A Beautiful Evil
Gods & Monsters, Book #2
Kelly Keaton

Review brought to you by OBS staff member Heidi

A Beautiful Evil is the much anticipated sequel to Kelly Keaton’s Darkness Becomes Her.  It centers around Ari who always knew she was different with her stark white hair, but didn’t find out just how different she was until she went to New 2 (formerly known as New Orleans) in Darkness Becomes Her and discovered she is a descendant of Medusa.

Now Ari has just started going to school at Presby, where all the Novem children go.  She is training with Bran who seems incredibly tough, but she knows he will make her into a great fighter.  And she goes to the secret library every chance she gets to try to find a way to break her curse as she doesn’t want to turn into a full-fledged gorgon when she turns 21.  Not to mention she must find a way to find her father and Violet and bring them home safely.

Sebastian has been distant ever since he saw the sneak peak of her curse courtesy of Athena, but as soon as they start to reconnect they end up in Athena’s realm fighting for their lives, which kind of puts romance on the back burner.  Athena has devised her own kind of torture for the pair.  She has a physical torment for Sebastian that tempts him to do something he never wanted to do that would change his life forever.  Ari’s punishment is more mental though, seeing the ones she loves in pain.  Will it drive her to do what Athena wants or will she be able to use the “evil” inside her to defeat the goddess once and for all?

I thought this book had a much slower pace than the first installment did, not that it wasn’t interesting….it was just slower.  Especially in the beginning when Ari and Sebastian weren’t talking which really bummed me out!  I was hoping that after they were both safe that they’d amp up their romance a little more in this book, so them being so distant really put up a speed bump for me.  And then when they start reconnecting they literally fall into Athena’s world which makes it impossible for them to be happy.

I also kept wondering where she got her gun from since it got confiscated in the last book.

I thought Bran was an interesting character, even though the scenes at the beginning of the book with him and Ari in the dungeon where a bit boring.  I definitely get the feeling that he has a lot to bring to the series later on.

Then there is Ari’s father, Theron.  One of Athena’s warriors that goes rogue when he falls in love with Ari’s mother and they conceive her.  Now he’s been imprisoned for years and subject to any and all punishment Athena can devise.  I liked when he was sneaking a conversation with Ari at Athena’s feast.  I can already tell he is a character I will love.

Overall I felt this book was a bit tamer than its predecessor and may even come off as a little lackluster at times.   With that said, I kept wanting to come back to it and read more.  It’s a very easy and fast read.  I think all the details in this one will come to play out more in the following installments that I can only assume are coming based on that nice little segue at the end of the book.  Ari and her father starting to get to know one another and then of course Ari and Sebastian back together and getting ready to start on another adventure and probably get in more trouble as Sebastian points out at the end of the book.

“Said the warlock Vampire to the gorgon”