Welcome to the Beautiful Darkness Book Discussion!! Over the next three weeks we will be discussing Beautiful Darkness a few chapters at a time with posts and discussion questions by a variety of guest posters. Posts and discussion questions will go up on Tuesdays and recaps of the discussion question answers will go up on Sundays. For the complete schedule of chapters and dates click here.
Also, as we are the Bookworms and are physically incapable of not hosting a give-away for any major event on this blog, there’s a give-away going on in conjunction with the discussion! WOOT!! Find out all about that here as well.
And now a warning….while we will keep each week’s post spoiler free for those who have only read up to and including the chapters being discussed that week, if you haven’t read the book at all you will find spoilers about the sections of the book being discussed. SO…if you haven’t read the book at all…STOP. GET THE BOOK. READ IT. RETURN. Easy, peasy, extra cheesy, right, Cutie? And in conjunction with that, we do ask that all of you participating in the discussion please keep your responses spoiler free. We know this can be hard but please have a heart for those who are enjoying the read-along aspect of the discussion and do your best. We in turn will do our best to monitor the comments.
And finally….on with this week’s discussion written by Amber from Eyes of Amber!!!!
Amber’s been a friend of all the Bookworms since WAY before this site was even a twinkle in Danny’s eye and we’re so excited that she was willing to take some time away from her own stuff to pitch in here at the discussion. So, without further ado….HERE’S AMBER!
I was absolutely thrilled when asked to be a part of this discussion. I have a hard time doing these because I tend to give more of a blow-by-blow than a summary. I hope you can forgive my long-windedness and enjoy the post.
6.20 Sea Change
The group has finally arrived at the Great Barrier. Lucille goes through first with Ethan following right behind her. The fog leaves Ethan feeling nothing but the magic and the intense longing to be there, to be with Lena. At that moment, he wants it all, both the Caster and Mortal worlds.
6.20 Out of the Light
The first thing Ethan sees when he steps out of the fog is the full moon pouring light into a hole in the ceiling of a cave in the distance. He’s looking right at the Seventeenth Moon.
He finds Lena’s necklace snagged in between two rocks. The necklace held a symbol of every happy moment of Lena’s life. He cannot figure out how it could have been left there. Even worse, what does its presence there mean?
With Ethan leading the way they climbed the rocks until they could see the cavern with the crack in the ceiling. The moon was hanging right over it and Hunting’s Blood Pack stood guard at the entrance. The rest of the group wants to go back. Link is in pain, Ridley has lost her powers, but Ethan can’t turn back. He knows that Lena is running out of time.
Ethan takes the Arclight from his pocket and examines it. He’s remembering something that his mother said. “In Light there is Dark, and in Dark there is Light.” All the visions begin to come back to Ethan. He thinks about the things that his mother and Marian have said and realizes that the Arclight isn’t a compass, or the “stupid, shiny stone” that Ridley thinks it is. It was never an object of power for him, it’s something else entirely.
The Arclight begins to glow as Ethan comes to an understanding of where he fits into this puzzle. He is not a Keeper, a Caster, a Seer or an Icubus. He is none of them, but they are all part of his story. He is the Wayward.
Ethan releases the Arclight into the air and it hovers there as he reads the cast from the page he found in the back of his mother’s journal. Liv realizes what he’s doing and tells him to finish it, but the remainder of the cast isn’t written on the page. He asks Liv to finish it, realizing what this means for her future as a Keeper. He is starting to look at Liv differently now. He realizes that she isn’t going to get any of her happy ending here. He was never meant for her, but without her, he would never have found his way back to Lena.
Liv finishes the cast through her tears. It takes a physical toll on her as she gives up her life’s dream of being a Keeper. The four of them say the last line of the cast together.
Macon appears from the Arclight and Ethan hears his mother’s voice reassure him that Macon is with him now. He is still dressed in the burnt clothes from the night that he died, but his eyes have changed. They are now Caster green.
6.20 Flesh and Blood
Macon immediately notices that Ridley’s eyes have changed and he comments that she’s lost her powers. Ridley answers that he has too. Macon says that his life as an Icubus is over, but the Transition is not complete and he suspects that he has gained other powers. He may have the eyes of Light Caster but he can still feel the Darkness inside him. He says that Ridley may still be in a Transition of her own and the Darkness may not have fully left her yet.
Shocker #1 – Macon didn’t die that night.
The next question is how did he come to be trapped in the Arclight. He couldn’t have done it without help. Ethan knew the answer the moment that Macon was released, but everyone else is still wondering.
Shocker #2 – It was Ethan’s mother, Lila Jane, that trapped Macon in the Arclight.
Since Ethan’s mother is dead, Liv asks the obvious question. How is that possible? Macon says it would be easier to show them than to tell them, so he takes Ethan and Liv’s hands and they join hands with Ridley and Link to complete the circle. They go back to a vision from the night of Lena’s birthday.
