In the second book of the Caster Chronicles, Ethan Wate battles with himself and those around him after finding out that he's not as normal as he seemed. Whilst trying to discover his true identity, he must also fight to save his girlfriend, who is the brink of surrendering to the darkness, and keep her close after she becomes more and more distant. Beautiful Darkness is packed with punch, filled with more doing and less talking. New characters are introduced and together they embark on a dangerous journey through the Caster worlds, which are littered with dark creatures around every corner. Unlike Beautiful Creatures, this novel has an exciting plot which will sustain your interest very easily and until the end.
We are introduced to two new love interests who are both surprisingly entertaining and likeable. Liv, an assistant at the Gaitlan Library, knows more about the Caster world than she lets on. Her genuine kindness and simpleness intrigues Ethan, as the situation between him and Lena gets complicated. An old friend from the previous book returns, Lena's Dark cousin, Ridley, bringing with her a boy named John Breed. He and Lena spend a suspicious lot of time together before running away to find a place, a paradise, which may not even exist. Who is John and what's his agenda? Is he on the Good side? I felt that the character development improved immensely in Beautiful Darkness. Ethan grows as he explores his roots and destiny, plagued with dreams about a man he doesn't know. Lena becomes strong and determined, taking control of her life and no longer being a weak girl who cries about her doom. The issues between the lovers actually strengthened their relationship that much more and built a tension (of the good kind) that would not have been achieved otherwise.
The fight between Good and Evil is less emphasised in this book. While it is still the overall theme of the novel, the majority of Beautiful Darkness is focused on Ethan's mission to find and save Lena before it's too late. I enjoyed this increase in action, over mythology, as I felt the previous book was a little too overpowering in that aspect. There is a nice balance of romance with humour and action, so all of the bases are covered!
With unpredictable twists, mysteries and high levels of anticipation, Beautiful Darkness is a very enjoyable novel. If you didn't like the first, continuing on with the series is most definitely the right decision! I'm relieved to now be a fan of the series and am looking forward to Beautiful Chaos!