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’ve loved the Caster Chronicles books from the start, falling for this world of Casters and the mortal boy who dared love a mysterious girl in Beautiful Creatures. Lena and Ethan share a magical link that ties them together and there’s no use in fighting it. When it’s time for her to claim herself as a light or dark Caster at the end of the first book on her sixteenth birthday, they were able to put off the claiming for another year. But little did they know that bringing Ethan back to life with the Book of Moons would have serious consequences, both immediately and further down the road. At the end of Beautiful Darkness after a long separation from Ethan, Lena is no longer able to put off the decision and claims herself both Light and Dark, plunging both the Mortal and Caster worlds into Chaos.
Which leads into book three in this series, Beautiful Chaos. The town of Gatlin is under attack–by a heatwave, insects, the lake has dried up–and that’s just the tip of the iceberg of how Lena’s claiming has affected the Mortal world. The Caster world has been affected too and every Light Caster’s magic is out of whack. They have to restore the order before the Eighteenth Moon or the world will end.
In the previous books, Lena has been the one who’s on the crazy emotional train. But this time it’s Ethan, and it’s a bit harder to read and go along for the ride as he spirals down that path. The writing is superb and even better than the previous two books, but emotionally it’s heartbreaking by the time you reach the last quarter of this book. You see that there is no other way to fix this situation, and you can’t help but feel the helplessness and desperation that everyone in the book feels.
Beautiful Chaos is definitely a darker book than the previous books in this series. It delves deeper into Lena’s parentage, as well as a few other character’s histories. And a few other beloved characters take unexpected turns that left me wanting to slap some sense into them. But I could totally understand why they did what they did.
I loved having Ethan and Lena back together and happy. It was a nice difference from book two. And the Linkubus is the best comic relief, but also the best butt kicker any guy could ask for in a best friend too. Ridley as a regular human was all sorts of trouble, and it was interesting to see her in high school.
I give this one a five. The ending of this will leave you crying your eyes out while screaming for book four. We seriously have to wait until next October?
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