Hunting fed on Macon then dropped him to the ground, leaving him for dead. Macon awoke to Lena’s grandmother, Emmaline, healing him. He saw Ethan and wanted to tell him to go find Lena. Ethan took off into the fire and smoke and Macon thought of Jane as his mind faded.
When he opened his eyes again, he was dead. He assumed that Lena had made the choice to go Light and it was finished.
But there is a voice that tells him that it’s not finished yet. He turns to find Jane. He takes her hand and their surroundings come into focus. He realizes that they are in the archive. Jane begins the cast to lock him into the Arclight. She tells him that he can’t die because he is still needed, Ethan still needs him.
As the vision ends Ethan realizes that his mother gave up her chance to finally be with Macon. He feels as though he’s let everyone down. Ridley has lost her powers, Link is injured and Liv has destroyed her future. Macon tells him that he’s sure getting to this point hasn’t been easy for any of them.
Ethan explains to Macon that Lena thinks she killed him. They tell him how Sarafine stabbed Ethan and Lena used The Book of Moons to bring him back. Especially after finding Lena’s necklace, they are worried that she may have already gone Dark. Macon assures them that nothing important has happened yet, but they are running out of time.
Macon declares them a motley but resourceful crew and tells Ethan to lead the way. Unfortunately he collapses when he tries to walk. They’re going to need a Plan B.
6.20 Army of One
Liv and Ethan help Macon to walk and catch him up on the situation along the way. Macon is able to fill in some of the blanks for them. Sarafine has been summoning power from the Dark Fire to raise the Seventeenth Moon. She has called it up now because the sooner Lena is claimed the sooner the Dark Casters have secured their fate. They are using the fact that Lena thinks she was responsible for Macon’s death to their advantage.
Macon is surprised that they were able to convince Lena to come to the Great Barrier. Ridley tells him that Lena has been in a bad place since her birthday. John Breed helped Ridley to convince Lena to come. She confirms that he is an Incubus/Caster hybrid and she doesn’t think he was aware of Sarafine’s plan. He was a true believer and thought that going to the Great Barrier would solve all his problems.
Lena thought that she was going Dark and wanted to go somewhere she couldn’t hurt anyone else. John promised to be there for her, no matter what, and convinced her that the Great Barrier would solve her problems as well. Ethan is very aware that because John isn’t Mortal, his relationship with Lena wouldn’t have the same confines that Ethan and Lena have.
Then there is the added problem of Abraham. Ridley tells Macon that he has been helping Sarafine. Ethan says that the visions have changed and Abraham can now see him in them. Macon is very concerned and says that everything has progressed faster than he thought.
They are close enough now to clearly see the entrance of the cave. It is guarded not only by a pack of Incubuses but a host of Vexes as well. Macon tells them he’ll do what he can to get them inside the cave, but from there, they’ll have to find Lena.
Ethan is furious that Macon isn’t coming inside with them. Macon tells him that the battle inside there doesn’t belong to anyone but him, he is the Wayward. He gives Ethan a small golden locket that he had in his pocket. Inside the locket is a picture of Ethan’s mother.
Macon is weakened from his time inside the Arclight and his Transition. He would be no match for an Icubus in battle, but someone else arrives who would be.
Macon’s sister, Leah Ravenwood, appears from nowhere to offer her assistance. Ethan and his friends aren’t sure whether her allegiance holds with the Dark or the Light, but Macons seems relieved that she is going in with them.
She hasn’t come alone, either. She’s brought along her pet mountain lion, Bade. There is some relief in knowing that Leah, Bade, and her Succubine Staff have now joined the rescue effort.
Ethan is surprised to see that Leah knows Lucille. The truth about the cat finally comes out. She once belonged to Leah’s mother but was given to Aunt Prue to guide her through the tunnels. Lucille Ball is a Caster cat.
Ethan shakes hands with Macon and feels a deep connection there. Then he turns to face the cave. It’s time to go.
A whole lot happens in these chapters. Macon comes back and they learn that he was never truly dead. His eyes are now Caster green. Ethan’s mother has yet again played a part in the story by casting Macon into the Arclight. His sister shows up to assist in their efforts. Ethan has accepted the fact that his is the Wayward. It’s really difficult to pick one discussion question. I think the thing that I keep coming back to though is Ethan’s mother. She was a Keeper. By definition, she should have never done anything that changed things for either side. She should have never inserted herself into the situation. So my question for you is about her, Lila Jane.
to violate the rules of being a Keeper?
Was it in ever having a relationship with Macon at all? Or was it only after her death when she began to leave clues for Ethan and Lena, cast Macon into the Arclight, etc.? If it was only after her death, was she released from the rules of being a Keeper at that point?
Thank you, so much, Amber, for such a great review of this week’s chapters and an awesome question! Leave your answer in a comment below and remember that each answer to this week’s discussion question is an entry into the Beautiful Darkness Book Discussion contest!