|Author(s)|| Kami Garcia,|
|Publication date||October 2011|
|Published by||Little, Brown|
| Preceded by|
| Followed by|
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.
In the aftermath of Beautiful Darkness, Ethan and Lena are reunited and stronger than ever. But Lena's Claiming soon has monstrous effects on both the Mortal and Caster world more than anyone could ever imagine. And in the midst of things, strange things are happening to Ethan. He is being haunted in his dreams that are keeping him up all night - and not by Lena. He is slowly changing, the foods he is known to like now disgust him and he's forgetting names, numbers and even full on memories; this in which Amma seems to know something about as she begins to act strangely as well. Lena and Ethan soon find out her claiming herself as both Light and Dark has had an effect on Gatlin and the Caster worlds which may end in destruction because Order is now in chaos.
Throughout the book, Ethan continues to slowly lose more and more of himself. He is hearing voices, and is seeing writings and things that no one else can. He is looking in mirrors and sees a whole other person looking at him. However, Ethan tries to ignore these events by focusing on the chaos in Gatlin.
One day, he and Link (who is adapting to his new life as an Incubus) follow Amma which leads them to a Seer. After seeing her talking to the Seer, they decide to go and meet him. The Seer reveals that when Ethan died in Beautiful Creatures and Lena and Amma revived him, that sometimes when a deceased soul is brought back "too fast" they lose a part of themselves and develops a "Fractured Soul" or their soul is "divided." The Seer also tells Ethan that his "other half" is now in the underworld and because his soul is now severed, he will continue to lose more and more of himself with each passing day. When Link asks how they can bring the two back together the Seer simply says that he and Amma "have a deal." After this, he refuses to say anything more.
Meanwhile, Lena and Ethan and everyone else struggle to figure out what is needed to be done to save Gatlin and realize that a happy ending won't be happening this time. They eventually find out a sacrifice needed to be done to restore Order; the "One Who Is Two," who is narrowed down to be one of them. Lena and Ethan search desperately to figure out which one of them is the "One Who Is Two." First they suspect Lena, but the Seer who Ethan was with tells Ethan directly during a visit that Lena isn't the one who needed to die, and even revealing that after the One Who Is Two dies she will actually be the one to Bind the New Order. They then turn over to think it is John, who was being used as Ridley's person caster since she was shortly rendered a short-lived mortal, who then becomes positive it is him, and goes to see Ethan late one night to tell him. They then go to the water tower to where he must throw himself off of it where Liv is waiting for him. There Liv and John share an emotional moment, it being revealed that the two fell in love during their time together, and John throws himself over the edge. But the voice Ethan is hearing in his head tells him the price is still unpaid (thus the needed sacrifice not being John) and the Seer transfers John, Liv and Ethan back to his room saving John before he could actually die.
Soon later, while Ethan goes to see the bokor again, he shows Ethan different images and visions with meanings; of him being in a dried up field and touching the dried up ground and then watering it and making it better. After putting it all together, Ethan realizes what the Bokor is trying to imply; Ethan himself is the "One Who Is Two." Ethan then realizes one thing; he has to die in order to save Gatlin and the Caster world.
He sees Lena directly afterwards and tells her that he is the required sacrifice and they spend the night in each others arms not talking; just holding and clinging to each other in silence. Everyone goes into sadness when Ethan's fate is revealed with Marian and Liv sobbingly saying goodbye to Ethan the day he must die. He then goes to see Link and they spend one last day playing basketball. He asks Ethan if he's sure about his choice to go ahead with the sacrifice; Ethan simply states that he didn't have a choice. Link then reminisces to Ethan about the day they met on the bus in kindergarten when Link gave Ethan a Twinkie that was on the floor of the school bus; it wasn't and he just made that part up at the time.
Ethan then sees Lena one last time to say goodbye and Kelts with her from her house and her voice comes in a jagged rhythm (saying he can't ask her to go through with this; his death) implying she was sobbing. He tells her to wait for him at Greenbrier and writes "I will always love you. -Ethan”, on her wall.
He then meets up with her and her eyes are red and puffy from crying and they talk and Lena reminisces about the first time she saw him and how she knew she would fall in love with him noticing how even "the sky looked different" after she started to fall for him. She then asks if he believes in Love after death and he says yes. Lena then pleads with Ethan not to go through with the sacrifice saying how she didn't care about the consequences if he didn't die saying how without him, "none of that mattered to her." Ethan then states they were talking about lives and the people they loved and Lena responds shaking her head saying she didn't care and couldn't imagine a world without him in it. Ethan then gives her a map of all the places he dreamed of seeing in the world and in return she gives him her necklace of all her memories, including of him, to hold on for her. He then makes her promise to Bind the New Order and do her part in all of this stating that if she didn't, then everything he was going to do would be for nothing. Lena insists frantically she won't make it without him and he just couldn't ask her to live a life without him. But Ethan insists she try and in one last attempt, she goes hysterical pleading with him to find another way begging him not to sacrifice himself. He then simply holds her as she sobs into his chest and tells her, "It's okay." Even though he knows it isn't. They then share one final moment together with Ethan Kelting, "Goodbye." After this, Lena cries herself to sleep.
Ethan goes to Amma to confront her about her having known the whole time he was going to die. She says she has a way worked out to spare him even though he knows there was nothing anyone or anything can do to save him. He then silently says goodbye to his dad and takes one final look at his room and belongings and reads a book (Of Mice and Men, one Ethan often found tragic) for the last time. He then goes to reach the destination of the water tower. When he gets there he drops Lena's necklace in the front seat of the car so nothing will happen to it.
He then sees John Breed materialize from the shadows. Ethan asks if everyone is okay and John informs Ethan that he came because it is "harder than you think when you're up there," and that since Ethan was with him when he jumped, he should return the favor. Ethan finds it hard to believe John was "the same dirtbag who kicked his ass at the fair and tried to steal his girlfriend," and was now a "decent guy," but sees that falling in love will do that to a person.
As Ethan and John walk up to the water tower, Amma shows up saying she was "there the day he was born and she'll be there the day he dies" but it wasn't going to be "today." She brings a bokor, a "darkness of her own" to hopefully have some effect, but things start to get hectic as a result of it. The bokor tries to release his spirits but Macon arrives on the scene and confronts Amma about her actions. But Amma states that he would do the same thing for Lena, his niece, and flat out and outright refuses to have "her boy" be their "sacrificial lamb." The bokor tries to attack Macon but Macon easily overpowers him. The bokor warns him he shouldn't have intervened and leaves. Amma tries to get Ethan to leave, but he says he had no other choice but to go ahead with the sacrifice. Amma blames Macon for the outcome of things that resulted in Ethan's must-be death and vows never to forgive him for it. In one last attempt to save Ethan, Amma calls on the Greats to try to prevent Ethan's death but they turn their backs on her --literally-- leaving Amma in despair weeping on the ground. Macon promises to Ethan he will take care of Amma. She then cries out and leaps for Ethan, but Macon holds her back as she hysterically weeps, knowing there is nothing left to do to save Ethan.
The final chapter is of Ethan on top of the water tower. As he goes to the edge to throw himself over it, he is dragged back by his other half. The other half of him tries to stop Ethan from throwing himself over and they fight and battle. Ethan clutches the other half of him and as he looks into his eyes; he knows that they both knew they were going to die. They then roll over the edge of the water tower and fall towards the ground. As Ethan falls through the air and hits the ground he only thinks of one thing...Lena, and Nineteen Moons.
BEFORE: Sugar and Salt