January 26, 2013

Review of Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl


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, 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 isn’t by Lena – and whatever is haunting him is following him out of his dreams and into his everyday life. Even worse, Ethan is gradually losing pieces of himself — forgetting names, phone numbers, even memories. He doesn’t know why, and most days he’s too afraid to ask.

Sometimes there isn’t just one answer or one choice. Sometimes there’s no going back. And this time there won’t be a happy ending.

add to goodreadsBeautiful Chaos (Caster Chronicles #3) by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Publication Date:  October 18, 2011
Publisher:  Little, Brown and Company

Available for Purchase:
amazon | B&N | TBD | indiebound
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Gabby NewConsidering the high note that Beautiful Darkness left me on, I have been dying for the past couple of years to begin reading the sequel Beautiful Chaos. I knew that Ethan and Lena’s journey would only lead to something far more exciting and something that would (of course) leave my breath taken away just like in the past two novels. If you’ve read the last two Caster Chronicles novels (and if you haven’t then what are you doing here? Go read the last two novels, this will be filled with spoilers) then you know that Lena (last chance) and Ethan Wate have been through just about everything together and after her going on a slightly emo rage in the last novel, the young couple now prepares to face the aftermath of Abraham Ravenwood’s return and the cataclysmic events that he threatens to bring.

Beautiful Chaos starts after the events that took place in Beautiful Darkness, where Ethan and Lena are finally back together and things seem to be going back to normal… except for the part where everything in the small town of Gatlin seems to be going straight to hell. The weather has been reaching an all-time high, locusts are filling the sky and a “tornado” almost destroys all of Gatlin; It’s all because of Lena’s strange claiming that has left her as both a Light and Dark Caster. When the antagonist Abraham Ravenwood comes visiting Ethan in hopes of finding out the location of John Breed, it becomes clear that Abraham will go to extreme lengths to get what he wants. Upon discovering that there is something called the Wheel of Fate and that it plans to sacrifice somebody, Ethan fights to find out just who it is that has been prophesized to be killed and why it is that he keeps hearing a sullen song about eighteen moons that seems to always be one step ahead of him.

The first thing that I noticed about Beautiful Chaos was that it started at a bit of a slow pace, but it also helped in reminding readers of all the things that happened in the last novel. That was helpful for me, considering that I read the last novel a couple of years ago and was drawing a blank when it came to what happened in the past novel.  The one thing that I liked about the beginning of Beautiful Chaos was that it gave off a dark feel that made the tone of the novel shift with the locusts filling the sky, Ethan seeming to have some major sensory issues and characters finally expressing their real emotions (I saw this mostly in Ridley).

One thing that fans of the series will love so far is that Ethan gets these flashbacks of Sarafine back when she was claimed as a Dark Caster in her teenage years and shows how she evolved from a girl named Izabel to how she tried fighting the Darkness within her only to give up when Abraham Ravenwood appeared and began teaching her how to use her powers. We get to see her thoughts of Lena before she went totally insane and we see her right before she killed Lena’s father John Eades. I don’t want to give too much away, but Lena does indeed see her mother in this novel again and the two face off in a scene that (I think) is one of the most memorable in the series.

The novel managed to keep up a pretty good pacing, it reached its high points when  it absolutely needed to and when things did get a bit slow, it was still exciting. I know that fans of the series will die when they read the end of the novel, not only because of the memorable scene mentioned above but because it ends on an absolute cliff-hanger that had me staring wide eyed. I’m so excited to read the next novel (especially so I can find out if what I think happened at the end of the novel didn’t actually happen).

I would recommend the Caster Chronicles to fans of fantasy, those of us who want a story that you will not want to put down and readers who love epic YA romances.

About the Authors:

Kami Garcia is the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly & international bestselling co-author of the Beautiful Creatures Novels (Beautiful Creatures, Beautiful Darkness, Beautiful Chaos & Beautiful Redemption). Beautiful Creatures has been published in 48 countries and translated in 37 languages. The Beautiful Creatures movie releases in theaters on February 13, 2013 from Warner Brothers & Alcon Entertainment, directed by Academy Award nominee Richard LaGravenese, and starring: Viola Davis, Jeremy Irons, Emma Thompson, Emmy Rossum, Alice Englert, and Alden Ehrenrich.

Kami is also the author of Unbreakable, the first book her solo series, THE LEGION (coming Fall 2013), which is currently being developed as a major motion picture.

Kami grew up outside of Washington DC, wore lots of black, and spent hours writing poetry in spiral notebooks. As a girl with Southern roots, she has always been fascinated by the paranormal and believes in lots of things “normal” people don’t. She’s very superstitious and would never sleep in a room with the number “13″ on the door. When she is not writing, Kami can usually be found watching disaster movies, listening to Soundgarden, or drinking Diet Coke.

Kami has an MA in education, and taught in the Washington DC area until she moved to Los Angeles, where she was a teacher & Reading Specialist for 14 years. In addition to teaching, Kami was a professional artist and led fantasy book groups for children and teens. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, son, daughter, and their dogs Spike and Oz (named after characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer).

Connect with Kami:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


Margaret Stohl is the New York Times, PW, USA Today, LA Times and Internationally bestselling co-author of the BEAUTIFUL CREATURES NOVELS (Fall 2009-2012) and author of THE ICONS SERIES (Spring, 2013.)


Writing has gotten me in and out of trouble since I was 15 (back then, mostly just in trouble.) For 10 years, I designed &/or wrote for lots of video games, one of which was nominated for “Most Innovative Game Design,” but I lost to a rapping onion. If you know games you get why my two bad beagles are named Zelda and Kirby.

School: I spent more years in it than a person ever should, because let’s face it, reading books is so much better than having a job. I fell in love with American literature at Amherst and Yale, earned an MA in English from Stanford, and studied creative writing under the late great poet George MacBeth at the University of East Anglia, Norwich. I taught Intro to Film as a TA at Yale and Romantic Poetry as a TA at Stanford. Don’t tell the people at Yale but sometimes I taught the section before I’d seen the movie it was about…

I live in Santa Monica, CA, with my family, most of whom were enslaved into working with me in one form or another on my first YA book for Little, Brown. I’m not kidding; when my daughters wanted to go to school I said “Why are you so selfish? Get back in there and edit,” and by said I mean yelled and maybe threw things, it’s all a haze. Now the Beautiful series has wrapped, but you can see the movie on February 13, 2013 or read my new book ICONS on May 7th. Nothing gold can stay, Ponyboy.

Connect with Margaret:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


  1. Natalie Aguirre

    Thanks for the great review. I’m a huge fan of this series and so excited for the movie. I can’t wait to read Beautiful Redemption.

  2. This has been a great series so far, I can not wait to read Beautiful Redemption. Wonderful review. :)

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

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