Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Beautiful Chaos (Book Three of Beautiful Creatures), by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Beautiful Chaos
Book Three of Beautiful Creatures Series
Written by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
"Nobody else could get past the fierce hospitality of the ushers handing out programs.  And even if they did, the preacher would keep on preaching and the choir would keep on singing, because nothing short of the Apocalypse could keep the folks in Gatlin out of church or each other's business." -- Ethan, Beautiful Chaos, by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Beautiful Chaos is the third book in the Beautiful Creatures Series, also known as the Castor Chronicles.  If you haven't read the books that precede this one, you should go read them before you go any further, because there is no way for me to ensure I don't give away anything from those books in this review.  I didn't review the previous books, but I did give them a 5/5 star rating, so you know they are worth your time. 
I'm not sure how Garcia and Stohl do it, but they manage to write the way I wish I could.  They have such a decisive and rich writing style that it's hard to believe that it comes from a collaboration of two authors.  I'm always hooked right away, from the first few lines, every single time.  I'm not sure how they manage to reel me in that way, but the writing is superb and the story riveting, Beautiful Chaos being no exception to the rule. 

Most books have dry spells that you just have to get through, those dull and boring sections that you have to read anyway, because they contain some really important back story or history that is necessary to the understanding of the big picture, but make you groan as you plod through.  I have never once felt that way when I read any of the Beautiful Creatures novels, over 1500 pages, never a dull moment.  That's something very few authors manage to do.

Alma's Bottle Tree would have looked similar to these Crepe Myrtle Bottle Trees (Photo Credit: Courtesy of Greg Grant)

Garcia and Stohl also weave old voodoo charms and curses with traditional southern superstition and ancient magic beliefs into an effortless story that transforms all three into something uniquely whole.  As members of the different sects come together once again to bring about balance to the Order of Things, there is no shortness of surprising discoveries.  Both the young and the old, the light and the dark, must find a balance before it's too late.  

With the Eighteenth Moon looming ahead of them, no one knows what to expect, least of all Ethan and Lena. One thing they do know is that they are truly living out the "End of Days".

While both sides search for John Breed, the mysterious cross-breed Incubus, things in Gatlin spin wildly out of control.  Beautiful Chaos begins just where Beautiful Darkness left off, with Ethan reminding us how Lena had "broken the world".  No one's magic seems to be unaffected by the strange changes Lena has wrought with her decision to claim herself, rather than choose between Light and Dark. 

I loved this book every bit as much as I loved the last two, and I'm now anxiously awaiting the 4th book, Beautiful Redemption. 


  1. I was a bit skeptic to read this book because I was fairly disappointed in the previous one "Beautiful Darkness." I was wrong in my skepticism. I really enjoyed this novel. Everything in this story was set up in the first two books. This one seemed to be more about the relationships developing and evolving rather than major events taking place. That's not to say that this book wasn't exciting, because it definitely was in some parts. But in my reading I found that the relationships were the main focus. I cared about all of the characters so much, which is why I found the ending to be absolutely amazing. I really didn't expect it to turn out the way it did. Miner spoiler alert, but the very last lines of the novel really represent (to me at least) the growth of the entire series. It also gives Ethan a real role, in the other two books everything started getting out of hand and he really couldn't do much to help the other characters in tough situations. I thought the ending was brilliant, which really made me love this book.

  2. First, thank you so much for the comment, Danmark!

    I can understand how you might have been disenchanted by Beautiful Darkness, because there was a WHOLE lot of information in that book. I absolutely loved it myself, because I felt like it was the book that started to really dig deeper into who the characters actually were. I felt like I had seen another side of all of the characters when I finished the book. I also began to realize that none of these characters were just unimportant extras, and none of them were who they had first appeared to be from the aunts to Mrs. Lincoln to Ridley. I found the character developement to be really fascinating as the storyline played out and as more of the background and history was revealed.

    I'm glad you soldiered through and enjoyed Beautiful Chaos as much as I did and I'm getting the feeling that although you weren't crazy about the second book, you agree with me that it was completely relavent and necessary fo