A Reader Opines: Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

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Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Published: June 12th 2012 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy | Paranormal
Series: Beautiful Creatures #3
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars

After reading Beautiful Darkness, my expectations for Beautiful Chaos were a little low. I feared the magic of the first book, Beautiful Creatures, was lost. Boy, how wrong can a person be? My infatuation with Ethan Wate grew with this book and the secrets it revealed provided a consuming read.

Summary taken from Goodreads:
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 from the Great Barrier, 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’s not Lena — and the mysterious figure is following him out of his dreams and into his everyday life. Worse, Ethan is gradually losing pieces of himself — forgetting names, phone numbers, even memories. He doesn’t know why, and he’s afraid to ask.

Sometimes there’s no going back. And this time there won’t be a happy ending.

In a world where nothing is as it seems, when things go wonky they go really wonky. We’re talking biblical proportions here. Ethan and Lena have returned from the Great Barrier relatively unscathed, but they have unbalanced both the mortal and caster worlds.

The characters are fully developed now and reading their story is like visiting old friends. Eccentricities are comforting and familiar habits are grounding. However, these characters aren’t satisfied with the ho-hum of ordinary and as they discover new abilities we find ourselves surprised, delighted and sometimes horrified.

The story never for a moment follows a straight path. It infiltrates the reader’s consciousness, allowing us to feel Ethan’s emotions. The plot points arrive precisely as they should, so subtle you don’t realize what’s going on until the characters react. It’s a joy to read from an entertainment standpoint and that of a writer.

I’m very happy that I didn’t start this series before the final book had been published. Beautiful Chaos ends in such a way that it must have been torture for those who had to wait to find out what happens. Luckily, I have Beautiful Redemption and am more than anxious to continue the journey.

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  • I saw the movie (Beautiful Creatures) and I wasn’t that impressed. It sounds like, as usual, the book far surpassed its film counterpart. I’ll have to check both of these out.

    • I’m in the minority when it comes to the movie, it was the way they portrayed good and evil that I enjoyed. I loved Emma Thompson’s performance! As for the books, the overall series is just average though written very well; Ethan’s voice is wonderful. Books one and three were the best in my opinion.