Saturday, February 25, 2012

Beautiful Chaos (Caster Chronicles #3) by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 528
Series or Stand Alone: Book 3 in the Caster Chronicles series
SummaryEthan 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.

I was under the impression that this was the last book in the Caster Chronicles series, mostly through my own fault. I was miiighty annoyed when I realized that there was a fourth one coming out in ten months--especially since I only realized this after this one was complete. I sighed and added the fourth book, entitled Beautiful Redemption, to my to-read list. Rant over.
LOOKS LIKE WE GOT US AN APOCALYPSE! Ethan and Lena come back from battling and deferring on another Claiming to swarms of locusts, scary-ass storms, and deathly heat. Worse, the powers of Lena and the rest of the Duchannes family are going haywire. WORST, Ethan is ceasing to function as a normal human, losing pieces of his memory and being haunted in his dreams. Yikes. They weren't kidding when they titled this one "Chaos."
The end of days going down was excellent. The apocalypse was more of the classic variety, in which nature goes completely haywire. Ethan's character continued to impress me. He's so good because he's believable as a real person. The end of the world is knocking on his door and his life and memory are falling apart. He steps up and always does what he needs to do, but it doesn't mean he's not absolutely terrified. A normal guy that previously lived a normal life two years prior to the event wouldn't necessarily jump in entirely without 
One of the strong points was the side characters (mostly Liv and John Breed) gaining more backstory and storylines for themselves. They were no longer just around for helping Ethan and Lena obtain their goals (Ethan to find Lena, Lena to get away from Ethan and be all emo) but stand alone characters that have their own purposes. Unfortunately, this fleshing out only made me like Liv more and Lena less by comparison.
These books don't get higher ratings from me because I feel like they just don't flow as well as they should. The second one was much better than the first, but I felt like this one pulled back a tiny bit in that department. The action is not very consistent, instead doing a stopping and starting thing that doesn't make them go as quickly as they should. Still, they continue to keep up a great concept and the characters are developing nicely.

Rating: 3.5 - fair/good.

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