By Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Published October 18th, 2011
Little, Brown & Company
Ethan Wate thought he was getting used to the strange, impossible events happening in Gatlin, his small Southern town. But now that Ethan and Lena have returned home, strange and impossible have taken on new meanings. Swarms of locusts, record-breaking heat, and devastating storms ravage Gatlin as Ethan and Lena struggle to understand the impact of Lena’s Claiming. Even Lena’s family of powerful Supernaturals is affected – and their abilities begin to dangerously misfire. As time passes, one question becomes clear: What – or who – will need to be sacrificed to save Gatlin?
For Ethan, the chaos is a frightening but welcome distraction. He’s being haunted in his dreams again, but this time it isn’t by Lena – and whatever is haunting him is following him out of his dreams and into his everyday life. Even worse, Ethan is gradually losing pieces of himself – forgetting names, phone numbers, even memories. He doesn’t know why, and most days he’s too afraid to ask.
Sometimes there isn’t just one answer or one choice. Sometimes there’s no going back. And this time there won’t be a happy ending.
I occasionally enjoy a good paranormal book with magic and an “emo” edge… If you like dark magic, romantic tension and otherworldly creatures, you probably should look into this series. It begins with Beautiful Creatures, continues with Beautiful Darkness and continues with this third installment, Beautiful Chaos. Chaos indeed!
Thankfully, this book’s storyline is greatly improved from the previous book, Beautiful Darkness. All heck is breaking loose in the town of Gatlin and the Order of Things has been broken. The team tries to restore the Order, but unknown to them that to do-so would mean some fairly tragic outcomes. It is all about doom and gloom, but in a very good, very intense way – if that’s even possible.
Honestly, I have had a hard time connecting to many of the characters. The best of the lot include Ethan’s three aunts, Aunt Mercy, Aunt Grace and Aunt Prudence. They are Hilarious with a capital H, and they are also true Southern women to the very end. Lena and Ethan are back on good terms here, which helps with my tolerance level for Ethan as a character. He was too whiny in Darkness. I love the fact that the narrator is male, a nice change in paranormal romance fiction. But I still have a hard time remembering that he is in fact a young man when he starts talking about hanging around older women in his free time, giving gifts of flowered bathrobes,treasuring things like jewelry and old diaries, or even describing his emotions, which occasionally come across as somewhat feminine. Even still, many character story lines come around full circle in this volume. I even found myself connecting with Sarafine more than some of the other major characters in this volume.
Setting is one area where the author’s excel. You can tell they enjoy describing Southern traditions and the intrusive nature of close-nit communities. From the southern language and everyday rituals to describing local events or mannerisms, they have this area down pat.
I’ll admit, there is A LOT of build up in the story, and for the first half of the book you, the reader, have absolutely no idea what is going on (then again, neither do the characters). But just like the previous two books in this series, things come to a head in the second half of the book – it just takes a little bit of reading to get there. (And when you do, it is sooo worth it!)
The writing style is good. Every word works in order to move the story forward. There is very little unnecessary text, although you can tell what is placed in there just to lighten up the story a bit and provide a bit of humor (without “Linkubus” and the three aunts this story would be a *very* heavy read).
I went from reading Beautiful Darkness right into Beautiful Chaos, and when comparing the two volumes, Chaos was a VAST improvement and quite an enjoyable read compared to Darkness. I can only imagine where the story will go from here and cannot wait to get my hands on the next installment!