If you haven't read the first two novels, this review may spoil them for you. Read with caution.
We left Beautiful Darkness already witness some of the outcome of Lena's Claiming. Lives were lost, people disappeared, Ridley lost her powers, Link gained some. As they search for a way to restore the balance, they struggle with discovering where they fit in among it all. Ethan and Lena are more restricted in their contact (as far as any skin contact goes) as Ethan nearly passes out or has a heart attack each time. With the Eighteenth Moon on the rise, they only have so long to figure out what they have to do to fix things, and nothing they find out makes the outcome look better.
"You can't change the cards once they're dealt. Not the cards we're talkin' about. Fate is a wheel that turns without our hand."
The supporting characters, once again, shine through. Amma, Marion, Link, Ridley, Liv. Amma still does everything she can to save and protect Ethan, even risking her own life. Marion is still a constant source for information and comfort, a constant reminder of Ethan's mom. Like eating chicken noodle soup when you're sick, she makes you feel better even if it doesn't actually help at the time. Link, who is now what they call a 'Linkubus', is still trying to come to terms with his newfound gifts and powers, but he isn't afraid to pretend he knows what he's doing to help his friends. Ridley continues to be a source of mixed emotions for Lena, and for Link, and it's this mixed up bag of feelings that lets her get away with all she does. Then there's Liv. She disappears into the tunnels after the Claiming. She gave up her future as a Keeper to help Ethan and Lena, and she's repaid with living in darkness, studying with Macon, trying to figure things out. Also returning is John Breed, in a slightly unexpected way.
"There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in."
"The universe must really be cracked, and me right along with it. I hoped somehow the light was finding a way in."
Many times, as series continue, it begins to feel as if the author is dragging the story out, trying to write more for the sake of creating a series, rather than just letting the story be told. However, Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl are not on that list. I continue to be captivated by the story, the characters, and I cannot wait to get my hands on Beautiful Redemption. The last line(s) of Beautiful Chaos made me wish I had it sitting next to me to simply continue right then. Alas, that's not the case, and I must be slightly (im)patient until I can continue.
"'This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.'"
~Marion quoting Winston Churchill