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Beautiful Creatures (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

Beautiful Creatures (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

4.2 2737
by Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl, BookSource Staff (Compiler)

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There were no surprises in Gatlin County.
We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.

At least, that's what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong.
There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave.

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small


There were no surprises in Gatlin County.
We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.

At least, that's what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong.
There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave.

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Meredith Kiger
In the genre of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, this first effort by two young authors will appeal to teens with interest in the now popular occult revival in movies and television. Set in the rural South Carolina town of Gatlin, the story begin with sixteen-year-old Ethan Gate's adjustment to life after his mother's untimely death and his father's reclusive reaction to it. Amma, the housekeeper who keeps a tight rein on Ethan, is something of a character and believer in the occult. Ethan is a realist, dismissing most of Amma's talk of good and bad luck until a new girl named Lena appears at the high school looking and acting like something of a mystery. It turns out Lena is staying at the local haunted mansion called Ravenswood. When Ethan finally meets Lena, a definite connection is made. It seems he and Lena know each other's thoughts and can "speak" to each other without really speaking. When Ethan decides to make a surprise visit to Ravenswood, he embarks on a journey that takes both he and Lena back and forth between Gatlin's Civil War past and the present. Lena's is one in a family of castors, or commonly known as witches. The ensuing story is a fascinating one that ends up involving most of the town, both past and present. The characterizations are interestingly drawn, providing the glue that overcomes a sometimes weird plot. Although some dealings in the occult occur, the majority of the story focuses on the relationship between Ethan and Lena and the town of Gatlin. Reviewer: Meredith Kiger, Ph.D.
VOYA - Nancy K. Wallace
Everything changes for sixteen-year-old, Ethan Wate when beautiful Lena Duchannes, niece of recluse, Macon Ravenwood, moves into Gatlin. The sudden flurry of excitement that Lena's school enrollment causes is only the beginning. Weird songs repeat in Ethan's head and appear on his iPod; wild dreams suggest he and Lena have lived and died in Gatlin nearly 150 years before. Gatlin lives and breathes history and Lena does not fit in at all with the snobby daughters of the DAR ladies. Shunned at school, Ethan becomes her protector. Lena draws Ethan into the arcane world of "Casters," a clandestine magical culture existing beneath the ordinary life of Gatlin. On the night of the reenactment of the Battle of Honey Hill, Gatlin booms with cannon fire and Lena and Ethan conspire to defeat the dark forces that intend to claim Lena forever on her sixteenth birthday. This book has it all: a creepy setting, a deadly curse, reincarnation, spells, witchcraft and voodoo, plus characters that simply will not let the reader put the book down until finished. Twilight Saga fans will love Ethan and Lena. The "Caster" world is fascinating, from Macon who redecorates his mansion instantly depending on his mood to Lena's cousin Ridley, who appears sweet as candy but can make a man do anything just to please her. Throw in an occult library under the DAR building and witchcraft at the prom and who could ask for more? A sequel? Please! Reviewer: Nancy K. Wallace
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Ethan Wate, a high school sophomore, plans to escape his small Southern town as soon as he can. Life has been difficult since his mother died; his father, a writer, has withdrawn into his study. Then Lena Duchannes arrives, and this strange new girl is the very one who has been occupying his dreams. She and her kin are Casters, beings who have supernatural powers. Getting to know her exposes Ethan to time travel, mortal danger, and love. The teens can hardly bear to be apart, but Lena's 16th birthday, when she will be Claimed for dark or light, is only 6 months away. To save her, they fight supernatural powers and the prejudice of closed-minded people. Yet, good and evil are not clearly delineated, nor are they necessarily at odds. In the Gothic tradition of Anne Rice, the authors evoke a dark, supernatural world in a seemingly simple town obsessed with Civil War reenactments and deeply loyal to its Confederate past. The intensity of Ethan and Lena's need to be together is palpable, the detailed descriptions create a vivid, authentic world, and the allure of this story is the power of love. The satisfying conclusion is sure to lead directly into a sequel. Give this to fans of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight (Little, Brown, 2005) or HBO's "True Blood" series and they will devour all 600-plus pages of this teen Gothic romance.—Amy J. Chow, The Brearley School, New York City
Kirkus Reviews
This smart, textured and romantic Southern Gothic takes place in Gatlin, S.C., where cheerleaders and the basketball team run the high school and the Daughters of the American Revolution and Civil War re-enactors run the town. Ethan Lawson Wate, raised by his authoritative and spiritually inclined housekeeper Amma in the months since his mother's death, can't wait to leave Gatlin's predictable monotony. Then Stonewall Jackson High's first new student in years, headstrong, vulnerable and expressive Lena Duchannes, shows up driving her reclusive uncle's hearse, and Ethan recognizes her from his dreams. Compelled to explore his connection to the new girl, Ethan learns that Lena's family are magic Casters and that Lena's supernatural fate will be chosen for her when she turns 16. Community outrage, emotional tension and Lena and Ethan's doomed search for a way around her uncertain destiny build to a boil in the expansive but tightly plotted march toward Lena's 16th birthday. Ethan's wry narrative voice will resonate with readers of John Green as well as the hordes of supernatural-romance fans looking for the next book to sink their teeth into. (Paranormal romance. 12 & up)
Lacy Compton
When the niece of his small town's shut-in enrolls in school, Ethan Wate rejects the idea of ever being friends with her. Lena Duchannes, however, is more than Ethan bargained for—beautiful, different, and unexpectedly powerful. She is a caster—possessing the power to instantly transform her natural surroundings. Ethan discovers a strong attraction to Lena, sharing her dreams, seeing into her mind, and learning a secret about their family histories that connects them. But Lena's time in Gatlin, SC, is short: She has six months until her sixteenth birthday, where she'll learn her fate as a caster—to be dark or to be light, to be evil or to be good, to have Ethan or to lose him forever. The authors weave Southern history and charm with Gothic sensibilities throughout the story. Boasting a strong male narrator, Beautiful Creatures is a fresh, pleasantly enjoyable take on the YA thriller/romance. Reviewer: Lacy Compton

