“Beautiful Chaos” Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Beautiful Creatures, Book 3″ Little, Brown and Company, 2011. Hardcover. 516 pp.

I had forgotten how exciting the first two books in the series were, until I began reading “Beautiful Chaos.” I was sick of always having to reread sequels because of forgetting what had happened, so decided to give myself about 50 pages of this one to see if I’d remember the earlier two books of the series. Surprisingly, the authors did a pretty good job of catching me up on what had happened, and I was relieved not to have to reread the books so as to be able to enjoy “Beautiful Chaos.”

Something is going on in Gatlin, and it’s not good. Ever since Lena Claimed herself, the world she and Ethan knew has turned upside down. The weather is always hot and stifling, and Abraham Ravenwood and Sarafine are on the warpath looking for John Breed. They have no qualms about destroying the town and anyone who stands in their paths. The only thing that could stop the ultimate destruction of Mortal and Caster life is a sacrifice by “The One Who is Two” on the Eighteenth Moon. Unfortunately, no one knows who is The One Who Is Two, and whose Eighteenth Moon is coming.

While the Mortal world battles the Caster and Demonic ones, Lena and Ethan’s love story continues to make us swoon along with her jealousy of his friendship with Liv. There is lots of action, battles and requisite cat fights with readers finding themselves alternately cheering the good along with the bad. Unfortunately good does not always win, and the last few chapters of “Beautiful Chaos” had me reaching for a tissue more often than not. I was saddened at the way it ended, but just as heartened knowing there was a sequel out there somewhere and I couldn’t wait to see how this tangled web of deceit, fear, love and longing played itself out.

High schoolers in grades 9-12 who are fans of parts 1 and 2 of the series will be just as thrilled with book 3. However, if you haven’t read the other two books, a word of caution to make sure  you do before you tackle “Beautiful Chaos” or you will find yourself at a loss as to who did what to who, when where and why.

BTW – “Beautiful Redemption,” the final book in the series, is set for an October 2012 release. The series is being made into a movie, to be released February 2013, and is being billed as the next “Twilight.” Hmmm. I tend to agree….

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