authors didn't expand the full potential these creatures were capable of. I expected more use of magic and more direct conflict and fight. More about this later.

    There were some really good characters, I liked Link and Liv the best. Oh, and the old ladies. Unfortunately they were not the main characters. I found Ethan - who supposed to be the hero - a weak, girlish kid. He did nothing else but think of Lena. He didn't play computer games, he didn't play soccer, he didn't hang out with his friends. He did nothing what a guy at his age would do. Actually I didn't understand why he insisted on belonging to Lena. There was no future for them, because they couldn't be together as mortal and immortal. OK, I could accept this because of the power of love overcomes every barrier. But the girl consequently refused him and sent him away, she was impossible go get on with. If was Ethan I would have left Lena and picked up Liv. I just couldn't believe that Ethan was able to love Lena with such an intensity. I'm not too romantic, I suppose.

    As I said I would love to see more fight. Some may say that this is a YA book for fifteen to eighteen years old kids, and we must be careful writing about violence. Come on. These kids already played through Call of Duty Black Ops II. Twice. They watched ol' Skywalker get burned and turned dark in Star Wars. They watched the ork battle in The Lord of The Rings. I don't say that the book should contain extreme violence, but if my thirteen year old son would read it he would fall asleep bored.

    It's same with the sex. I support that there shouldn't be forthright sex scenes. But again: come on. Most of our kids had their first sexual experience before the age of eighteen. A seventeen year old boy spends most of his day thinking about cars and computers games and girls. And when they think about girls they don't stop at holding hands and innocent kissing. I didn't, and I was a quite average guy. "YA books shouldn't have sex in them" is a myth, which should be busted. YA books shouldn't have steamy sex scenes, I agree. But guys put your hands on your heart and say: "when kissing, I strictly forbade my hands trying to explore my girl's touchy spots". You cannot, because you would lie. But in this book that wouldn't even be possible, because when it gets hot, the mortal one of the couple gets burned for real.

    I had one other problem with the book: it was too long. It was too long, because of the repetition of the same thing over and over again. It could have been compressed into half length. Making it shorter would have increased the tension and quicken the pace. Also it could have helped to avoid having long discussions before or during actions. It was annoying how the characters explained the evident while I was eager to know what was really happening. Our kids are growing in a very intense environment and got to used to fast image video clips and action movies, not explanations stretching until becoming boring.

    I have to mention that I loved the narration, and the southern accent. I also liked the style the book was written, it flowed smoothly.

    I wonder what my daughter will have to say about the book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stacy CHARLESTON, WV, United States 09-09-13
    Stacy CHARLESTON, WV, United States 09-09-13 Member Since 2013

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not as good as the first one"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would recommend this series for a young woman in her teens.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl ? Why or why not?

    Yes I would. While the dialogue and overall tone of the series is juvenile, the writing itself is well developed and descriptive.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim NAMPA, ID, United States 04-26-13
    Kim NAMPA, ID, United States 04-26-13 Member Since 2011

    Ok, yes, I confess. I'm another paranormal geek.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    70
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    34
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    "Really enjoyed this series."

    I really enjoyed this series. Kevin T Collins is a great narrator, and combined with a well thought out story, it makes for an entertaining and captivating listen. I thought the character development was great, and the chemistry between characters was realistic enough. Even though I don't live in the south, I still felt I could relate to the small town southern theme throughout the series, and I especially liked that the authors brought in so much history into the story. It has a darker feel than other YA series, and it's written from a male perspective (vs female in other popular series) but perhaps that's why I liked it. I recommend this series to those who enjoyed Twilight & Mortal Instruments.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rose Gonzales, CA, United States 03-28-13
    Rose Gonzales, CA, United States 03-28-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    "Fabulous and almost as good as book 1"

    Book one is just the start of the adventure. You thought you knew something. Oh but you will be happily suprised

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ann ARDMORE, TN, United States 08-27-12
    Ann ARDMORE, TN, United States 08-27-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    6
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    0
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    "A bit disappointing"
    Would you try another book from Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl and/or Kevin T. Collins?

    I had actually read Beautiful Creatures, the first book in this series. So I was expecting a good story out of Beautiful Darkness. But I did not find it to be so. There was way too much whining and not much action thru the entire first half of the story. I know Ethan lost his mother and Lena her uncle but the moaning and crying just went on too long. Once the story finally took off I had already lost interest.

    The narrator was just not my favorite. The voices he used for some of the more interesting characters was just annoying and grated on my nerves. Maybe it was just me but I was turned off my the entire narration.

    I know so many enjoyed this book and performance, but I was not among them.


    Would you recommend Beautiful Darkness to your friends? Why or why not?

    No. Maybe it is a better read than a listen.


    Did Kevin T. Collins do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    He did make sure we knew each characters voice and was consistent with it thru out the story.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    No


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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