Product Details

Demco Media
Publication date:
Beautiful Creatures Series , #1
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.80(d)
HL670L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl live in Los Angeles, California, with their families. They are the authors of Beautiful Creatures, Beautiful Darkness, Beautiful Chaos, and Beautiful Redemption.

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Beautiful Creatures 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2737 reviews.
Kim-Franklin More than 1 year ago
Words, alone, cannot effectively express the LOVE I feel for this book. For this one, I definitely need more than words. Maybe words, mixed with a myriad of blissfully, excited facial expressions, with lots and lots of exaggerated hand movements thrown in, may paint a clearer picture. But, then again, I'm not so sure that would even suffice in capturing the intense feelings I harbor for this book. Beautiful Creatures is a must read for 2009! Possibly for 2010 and 2011, too! It is one of those books you want to snuggle on the couch with and read its entire contents, start to finish (yes, all 567 pages) in one sitting. It's almost as if the pages themselves have been laced with some sort of happy drug, which successfully pulls you out of this world and transports you straight into the beautifully written pages this novel holds. I'm constantly searching for books like Beautiful Creatures--novels that are so yummy and delicious that you have to restrain yourself from devouring, at once-- and I'm so happy I just happened to stumble across this masterfully written, epic novel. Lucky me! The two main characters, Lena and Ethan, seem like real people. Almost as if, Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, plucked two unsuspecting teenagers from a nearby high school and inserted them into this wonderfully captivating story. What's so fascinating about these two characters is the fact that they're so real, yet so different from anyone else, at the same time. (Pure genius, I tell you!) Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even with the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever. Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them. And, in a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything. The authors successfully weave this magical (in every sense of the word) story about Ethan, your typical high school boy, who wants nothing more than to leave his small home town of Gatlin, and an anything BUT normal girl, Lena, who craves the normalcy that so many take for granted--Ethan included. Along with the sweet love story, which slowly buds from friendship and beyond, there is a little bit of everything: high school drama, heart ache, acceptance, dysfunctional families (coming from both sides), a little bit of history (for all of those history buffs out there), and mystery at every turn and twist in this blissfully original plot that leaves you salivating and constantly wanting MORE, MORE, MORE! There is no doubt in my mind that readers will snatch this book up, instantaneously, and completely devour this delicious read. Actually, I encourage this behavior because it is just that good! Beautiful Creatures is ultimately addictive--hence the drugs--so I strongly recommend [imagine me screaming from the roof tops] for you to pick up your copy...NOW! Not tomorrow. RIGHT. NOW! In the mean time, I'll be here, sitting on my couch, drooling over Beautiful Creatures, anxiously awaiting the next installment of this five part series. www.kim-franklin.blogspot.com
nikki0390 More than 1 year ago
I am a really picky reader. I read about 4 books a month...if not more..but it's always really hard for me to pick a good book. Especially now, when there are so many awful authors out there trying to be the next Stephanie Meyer...which is exactly what they are doing. To give you an example, some of my favorite authors are Patricia Briggs, Karen Chance, Cassandra Clare, J.K. Rowling and Stephanie Meyer. My mom actually picked out Beautiful Creatures for me, and because she has the same taste of book as me, I listened and read it. It was great. Now, it's not as good as the Twilight, Harry Potter, or Mortal Instrument books. I would classify it with the Witch series by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie. However, this book is better than the Witch Series, that's just where I would classify it around. The characters are funny and you instantly love them, such as Amma and Marion. It's an adorable love story but it also has a mix of southern ism and supernatural stuff. It's a really good book. If you like the kinds of books I do you should love it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm usually a fan of YA paranormal. And I love nothing more than a big, fat book that lasts for more than a few hours. Unfortunately, Beautiful Creatures just didn't resonate with me. It took an incredibly long time for anything to happen. The first 100-200 pages were all backstory and useless. Why would a book need to be 600 pages when more than 100 pages were pointless? It felt like very poor editing. And then the narrator is a fifteen year old boy with the perception and observations of a twenty-something young lady. It felt very, very off, which was disappointing. I would have loved to see a strong male lead, rather than what a girl wishes a boy sounds like. All in all it wasn't a bad book. Just not anywhere near the level it should be based on the hype.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The instant I began this book I was caught up in it. Ethan, a high school basketball player who hangs out with the popular group, begins having dreams with him and another mysterious girl he has never met before. He doesn't know what they mean, all he knows is that they are always in danger. One day the girl of his dreams(literally), Lena, moves into town. From that point stranger events happen, including tales of magic, curses, witches, and love. A wonderful novel and a must read. You will get lost in the magical word of "Beautiful Creatures"
