Thursday, March 28, 2013

Review: Beautiful Chaos (Caster Chronicles #3)

Beautiful Chaos
(Caster Chronicles #3)
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.
(Cover & Description from Goodreads. Source.)
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: June 12, 2012
Kat's Review
This story picks up with the world order having been broken when Lena claimed herself as both Light and Dark.  The scorching heat is drying up the crops and swarms of locusts are eating everything in sight.  Nothing is as it should be, and Ethan and Lena set out to figure out how to put things right.  We start to see the consequences in everyone's lives: the Casters are having trouble controlling their powers, Ridley disappears, Amma begins meddling with Dark forces, the Sisters are torn apart, and Marian is accused of treason.  For starters. 
I feel like I have to qualify this review by saying that this was my least favourite book in the series so far.  I still really liked it, but I felt it was longer than it needed to be, and that sometimes the plot got away from the important aspects of the story.  I also had the big secret figured out pretty early on, so much off the searching and wondering just kind of seemed pointless after that. 
However, all of the things that I love about this series were still there.  The world that is Gatlin never ceases to entertain me, and the cast of characters remain as colourful as ever, if a bit predictable after three books.  This book involved the Mortals more than the previous ones did, highlighting the importance of their various roles and showing how intertwined the Caster and Mortal worlds have become.  It's no longer just about how Ethan and Lena are going to find a way to be together, but about how so many people are connected in a variety of ways. 
As I mentioned earlier, I kind of had the twist figured out, so the ending didn't surprise me.  It did tug at my heartstrings though.  One of the things these authors do best is create relationships that are complex and messy and that feel real, so it's not surprising that they elicit real emotions from the reader when something happens to one of them. 
Rating: A Good Read
Unlike the other books, I didn't find this one all consuming, but it is still a really good read, better than many books out there.  I still love this series, and I've already started the last book.  If you haven't started reading The Caster Chronicles already, I urge you to start. 


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