Saturday, February 9, 2013

Audiobook Review: Beautiful Chaos

Beautiful Chaos (Caster Chronicles, # 3)
Beautiful Chaos (Caster Chronicles #3)
By Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
October 18, 2011
Little, Brown and Company
518 Pages
Source: Audible Audiobook

Goodreads Summary:
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

My Review:

For my review of Beautiful Creatures, click here.
For my review of Beautiful Darkness, click here.

Narrator Review:
I love that this series has the same narrator in all the books. That does wonders for its continuity. I've listened to other series where they change narrators between books, and unless that new narrator is beyond stellar, it's just not a good idea. This narrator, Kevin T. Collins, continues to impress me with his variety of Southern accents and his ability to get the emotions of the dialogue across. There were a few instances when I found his narration of Ethan to be a little whiny, but I still enjoyed the overall narration. I will definitely listen to the last book on audio as well, since I enjoy Mr. Collins' narration so much.

Book Review:
In this third installment of the Caster Chronicles, we jump right back into Ethan and Lena's world after the exciting ending of Beautiful Darkness. Here's a quickie summation of how Beautiful Darkness ended and Beautiful Chaos begins: Ethan and Lena are rebuilding their relationship and dealing with, yet again, the curse and the prophecies. Link is dealing with being a Linkubus. Ridley is "not" dealing well with losing her Siren powers. Macon is learning about his new powers. Liv is learning how "not" to be a Caster librarian. John Breed is MIA, well, not to us, but to most everyone else. Abraham Ravenwood continues to be as crazy and evil as ever.

I love that Ethan's life was in such chaos this time around. Sure, Lena still had her issues, but now Ethan has his own problems to deal with. He's got mysteries to solve and secrets he has to decide if he's going to share or not. Instead of just being the boyfriend of some super special girl and following her around, he takes on a new, much more pivotal and important role, and I loved watching his growth as a character. We get to see how he copes and how others rally around him. He has a new role and I really liked how real his character was, dealing with his different feelings or emotions. I liked Ethan even more in this book.

I also loved the involvement of the secondary characters once again. Garcia and Stohl do such a tremendous job at integrating more than just the main characters. The secondary characters continue to play important roles, they each have their own dimensions, and they grow and change as well. I was so impressed by all the happenings going on, and how Lena and Ethan had to learn to work with each other, and especially with (or around) others, including dealing with their personal issues with Liv and John Breed (whom I was also glad to see that they were integrated into the story more). Ridley also gives us a good show, and I felt the angst between her and Link. Even though I didn't agree with most of Ridley's decisions, I could see where she was coming from and all the confusion she was dealing with. This book continues to not be limited to just the teenagers. They must work alongside (or against) the adults, depending on their allegiances, and I appreciate that these teens (for the most part) are respectful, yet can hold their own when they need to. Again, this is a great character-led book.

The plot goes all over the place, and I loved that I couldn't just figure everything out right away. There is such play between light and dark and their intertwining themes. There are many levels to the storyline, and so much to try and understand. I felt like I was right there with Ethan, trying to decipher what was going on with him personally, as well as the prophecies and the ever changing song. And that ending...well, let's just say I'm glad I can start reading the last book right away. It was a touching ending, with a cliff hanger to boot. I'm looking forward to diving into Beautiful Redemption and seeing how this amazing series will end.

4-1/2 STARS

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