The Caster Chronicles, a third installment

Emily S.Staff Writer

Beauty is the bewitching, the alluring, the magnificent, the radiant, and the ravishing. Chaos is disarray, disorder, turmoil, pandemonium, and ultimately the end. Magnificent endings draw in teenagers and tempt them to watch as the town of Gatlin suffers from Lena’s unforgiving decisions. In Beautiful Chaos, the third installment of the dark yet arousing Beautiful Creatures series, Ethan and Lena battle it out to save their friends, their town, and ultimately the caster and human worlds from the uncontainable force Lena has set loose on the world, but will they still thrive while they are surrounded by turmoil and anguish? Authors Kami Garcia and Margie Stohl have weaved a wonderful story full of plot twists, romantic expeditions, and examples of true friendship. This is not the average Twilight tale.

It is common knowledge that everyone is sick and tired of reading simple young adult romance novels where an incredibly handsome vampire falls in love with a much weaker, unnaturally pale and/or awkward human. Luckily, this is not one of those said tales. While Beautiful Chaos involves the romantic activity of a non-human and a human, the main character is not some measly brunette who portrays the females as the weaker gender. The leading lady, Lena, a very powerful caster (a new spin on a witch), is a strong and powerful young woman who has taken fate into her own hands. She works side by side with her friends and with her divinely handsome boyfriend in order to right the wrong she has brought to the world to hopefully restore the balance. That is right; she is working beside them, not behind the scenes waiting for her Prince Charming to come and rescue her.

As always, a little girl power just will not suffice, and the head male, Ethan Wate, comes to the rescue right at the corner of Prince Charming and Doom’s Day.  Garcia and Stohl did a splendid job in this third book transforming Ethan from being the stereotypical weak human to someone able to save the day; going right along with the archetype, the prince always saves the damsel in distress. Valor, heroic courage, bravery: Ethan Wate in a nutshell.  Characters are growing, sprouting up from tiny seeds into tall strong stocks, blowing in the wind, and somehow always remaining strong throughout the storm. That is Beautiful Chaos, and with that chaos comes sacrifice: sacrifice for friends, for love, for family, for community.

Sacrifice runs deep through the roots of this book. Underneath a twisted, knarled plot lies sacrifice in its purest form. John sacrifices acceptance with those around him for what he knows is right. Link sacrifices his pride for the seemingly unattainable love of his life. Lena says goodbye to love in order to restore the worldly balance. Marian leaves behind her own personal world to protect her friends. Then there is Ethan; Ethan sacrifices his life for everyone around him. With sacrifices come tears, lots and lots of tears. Tears, sacrifice, and growth – so far three elements that make this book breathtaking yet disastrous, astonishing yet deadly, beautiful yet chaotic.

It has been said that darkness can ruin a picture; too much can blur out details, and too little can make it much too bright. In the case of Beautiful Chaos, Kami and Garcia got it just right. The darkness twines itself into the plot, breaks down characters and readers alike, but then they are lifted up, shown the light, and the big picture comes into view. Without the darkness found in this book, one could not possibly come away quite so changed. Also, with the book being told through a male’s point of view, readers are exposed to a whole different type of writing style other than the one seen in Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight and other similar books. The story through Ethan’s eyes mixed with a delightful darkness creates a dark ambience, forming a brilliant stage for the events about to occur in the tiny town of Gatlin.  

All because of one wrong decision, a thrilling tale is weaved out of strong women, brave men, sacrifices, tear jerks, cliff hangers, turmoil, darkness, laughs, feats of brilliance, feats of defeat, the unavoidability of fate, the awe of darkness, the beauty found in chaos, chaos that continues in the fourth, and recently released, book Beautiful Redemption.

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