Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Book Review: Beautiful Chaos

Title: Beautiful Chaos
Authors: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Level: Young Adult
Location: YA Garcia

Spoiler Warning: Beautiful Chaos is the 3rd book in the Caster Chronicles. If you have not yet read Beautiful Creatures and Beautiful Darkness, skip ahead to The Bottom Line. This review has spoilers for the first two books.

If you thought Lena claiming herself in Beautiful Darkness was an end to all Ethan and Lena’s troubles, you were completely wrong. Lena’s claiming has left the town of Gatlin on the verge of a full-scale apocalypse, sweltering heat waves, massive earthquakes and ravenous locusts are just a few of the things bent on destroying Gatlin. If that isn’t enough, Ethan is losing memories – parts of his life are simply vanishing from his mind – including the taste of Amma’s cooking. However, when the world is falling apart this time, Amma, Macon and the rest of Lena’s caster family is powerless to stop it. The caster’s abilities are backfiring and Amma is delving into magic darker than any before. Will Ethan, Lena and their friends figure out a way to put a stop to this chaos before it’s too late?

Wow, this was an amazing book! I enjoyed the 2nd book in the series but it did not entirely live up to my expectations. However, Beautiful Chaos, was a home run in every way. I was pretty annoyed with Lena after the last book. In this book, Lena is starting to develop a little more as a character and you understand her past actions much better by the end. You also get some absolutely fascinating glimpses into Seraphine’s past before she was dark caster and right after she was claimed.

Ethan is experiencing a multitude of problems in this book which lends the story its darker tone. The events of the last two books coupled with the plethora of problems he faces in this book help him to develop into a more complete character while simultaneously giving him a bleaker outlook on his situation. Through Ethan’s narration, you really sense the foreboding atmosphere descending on the once-peaceful town of Gatlin. Everything seems to be swirling hopelessly out of control and the stunning cliffhanger ending does nothing to relieve the tension. Have some tissues handy, you will need them! Now that my faith in this series is restored, I am happily looking forward to returning to Gatlin for the fourth and final book. It should be amazing!

The Bottom Line: If you enjoyed the first two books in the Caster Chronicles you will LOVE this one! All of the problems from previous books are nothing compared to the absolute chaos that descends on the people and town in this book. The cliffhanger ending is a little hard to take, but it makes sense for the larger story. Fans will ravenously devour this one and be waiting on pins and needles for the final book due out in 2012.

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