Lannie More than 1 year ago
I'm so glad she did! I'm not a YA, far from it, and I'm so not a Harry Potter fan, BUT, I'll have to admit I really enjoyed this lovely book. The engaging plot haunts your every thought. It's a huge book but you won't notice the pages flying by. It's fast moving, no time for boredom to set in. Ethan and Lena's relationship is genuine and real and the "magic", in more ways than one, strengthens their bond. It's not mushy, shallow, cliche or over done, thank goodness! Love overcomes prejudice, Southern living and a taste of magic all blend together to create an enjoyable read, and you don't have to be a young adult to enjoy it. Some other books I love and recommend to all ages...
Deby_Fray More than 1 year ago
OMG this in an amazing book, such an incredible and well-developed story, what a charming place, perfect characters, and above all, so original point of view about this famed topic. I can just congratulate the authors who made a wonderful job, put you just in this little town of Gattlin, with the beautiful manner of speaking of the South, the customs and traditions, the food, oh the food!!! Ethan the main character and the narrator, is adorable, so real and cute and deep but with the correct form for a 16 years old boy, and Lena, charming and sweet, but perfectly recreated as a 15 years old girl....lovely! and you must know you gonna end up loving the secondary characters too, cuz their strong and well-defined and have their own light, amazing ah?? I first read it cuz i heard it will be a movi based on this book, and gosh it´s gonna be a wonderful movie, can´t wait!!!! Buy it, read it, and love it!! If not, you can always complian to me!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm a fan of YA paranormal and I enjoyed this book. The writing was excellent, the characters likeable. will read again.
Twilightsdance More than 1 year ago
I love to read anything dealing with mythology, and Beautiful Creatures delivered. It gives you mystery, love, humor and heartache. The fact that it written from a Male POV is one of the highlights of the book. It gives us a break from the usual Female POV that 95% of books are written in. I enjoyed learning a new world which is Casters. Its not your normal witch and spells, which is great. The connection between Lena and Ethan was well written. One question I still have is what is Ethan? and now that we know that Macon's life was bargain for Ethan, Does that mean Ethan will become a Incubus like Macon? The only reason I didn't give it the 5 stars was I sort of didn't care for the parts that talked about the battles between the South and the North. This was not my strongest subject in school. So I will tell you I am very excited to read the next book in the series Beautiful Darkness.
Chatycat More than 1 year ago
This book opens up both a Southern Culture and a new twist on teen romance. Unlike Twilight, it's written from the boy's perspective. Being the first in the series, it shows some promise with creative and unique characters. The writing is so visual that you have no problems placing yourselves among the teens. If you liked Twilight get ready to enjoy Beautiful Creatures. I look forward to more work from Kami and Margaret. To hear more from the authors join the Beautiful Creatures Facebook account.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Ethan Wate lives at the epicenter of nowhere in Gatlin, South Carolina. Only two kinds of people live in Gatlin, "the stupid and the stuck," and Ethan doesn't consider himself in either of those categories. He isn't sure what he wants to do with the rest of his life, but he knows he wants out of town. It doesn't matter to him what college he goes to as long as it is 1,000 miles away from Gatlin. As summer comes to an end, Ethan prepares himself for another typical school year. Only one thing out of the ordinary has been happening over the last several months - a recurring dream that leaves Ethan gasping for breath, soaking wet from sweat, and questioning his sanity. Always the same, a girl calling his name for help. The girl slipping through his fingers and tumbling down to the ground. A great sense of loss and the lingering scent of lemons and rosemary. When Lena Duchannes moves into Gatlin's oldest and most infamous plantation, she causes quite a stir in town. She causes a stir in Ethan, as well. When he sees her and realizes she is the girl from his dreams, he is drawn to her both out of need and curiosity. Mystery surrounds Lena as she attempts to make a place for herself in the community while also maintaining her individuality. Ethan's eyes are opened to a complicated world of danger and magic as he attempts to figure out his role in Lena's complicated world. BEAUTIFUL CREATURES is a masterfully written tale that weaves together a story of love, the importance of family loyalty, and the difficulties of choosing between good and evil. Garcia and Stohl create a world where readers can lose themselves and be content. Readers will beg for a sequel when they reach the last page.
