So, these two books are the next instalments in the Caster Chronicles series (a stupid title for a series if you ask me, but nobody did) even though I don't usually review sequels on the blog. Because if you haven't read the first book, you won't be interested, and if you have read the first book, you'll either read or not read the sequels based on whether you enjoyed them or not, rather than on my opinion. You can find my review of the first instalment, Beautiful Creatures (soon to be a film), here: http://liesandothernonsense.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/beautiful-creatures.html
So, book two, Beautiful Darkness, got off to a bad start, in my opinion. My main problem with book one was the last hundred pages. Here, the problem was the first hundred. There was a lot of moping around and generally being worried about stuff that turned out not to be all that important in the grand scheme of things. I would have chopped out the first ten or so chapters and started there, because, after that point, it actually became quite an interesting read. Sure, a huge part of the plot was tackling the same issue as in the first book because of the crappy ending, but there was enough other stuff going on in order to sustain it. I enjoyed it, overall, possibly because this one seemed to feature a lot more Ridley, who is my favourite character in the whole series. I can finally see why Emmy Rossum signed on to play her in the film version - she knew what was coming!
I'm starting to notice a pattern with these books, though. In Beautiful Chaos, book three, there is once again around one hundred pages that could be completely lost and the book wouldn't suffer one bit for it. This time, however, these pages appear in the middle of the book. You know how sometimes you're reading a book and you've figured out, say, 90% of what's going on and what the clues are adding up to and how it's all going to have to end? And you know how often when that happens, the characters - who inhabit and should know this world intimately, its rules and its history and all kinds of information that you as a reader simply don't have access to - only know about 20% of what you know. I hate that. Seriously, it bugs the hell out of me, and there was a good hundred pages of that here. Other than that, though, I think this might actually be the best of the books. The ending was infuriating once again, but in a completely different way. I could see it coming a while before it did because I realised we were rapidly running out of pages, but I still felt like I'd come apart when it did end. I now have to wait at least three days for the fourth book to arrive and I'm not sure how I'm going to manage that. My advice, buy the two at the same time but don't read the back of book four. I'm not sure if it'll actually have any spoilers on it, but just don't read it. Have it ready to go as soon as you've finished Beautiful Chaos. You'll thank me. And kudos to anyone who had to wait for it to actually be published. You have at least sixty per cent of my respect. That doesn't sound like much, but I rarely go above thirty!