VOYA - Nancy K. Wallace
Grief stricken after her Uncle Macon's death, Lena withdraws, unresponsive to Ethan's overtures, and drops out of school, becoming more and more reclusive. As Lena retreats, Ethan turns to Liv, Marian's new assistant at the library. When Ethan discovers Lena hanging out with Incubus John Breed, he fears he has lost her. Ethan confronts her at Ravenwood and discovers that her grandmother intends to take Lena away, but Lena and John sneak out and head for the Great Barrier, where neither light nor dark exist. When Sarafine calls a Claiming Moon out of time, Ethan, Link, and Liv follow Lena and John into the tunnels beneath Gatlin, determined to save Lena from becoming a Dark Caster. Ethan's mother appears to tell Ethan that Macon is not actually dead, and Ethan releases Macon from an Archlight where he has been trapped. Their fight for Lena's salvation results in casualties and consequences. The authors ground their Caster world in the concrete, skillfully juxtaposing the arcane, magical world with Gatlin's normal southern lifestyle. Confused and vulnerable, Ethan demands our attention. His resolve to save Lena in this battle against supernatural powers is poignant. There is no happy ending, as the scene is deftly set for a sequel. The resulting conflict leaves Lena neither dark nor light, but part of both. Back in Gatlin, Ethan attempts to bury the Archlight in Macon's grave, but Ridley steals it. Link, bitten by a Blood Incubus, begins to transform. Fans will devour this latest book and plead for more. Reviewer: Nancy K. Wallace
VOYA - Hanna Forrester
If anything could top Beautiful Creatures (Little, Brown, 2009/VOYA December 2009), it was its sequel. This book will leave you itching for more, with southern charm, dark magic, and romance all wrapped into one neat package. You cannot say that this book beats any other because it is the first of its kind. Intriguing and heart stopping, this will send you through a roller coaster of emotions as you cheer and cry for the actions and choices our young heroes make as they struggle with life decisions and old family ties. Reviewer: Hanna Forrester, Teen Reviewer
"The southern gothic atmosphere, several new characters, and the surprising fate of one old favorite will keep readers going until the next book, which promises new surprises as "18 moons" approaches."
"A potent mix of the gothic, the mythic, and the magical...With original characters, complex world building, and crackling prose, this is masterful storytelling."
From the Publisher
Praise for Beautiful Creatures:
An Instant New York Times Bestseller
A Borders Original Voices Selection
An Indie Next List Selection
A William Morris YA Debut Award Finalist"
Gorgeously crafted, atmospheric, and original. I devoured it." - Melissa Marr, NYT bestselling author of Wicked Lovely"
A lush Southern gothic." - Holly Black, NYT bestselling author of Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale"
A hauntingly delicious dark fantasy." - Cassandra Clare, NYT bestselling author of City of Bones"
Like a thick, hot Carolina summer, this story seeps into you until it's all you can think about." - Carrie Ryan, author of The Forest of Hands and Teeth"
Exquisitely told and impossible to forget." - Michelle Zink, author of Prophecy of the Sisters
Library Journal - BookSmack!
Last year, Garcia and Stohl surprised readers with their first book, Beautiful Creatures, the story of supernatural happenings in the small town of Gatlin, SC. In this Amazon Top Ten of the Year title, hometown boy Ethan fell in love with Lena, the youngest in a family of "casters." One fateful birthday, Lena will be claimed by the forces of Light or Darkness, and until then Ethan will do everything he can to save her. In this second volume of the intended trilogy, Ethan and Lena's relationship is on the skids. True to heroic form, Ethan and his companions follow Lean deeper into the Caster world, dodging peril at every turn. While not as tightly written as the first book, Darkness will please readers eager for a post-Twilight gothic love story. Angelina Benedetti, "13 Going on 30", Booksmack! 10/21/10
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—This engrossing must-have sequel to Beautiful Creatures (Little, Brown, 2009) immediately returns to Gatlin, SC, and the seemingly impossible relationship between Caster girl Lena Duchannes, as yet un-Claimed for Light or Dark, and Ethan Wate, her beloved Mortal. Grieving the recent loss of Uncle Macon and worried that her 17th Moon and family curse will destroy everyone else she loves, Lena pulls away from Ethan and runs off to the Great Barrier with Siren cousin Ridley and mysterious John Breed. But is she headed for nirvana or danger? Plagued by strange visions and accompanied by his loyal friend Link and Keeper-in-Training Liv, Ethan travels the Caster Tunnels running beneath the world determined to save Lena. Along the way he faces shocking revelations about his family and gets help from several unexpected sources—developments that will further enamor readers. Familiar and favorite characters behave just as remembered, and sometimes even better. New additions, especially clever Liv, enhance the series and its plot, which is a cycle of hope, despair, and possibility. Like her Book of Moons, it gives and takes with equal measure in a great storytelling balance. Mortal and Castor settings aboveground and below reinforce the novel's Southern and gothic tone. Past and present are navigated successfully, offering new information while creating more questions. With allusions to a bigger game afoot and a classic good vs. evil climax that leaves several loose ends (unique, dangerous, and entertaining), this volume will leave readers clamoring for the next installment.—Danielle Serra, Cliffside Park Public Library, NJ
This second volume in the trilogy that started with Beautiful Creatures (2009) opens in the aftermath of magic Caster Lena Duchannes's climactic 16th birthday. Mourning the uncle who died in the fight between Light and Dark, Lena drifts away from narrator Ethan. When she runs away with her Dark cousin Ridley and mysterious supernatural motorcyclist John Breed, Ethan follows, jealous and heartbroken. Ethan's traveling companions are Mortals: Link, his dopey but loyal best friend, and Liv, a British exchange student training to be a sort of supernatural librarian. The three are outmatched and unprepared for the perils of the Caster underground but survive a number of deadly encounters, largely because outside parties show up at exactly the right moment. Besides its weaker and more hurried plot, this installment lacks its predecessor's sense of place. Nevertheless, readers eager to revisit Ethan and Lena's romantic tension and learn more about the Caster world and the Ravenwood family legacy will find satisfaction here. (Paranormal romance. 12 & up)