acsimps More than 1 year ago
I started this book thinking it was going to be about ghosts or something since the synopsis talks about graves and curses, but I was wrong. This is a book about witches or Casters as they are called in Beautiful Creatures. The story was long but I never felt like it was slow. Some questions are never really addressed in the book but I think that they leave enough room for a second book which I would defiantly read. Overall a very good book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book by chance when searching online for books to read. I bought and it must have sat on my desk for over 2 weeks. I don't know why, I just didn't have an desire to pick it up and read it. When I did eventually, I was completely and utterly blown away. This story is unlike anything that I've ever read before and I felt that it kept me on edge throughout the whole pace of the book. I enjoyed how Lena came into the book right away within the first 20 pages, because it didn't get boring. I loved how the authors portrayed Amma's and Macon's characters. I felt everyone should have a person like Amma (minus the voo-doo like stuff) with them growing up. Ethan was probably my favorite character, because he grew so much throughtout the story as a person. He went from just trying to fit in and go with the flow till he could escape Gatlin, to deciding to stand out and support a person he barely knew, not caring what everyeone else thought of him. This book's ending made it seem like a sequel was coming in the future, and I hope it does. I'm a fan of these writers and I hope that they write more books together. They work great as a team. This story was so well crafted and written, that it felt real. I would reccomend this book to anyone who wants a wonderful, long (which is great) book to read. It's a page turned, and will have you on your the edge of your seat throughout the story.
Time_Stand_Still More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing and so was the audio. The characters were as vivid and rich as red velvet cake. These ladies did a fantastic job weaving their tale into the historical southern atmosphere. Can't wait to read the next one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it! They r going to make this into a movie! So excited! - Selena Gomez
Phoenix_Ashes More than 1 year ago
For awhile now I had seen this book in the stores and online, and I tried to read it once in the store, but got caught up in another book. However, I finally checked it out of the library, and now I wish I had bought it for my own. The story is gripping and thrilling tale of Ethan Wate (set mostly in his point of view) who falls in love with a girl who...not wanting to put any spoilers in, let's just say...has a secret. Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl took a quite common plot, boy and girl are different but they fall in love anyway, but they have to face certain obstucles to be together, the authors took that and made it into something that, for me, told me a lot about myself. Perhaps it's just me, but Ethan is very relatable as a person and that is why I believe the authors did such a wonderful job on developing the characters and making them into something real. Because I found Ethan so relatable I cared more about him and Lena and that was how I got sucked into the book. Also, there are a lot of Historical aspects of this books that many people will enjoy. If you're not a fan of history, I'm not saying don't buy it, because the history is...not scarce, but you don't have to be a historian to figure out what their talking about, but it is a pretty big aspect of the book. The things that did it for me, and made me love this book, was Lena and Ethan's relationship. The story takes you from A. When they met and through all the twist and turns, the awkwardness, the ups and down of relationships until point B. When they fall in love and it's developed quite nicely and realisticly. Not like in many stories when they just fall in love like that. Overall I think people will really enjoy this book, I certainly did. The story makes you wonder about a lot of things and question the world around you, kind of like history does.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i read a few reviews before getting the free sample, and the person who said that the main character was feminine was correct. this book is not worth the money. it doesnt have that certain catch to it that would make you want to read it
Ericactdcj More than 1 year ago
This book was awesome! It had me quessing from the very beginning. Every chapter had you quessing what was going to happen next...which is why everytime I put it down all I did was think about the book! AWESOME book! I hope there will be another after this one..
snowflake1982 More than 1 year ago
This book was great i couldn"t put it down...can"t wait for the next one!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this book is very intriguing, it is fun and adventurous, like you feel like your away but your really still at home or where ever you are but this book takes me away. its written with detail that describes the characters feeling,motion,and expression. i am only 10 years old but i understand this book very well and i can understand what the characters feeling.
Fantastic_Book More than 1 year ago
