Yep, I found the first one that satisfying that I moved straight onto the second. It was a good sequel and remained just as entertaining as its predecessor, neither worsening or improving. So far, it seems that this is a very consistent series.
Beautiful Darkness follows in the aftermath of Lena’s birthday. She and Ethan are trying to come to terms with a loss and Lena is still freaking out about whether she’ll turn light or dark. She starts pulling away from Ethan, who doesn’t entirely understand the events that unfolded on her birthday. With Lena’s coldness he is left to figure things out on his own, which becomes that bit more difficult when Liv arrives in town.
I couldn’t help but draw similarities with the dreaded ‘vampire book’ with this novel. Lena ran away for the good of Ethan and he goes in search of her. Although, in all fairness Ethan didn’t spend months blibbering like an idiot and feeling sorry for himself during his alone time.
What this did bring, however, is an emphasis on his and Link’s friendship. This was something that was decidedly lacking in the first book because Ethan spent all his time with Lena. Liv was also a sluggish breath of fresh air. However, I’m not convinced she lived up to her full potential and feels like she didn’t quite achieve what the authors wanted her too.
I also wasn’t too convinced that Lena’s behaviour was justified. I mean, I kind of understand because she was warring with the death of someone close, but considering how that death came about and what she did concerning the Book of Moons, I’d have thought she’d have more time for Ethan.
However, all the background information we were given, the exploration of the tunnels as well as one of Ethan’s crazy great aunts being in on the whole caster secret more than made up for this. I loved the idea of the tunnels being more than tunnels, a whole unexplored world accessible from beneath the streets of Gatlin.
It also felt a bit more humorous. There was a scene in the Sisters’ house where they told Ethan to put a red sticker on anything he wanted after they passed away. At the time he was being told something about Abraham Ravenwood and noticed Lucille Ball, the cat, and proceeded to put a red sticker on her forehead (it comes across as much funnier in the book).
Even with all these added extras the book remains about average. As I said earlier it’s just as good as the first novel and adds quite a bit to the overall story. I look forward to seeing how the rest of the series pans out.
P.S. Happy birthday J.K. Rowling/Robert Galbraith and Harry Potter!