Yeah, this is the SEQUEL to Beautiful Creatures! You know, that one that was like Twilight in some ways but better. It doesn't come out til next month, but since I got an ARC, I've already read it! Neener neener neener!
But . . . is it good?
I must admit that for a while it made me too depressed and I had to stop for like a month and read something light. But I did go back to it, and it is a good story, but it is kind of depressing at times.
I mean, Lena and Ethan are supposed to not be together because apparently Ethan could die since he's a mere mortal and she's an All Powerful Caster. But of course, he is still in love with her.
The main issue in this book is that Lena thinks everyone she touches will die, so she kind of pulls away from people and is all angsty and aloof.
But Ethan makes this new British friend named Liv, and she's training to be a Keeper like Marian.
Liv provides Ethan with plenty of information about the Caster world, is smart, attractive, and gutsy. All in all, she's an a-ok chick. She even helps him navigate the Caster Tunnels!
Remember how the Caster Library is underground? Well, there are also tunnels that typically only casters, incubuses, and the keepers use. And they're really awesome! Like, you can walk around for an hour in Gatlin, South Carolina, and then pop up in Savannah, Georgia! And then you can also find places that only exist for Casters, and all kinds of madness. The tunnels are definitely one of the coolest parts of the book, and Ethan spends a lot of time in them. So that's a good thing.
He also finds out all kinds of stuff about people he thought he knew everything about, and that's pretty cool too. Because, you know, it's surprising stuff, and then you read it and you're like 'Hey! I TOTALLY didn't see that coming!' which of course, is also Ethan's reaction.
A while back I watched a webcast that had someone from Little, Brown discussing this book, and she thought Ethan was a much more crush-worthy than Twilight's Edward Cullen. I fullheartedly agree with this comment, because Ethan is not creepy and isn't very angsty. He's generally calm and collected, but also stubborn and brave, even though he's constantly up against people way more powerful than himself. Kinda like Harry Potter (not like Harry in the Order of the Phoenix, more like Harry in Deathly Hallows) is.
Since this book is so complex, what with all the laws and twists of the supernatural world, having a main character like Ethan is a definite plus. He doesn't know what's going on, just like the reader, but since he's not freaking out constantly, he does a much better job narrating than Lena would. Sure, I like Lena well enough; she's complex, interesting, and unique, but there is a certain balance to having someone calm narrate through such a confusing world.
The supernatural world here is not as straightforward as in some other books, and because of this, it can take a while to get through the story. But once you do, you'll be glad you did, and you'll be hoping the third book comes out sooner rather than later.