A Beautiful Evil by Kelly Keaton, published by Simon and Schuster on 2nd February 2012
When Ari first arrived in the dilapidated city of New 2, all she wanted was to figure out who she was. But what she discovered was beyond her worst nightmare. Ari can already sense the evil growing inside her—a power the goddess Athena will stop at nothing to possess.
Desperate to hold on to her humanity and protect her loved ones, Ari must fight back. But Athena’s playing mind games, not just with Ari but with those she cares about most. And Athena has a very special plan for the brooding and sexy Sebastian.
Ari is determined to defeat Athena, but time is running out. With no other options, Ari must unleash the very thing she’s afraid of: herself.
This is a stellar sequel to 'Darkness Becomes Her' which was one of my surprise favourites of last year. The plot is significantly advanced and plenty of lingering questions are answered. There's no danger of second book syndrome here with this fantastic read which kept me gripped from start to finish.
The story picks up with Ari wanting to rescue her father and Violet from the clutches of Athena, as well as figure out a way to break the curse which has plagued her family. I loved her determination to save the people who matter to her and I enjoyed seeing her trying to embrace her powers, however much they scare her, so that she can take down Athena once and for all. She's an unstoppable force when she sets her mind to something and she's often willing to sacrifice herself to ensure the safety of others which is an admirable quality.
She also has to navigate her relationship with Sebastian who continues to be charming and mysterious. He's sexy and gorgeous, plus he has one of my favourite names of all time - what more could you want! His character takes a major step in this book which I definitely did not see coming. I'm looking forward to finding out how this will affect the two of them in the next instalment.
I was pleased that we got to learn more about all the Gods and the personal history of Athena which I found really interesting. Ari also gets to explore the Novem Library which is in a very unusual place and throws new light on what she's up against. The mythological aspect of the series is one of the things I love best about these books, so I was glad that a significant amount of time was spent on ensuring this was interwoven into the plot.
Seductive storytelling and full on action makes this a book not to be missed. Fans of the paranormal romance genre should go out and grab this one now. You won't be disappointed!