Goodreads Summary: Ethan Wate used to think of Gatlin, the small Southern town he had always called home, as a place where nothing ever changed. Then he met mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes, who revealed a secret world that had been hidden in plain sight all along. A Gatlin that harbored ancient secrets beneath its moss-covered oaks and cracked sidewalks. A Gatlin where a curse has marked Lena's family of powerful Supernaturals for generations. A Gatlin where impossible, magical, life-altering events happen.It took me a few chapters to get into this one, mostly because I was having to re-familiarize myself with the setting/characters/plot because it had been awhile since I had read the first one but once I had fallen back into the rhythm I was hooked and found that Beautiful Darkness went by way faster for me than the first novel in the series, Beautiful Creatures. Though you're still learned a lot about the Caster World you already have a base and the plot just really runs wild with your imagination; throw in some awesome characters and it makes for a great story.
Together they can face anything Gatlin throws at them, but after suffering a tragic loss, Lena starts to pull away, keeping secrets that test their relationship. And now that Ethan's eyes have been opened to the darker side of Gatlin, there's no going back. Haunted by strange visions only he can see, Ethan is pulled deeper into his town's tangled history and finds himself caught up in the dangerous network of underground passageways endlessly crisscrossing the South, where nothing is as it seems.
One of my favorite aspects of this series as a whole is that Gatlin itself, the setting of the majority of the novel, is almost a character in its own right. The town has personality, a personality composed of all the people who live there now, will live there and who have lived there in the past. It is its own entity complete with secrets and all sorts of juicy things. Its truly one of the most vivid settings that I've ever read in a novel and really makes the Caster Chronicles in my opinion.
Something else that stands out about this "paranormal romance"is that it is narrated by the male main character, Ethan Wate as opposed to Lena Duchannes, and I just love that. Its nice to get the male perspective for a change and Ethan is a fascinating narrator. I found him interesting in the first novel but I think he really comes into his own in Beautiful Darkness because he is left so much on his own since, as mentioned in the book's summary, Lena has begun to pull away. Link remains one of my favorite characters in the story (I'm so glad that he was back in this novel!) And we get to see some new faces who I really enjoyed.
All in all I think that Beautiful Darkness was a great continuation of the Caster Chronicles (don't want to say too much and risk giving anything away!) and I can't wait to start Beautiful Chaos, the third book in the series.