Beautiful Creatures is a must read for 2009! I don't know if I can express how much I love this book and give it its proper due in a few paragraphs. Beautiful Creatures is one of those books that you want to absorb every moment until it's been engraved in your head. When I got down to the final pages I didn't want the story to end because then I had to accept the inevitable - The Ending. WOW! The events that led up to the ending were heart wrenching. I was so wrapped up in this book, I felt like I was living Ethan's life. Everything about this book felt real to me. The dysfunctional family gatherings, the high school drama, the history of Gatlin and most importantly the characters themselves - I was awed with the authenticity of Beautiful Creatures. Readers help authors by spreading the word and buying books but I want to take this moment to thank both Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl for writing a great book and I'm just happy to be able to share my thoughts with readers regarding the excellence of this novel. I can't believe it took them 3 months to write the first draft but the finished product is one to behold indeed. I was thoroughly impressed with the detailed history of Gatlin and how it was merged with the Caster World along with the southern drawl and Latin language for the casts. I could go on and on about everything that I loved about this book but instead I'll keep it short by saying - Beautiful Creatures has everything you could possibly want in a novel. I asked both Kami and Margaret this question in an interview: "What comes to mind when you hear the words 'the perfect story'?" To answer my question - the answer would be Beautiful Creatures. I look forward to reading the next installment in this series.
Nikkayme More than 1 year ago
Words cannot describe how much I enjoyed Beautiful Creatures. The plot, the characters, the pace.everything was so perfectly developed that I couldn't picture it any other way. The southern town of Gatlin is presented as everything a small town should be; with characters that reek of self-proclaimed superiority and a distaste for outsiders. The arrival of Lena Duchannes creates such a stir that I was hooked from the get-go. Ethan, Lena, as well as every other character (even the lesser characters) are so fully developed that it's impossible not to be thoroughly invested in the story. The plot is entirely original and I found myself completely captivated by it. Beautiful Creatures had me shocked, laughing, and crying all within the same chapter. The story is moving and so flawlessly weaved together that I was immersed in this achingly rich and complex world that constantly had me yearning for more. To quote the book, "There was a girl. There was a curse. And in the end, there was a grave. I never even saw it coming" (pg. 3). Neither did I. The twists, turns, and relentless obstacles comprise a beautifully written story about two teenagers and a history that is fighting against them. I devoured all 563 pages of that fight.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The story reads like an 8th grade creative writing assignment, albeit written by an imaginative author, utterly lacking in anything that would imply it ought to be published in anything other than a school paper. Now a major motion picture, this might be better to see than read...special effects, a distracting soundtrack, and substantial deviation from the story as written could make it just the thing to experience while fading in and out of an influenza induced fever. Save your money & time...I suspect Beautiful Creatures will be best enjoyed on Netflix, not your nook. *one star given as a 'participated* award.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book wasnt exactly a page turner the book was a little crazy. It was hard to keep up. Its plot was everywhere but nowhere at the same time. I recommend waiting for the movie. I needed things to read and it took me a month to read 75% of the book. But i liked the main plot. The writing was a little bland. Just giving my opion.
booksonmynook More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. very well written with excellent plot. Can't wait for the next one
Athena75 More than 1 year ago
I liked this book, but didn't feel it to be too original. The writing was good, but I felt like the women who wrote this book didn't know much about a guy's point of view. (Not that I do.) I know it sounds odd, but Ethan thought pretty much the same way as Bella in Twilight (without all of the angst). Ethan wants a girl who's not only nice to look at, but he mainly just wants someone interesting, smart, and funny. I'm pretty sure that this is not the first thing a teenage boy (or girl, for that matter) thinks of when looking for someone to date. Ethan also reads the classics-Animal Farm and the like-even poetry! I'm sorry, but that's just a bit too much for me to believe. On the bright side of the story, I felt like the conflict in this book was original. There were enough twists and turns and enough surprises to keep me interested. There were also enough loose ends so that I knew that the authors were planning a sequel. There was, however, one issue that I did have with this book. Why is the title Beautiful Creatures? There is nothing to do with creatures in this book, and I can't see how this could be figurative language. If anyone can explain this to me, please do. I truly did like this book, though, and am eagerly awaiting the sequel, Beautiful Darkness.