Beautiful Darkness Book Discussion: Week 2

Posted 9 November, 2010 by Danny in / 19 Comments

Welcome to the Beautiful Darkness Book Discussion!! Over the next eleven 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 Heather!!!!

Before I jump right in with the chapter summaries, I just wanted to say that reading Beautiful Darkness was like visiting family. You feel right at home and it was as if I read Beautiful Creatures a few days ago, not six months ago. And just like family, they may make you mad and irritate you to no end, but you stick with them since love binds all together. Thanks for letting me go first in the book discussion and being part of this experience again.

This week’s chapters:

When we discussed Beautiful Creatures earlier this year, we were asked who we pictured as the characters. Here are my picks for Ethan and Lena.

My pick for Ethan is Kendall Schmidt from the Nickelodeon show Big Time Rush. One of the participants had mentioned him and he has been my Ethan ever since.

My pick for Lena is Amanda Crew. She was in Charlie St. Cloud with Zac Efron (and Sex Drive: The Movie for the older crowd, that’s where I first encountered her).

Now, on to the chapters.

2.15 Perpetual Peace
Ethan and Lena are preparing for Macon’s funeral in their separate homes. Amma is hurting more than she lets on, especially since not only has she lost Macon, but Ethan’s father has committed himself after he “tried” to jump off a balcony and everyone found out just how depressed and crazy he was. But Lena kelts with Ethan, confessing that she can’t go through with the funeral. Ethan has been in the exact same situation as Lena and knows that she’ll regret not attending the funeral.
Once everyone arrives at the grave site just before dawn, Macon’s funeral stirs up all of Ethan’s memories of his mother’s funeral. It doesn’t help that Macon and Ethan’s mother are grave neighbors in the local cemetery.

The twisting roads run straight between us.
Ethan, Page 9, Beautiful

All of Lena’s family that are Light stand by her side, Macon’s Incubus and Succubus relatives on the other side at a respectable distance in the rain, but not getting wet. Ethan sees that Lena needed comforting, and he tries to get to her but has to pass by Macon’s demon mourners. Even though he knows it isn’t safe and has been warned, he tries to go to her and is instantly paralyzed by one of the Incubuses’ powers. Luckily the lone female demon places her hand on the attacker and he releases Ethan from his crushing power.
The Gravecaster arrives and the funeral begins. The casket begins to glow with a golden light in the shape of Macon’s family crest and it rises up as the Gravecaster removes his hand. Once the families say that they consecrate Macon’s soul into the Otherworld, the light explodes in the air and sparks rain down on the coffin, searing the wood. Everyone throws tiny silver birds into the air that land on Macon’s empty coffin. With a few more words from the Gravecaster, a blinding white light emanates from the casket and flashes like lightning before quickly dying out, leaving the casket buried under a mound of dirt.
And that’s when all hell breaks loose because Lena can’t accept the fact that Macon is gone and feels great guilt for his death. Since Lena is a Natural and can control the weather, a strong storm roles in and wreaks havoc on the cemetery. It takes Gramma’s powers as an Empath to absorb Lena’s powers temporarily and stop the storm.
The Succubus dematerialize, except for one lone boy of about nineteen who has the powers of the Succubus but the emerald eyes of a Caster. And he could be in the sunlight, unlike Macon and the other Succubus. He gives his condolences to Lena and hands her a tiny silver bird before ripping open the sky and dematerializing.
The chapter closes with Lena staying in Ethan’s bed for the next few days, Ethan keeping a close watch over her.

4.17 Burnt Waffles
Amma has been dealing with the loss of both Macon and Ethan’s father by cooking non-stop and sending Ethan to drop off the food at the First Methodist Church every night. Amma is clearly out of sorts, she barely talks, doesn’t monitor what Ethan eats, and she hasn’t touched one New York Times crossword puzzle. Certainly not typical Amma behavior.

For the last two months Lena has been home schooled, fearful and apathetic about returning to a school full of people who hate her and hated her uncle Macon. But school wasn’t the same for Ethan without Lena, and he talks her into coming back. While on his drive to pick her up at Ravenwood before school, a new song plays on the radio that has been haunting him since Lena put off her claiming.

Seventeen moons, seventeen years,
Eyes where Dark or Light appears,
Gold for yes and green for no,
Seventeen the last to know… (pg 22,
Beautiful Darkness)

Ethan has learned to not mention the song to Lena because she always starts a fight when they discuss it. But the song pretty much proves that Lena will not escape her claiming this time, and she has until her seventeenth birthday to decide, Light or Dark.

