Beautiful Darkness unfortunately is nothing like Beautiful Creatures. I think the editors failed the authors and I still can’t get over how the book seemed to fall apart half way through. The first half of the book is pretty decent, the darkness of the story is well developed, but the second half is disappointing. The way the book started out well then fell apart reminded me a lot of Mark Twain’s books which are great 2/3 of the way through then just go to hell the last 1/3. Unlike Twain though, these authors are not being paid by the word. So what’s their excuse? At times I legitimately wondered if Beautiful Darkness was written first since it had so many clear first book by an author mistakes. One of the most glaring was the convoluted plot line. The book jumps all over the place as if the authors kept wanting to add things or “small plots” but didn’t know how or where to place them. Link is still relatively funny in the second book, but much of the humor and one liners are lost and the humor that is there seems so forced. The best way I can describe the humor is to say it’s like watching a confusing movie with a bunch of bad C-list actors. It’s a shame to see a book in a series fall so much when the first book was such a great, different and fun read.
What is the age bracket for this series? The first book seemed geared for high school and above. The second book however seems to lower the age bracket when it should have stayed at 14 years or above. Perhaps the effort to lower the target age of the reader is why the novel became convoluted and lost the easy fun read the first book had.
I have wondered if Beautiful Creatures was never meant to be a series. That perhaps the authors just wanted to write one book, but after the book became a best seller whether they felt compelled to keep writing or if their editors pushed for more books.
As for the characters themselves, Lena becomes incredibly frustrating. Lena is grieving the loss of her Uncle Macon who has been a father to her and she sees his death as her fault. I mean, it kind of is since Lena used the Book of Moons to bring Ethan back not knowing what it would take in return. Poor Ethan, he tries to be supportive to Lena, but he doesn’t realize he is alive because Macon died and Lena never tells him. Lena’s pulling away and taking risks are stereo-typical teenage behavior, I guess or I think that is what the authors are going for. Lena constantly walks the Lena pity party line and the spoiled indulged child line without ever truly stopping to think about others. Several new characters are introduced, Olivia and John Breed, who are supposed to make the characters more like teens? Since Lena is pulling away from Ethan and not speaking, he spends his summer working at the library with Marion’s new intern from England, Olivia. Olivia develops a crush on Ethan and its debatable whether Ethan likes her back or is just longing for Lena. During this time Lena begins hanging out with John Breed. Lena is infuriated any time she sees Ethan with Olivia, yet she sees nothing wrong with her new relationship with John Breed. Lena goes so far as to call Ethan juvenile and jealous when he confronts Lena about John. So Lena, you can hang out with other guys after you’ve dumped Ethan, but he can’t move on? A bit hypocritical, huh? Lena’s responses to seeing Ethan with Olivia and her refusal to speak to Ethan or hear his explanation on who Olivia is just further proves Lena’s spoiled and self-centered ways.
Ethan can be a bit obnoxious as well because he is “the perfect boyfriend” and I find it hard to believe any teen boy with raging hormones and dealing with high school in general would be this patient and understanding; even if they wanted to be. But, it is a work of fiction, so what is one to do. I don’t want to expand too much on Lena, Olivia, and Ethan’s behaviors because if I do I think I’ll give away too much.
Those are my thoughts on the second book in the series. I have already finished the final two books and hopefully I can review them and not take 3 months to do so. Did anyone else read Beautiful Creature or Beautiful Darkness?