Having had the first two books in this series as go-to ‘read in the bath’ books for a couple of years I finally managed to read the last two books in this series (The Caster Chronicles for those not in the know). I even managed to find both of them in a charity shop which was an added bonus! If you’re interested in my thoughts on these two books check out today’s review and stop by again tomorrow for my musings on Beautiful Redemption (there was too much to slot into one blog post!
There may be spoilers for the first two books in this series (Beautiful Creatures and Beautiful Darkness) so consider yourself warned.
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.
It is interesting finishing a series so long after having started it. I fell in love with these characters a long time ago and yes it is sometimes hard to pick them back up again and see them change and develop in a new way. That being said, it is also lovely to meet Ethan, Lena, Link, Ridley and (most importantly) Amma once more. Broadly speaking these characters remain as endearing or as ‘love-to-hate’ as they are in the first two books.
The plot of The Caster Chronicles has always surrounded the idea of the struggle between light and dark and therefore good and evil and Beautiful Chaos is no different. It can get a little bit tiring being told over and over again that we all have light and dark inside and that life is about the choices you make but I suspect that is merely my jaded twenty year old self criticising a YA novel again…
It’s the ‘end of the world’ vibe that really makes this book good. You can feel the heat, the tension and the way that everything could collapse at any moment. Knowing there was going to be another book in the series this dramatic tension was somewhat spoiled but if one suspends that knowledge it becomes a lot more tense.
I definitely think this was the worst book in the series so far. It isn’t bad per say it’s more that it doesn’t feel essential. I think the series could happily have ended after Beautiful Darkness and it wouldn’t have suffered for it. This book seems to create problems for itself rather than solving problems from the previous book which makes it feel sort of ‘stuck on’ to the previous two.
It’s also quite long, which doesn’t do it any favours, none of these volumes could be called slim, however I think a good portion of this could have benefitted from being cut out since it didn’t add anything to my enjoyment of the book.
I did like returning to Gatlin and the magical underbelly of the South is always fun to explore. I just felt like this book was unnecessary, if you’re going to write a third book in a series, it need to not be anticlimactic and this really was.
My rating: 3/5 stars, I just can’t get behind this in the way I want to…sorry!
Have you read this, or any other books in The Caster Chronicles? Let me know what you thought in the comments below or tweet me @judithcmoore.
Don’t forget to stop by tomorrow to hear what I thought about Beautiful Redemption. Click that follow button to never miss a post!