4.17 Lemons and Ash
Ethan pulls into Ravenwood and sees Lena waiting for him on the steps. The grounds look worse each time Ethan has been here, falling further and further into chaos and decay. Ethan talks Lena into going to school, but when they pull into the parking lot all they get are sad, pitying looks from all of the people who were publicly trying to destroy Lena up until a few months ago. Macon’s dog, Boo Radley, has followed Lena to school just like he always does. But sensing that she needed him, he actually jumps into the car and accepts a ride with Lena and Ethan away from school. Lena cries into Boo Radley’s fur, the dog keeping his eyes closed the entire ride.
Ethan and Lena take a blanket to Greenbrier and curl up near Genevieve’s grave. This was the site of the showdown between Lena and her mother, Sarafine, a few months ago and the landscape is struggling to revive after the massive fire that had swept the area during the stand off.
A lone lemon hung from the black branches above them. Lena plucks it from the ashes, and they kiss until Ethan’s heart begins skipping beats and he starts to fade out. The blanket beneath them smolders, the green grass below that is charred and tamped down. Lena is convinced that she is going dark and turning into her mother, who is a Cataclyst with fire being their main weapon.

5.1 Falling
Ethan tries to coax Lena out of her dark shell, without much luck. He finds her on the ceiling of her room, using a new Caster power she has mastered. Each day, new powers are finding Lena, like broadcasting one of Link’s crappy songs over the radio and sending a hologram of herself to school to hug Ethan. She’s still emotionally shutting Ethan out, and nothing he does can get her to open herself to him.
Lena finally wants to go out, and they wind up on top of a water tower. While enjoying the view, Ethan gives Lena a mini-Sharpie marker with a key chain attachment for her necklace. She draws a heart on the water tower with the marker, but instead of writing their initials inside, she begins counting down the days until her seventeenth birthday. History seems to be repeating itself, but will the consequences be any better this time?

Discussion Question:
So my question for you is this:
What do you think the mysterious man
who offered his condolences to Lena
at Macon’s grave is?

Is he a Succubus, a Caster, or both?
I have my suspicions, so let’s discuss in the comments below.

Thank you, so much, Heather, for a great review of this week’s chapters and a great 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!
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19 Responses to “Beautiful Darkness Book Discussion: Week 2”

  1. I'm gonna have to go with BOTH. or neither. What I mean is that I feel that he has more powers than a normal caster and different powers of an incubus, but similar… He got me VERY frustrated over the course of the novel… I will not spoil, but I'm just sayin'. Which is why I am going to leave my answer at BOTH or NEITHER because thinking about him makes me want to break stuff.
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  2. Heather

    Now your hints have me changing my mind. I'm trying to be good and read the chapters as we go along, but I don't think I'll be able to resist once NaNoWriMo is over. LOL at the wanting to break stuff. Luckily I haven't read anything lately that has made me want to throw things.

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  3. Heather

    <DIV id=idc-comment-msg-div-108944211 class=idc-message><A class=idc-close title="Click to Close Message" href="javascript: IDC.ui.close_message(108944211)"><SPAN>Close Message</SPAN>

    Comment posted.

    <P class=idc-nomargin><A style="TEXT-DECORATION: none" class=idc-share-facebook onclick=IDC.ui.fb_wrapper(108944211) href="javascript: void(null)"><SPAN class=idc-share-inner><SPAN>Share on Facebook</SPAN></SPAN> or <A href="javascript: IDC.ui.close_message(108944211)">Close MessageYou're still waiting for your copy? You'll be able to catch up pretty easily since you won't want ot put the book down. It's been really hard for me to resist reading ahead. And Kendall is the perfect Ethan, isn't he?

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  4. When I first read this I remember being annoyed at the ambiguity here (not that it's not important to build drama and stuff but I was just like, "Who the hell IS this guy?!?!?!") But I remember firmly feeling he was a Caster. 🙂

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  5. I was curled up on the couch with the book last night and was wondering what I envision Ethan to look like and I was having trouble with it. Heather's choice is not half bad 😉 There's a certain Ethan-like quality to him.

    On the mystery man, I'm about half-way through the novel so I know his name and some of his abilities, but *no spoilers* I promise! As to what he is, I honestly don't know yet. I thought he might have been a Caster but then again, something's off. I think I'm going to go with Door # 3 – some sort of freaky hybrid.

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  6. Greta is Erikasbuddy

    I think the mysterious man is going to be this book's Jacob. I think he is going to be some sort of caster boy that will be perfect for Lena, get under Ethan's skin, turn out to be evil, and then Lena will have decide if she wants to party with the devil or a real boy. Plot plot plot!____You know every second book has to have that love triangle lolz

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  7. AHfromGoodreads

    I agree with erikasbuddy – he is like this book's Jacob, down to the silver sparrow that he gives her (shades of Jacob and his little carved wolf).

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  8. Wow, I don't really think of him as Jacob (of course I was fond of Jacob but that's a WHOLE other discussion, and if I get into that Cutie will start to bust bad on me, *wink*), but you make an excellent comparison between the two in regards to the gifts. Interesting!

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  9. I wasn't able to read the book until the middle of December so I'm very late to the party with my comments. At this point, I was very perplexed by this guy and wondered how he would come to play later on. I like the comparison of him being the Jacob-type character, especially with the gifts.

    I think he's definitely something we haven't seen before. He has powers from both sides, so I'm thinking he's some type of a hybrid.

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