Before reading it, some of you might need to brush up on the details of the first three books, so without further ado, I present the Caster Chronicles Refresher Guide:
BOOK 1: Beautiful Creatures
Our narrator is sixteen-year-old Ethan Wate, a resident of Gatlin, South Carolina, which is a small town populated by two types of people: the dumb and the stuck. Ethan falls into the latter category. His mother was recently killed in a car accident and he lives with his father and their long-time housekeeper, Amarie "Amma" Treadeau.
- Ethan's best friend is Wesley "Link" Lincoln.
- A mysterious unknown song on his iPod called "Sixteen Moons" that appears and disappears at random.
- The mysterious Lena Duchannes moves to town.
- Ethan is sick of the cookie-cutter cheerleader girls, and gets excited by the prospect of a new girl.
- With the exception of Ethan, Gatlin doesn't take kindly to Lena, especially because her family includes the town shut-in, Macon Ravenwood.
- Strange things start happening around town and Ethan begins having weird dreams about failing to rescue a falling girl who he loves, who of course, turns out to be Lena.
Civil War Flashback
At this point in the story, Ethan struggles to acquaint himself with Lena until they share an insane flashback to Civil War-era Gatlin, triggered by a cursed locket. The flashback is "hosted" by Lena's great-great-great-great-grandmother Genevieve Duchannes and Ethan's great-great-great-great uncle Ethan Carter Wate. Gatlin is being attacked by Union soldiers, Genevieve's family is killed, and while fleeing her home she runs into her old lover Ethan Carter Wate, who deserted the Confederacy 2 years prior. Their reunion is short lived as he is shot, but Genevieve commands her housekeeper Ivy to retrieve The Book of Moons. Ivy attempts to dissuade her from trying to resurrect Ethan Carter, considering the Book requires both the moon and a trade, but she tries anyway, for love. The spell backfires, Ethan Carter isn't brought back to life, Genevieve becomes evil, and her descendants are cursed forever.
- Lena tells Ethan she is a Caster (as in, spell-casting), and her powers include manipulating the weather and electricity. Her family are also Casters who can do shape-shifting, healing, teleportation, and telekinesis spells.
- Romance grows between Lena and Ethan, despite their fears of disrupting order, and the fact that Ethan gets electrical shocks when they touch.
- Lena starts getting worried because:
- Amma and Macon conspire to keep the teen lovers apart.
- Thanks to Genevieve, when a Duchannes turns 16, they are "Claimed", which means The Book of Moons chooses you as either Light or Dark. Lena does not want to turn Dark.
- Sarafine Duchannes, the most evil Caster and Lena's mother, who was believed to be dead for a decade, is lurking around somewhere and teaming up with Lena's Dark cousin Ridley to keep Lena away from Ethan.
During a reenactment of the Civil War Battle of Honey Hill, Sarafine reveals herself as Link's mother, Mrs. Lincoln! She resurrects Macon's evil brother, Hunting Phineas Ravenwood, and a tense confrontation begins against her own daughter.
If Lena goes Dark, most of her Light Caster relatives will die. If Lena goes Light, all her Dark relatives—including Sarafine and Uncle Macon, who although Light, is a Incubus, will die.
Macon is killed in a struggle with his brother, and Sarafine stabs Ethan! As Ethan lays dying at Lena's feet in a Civil War reenactment, it's just like the earlier flashback. Lena repeats Genevieve's mistake, using The Book of Moons to resurrect Ethan. In doing so, she goes unclaimed, and turns both Light and Dark (one of her eyes turns gold, like Dark Casters, while her other eye remains green, like Light Casters). Ethan is successfully resurrected, but Macon dies. Because Lena went unclaimed, Sarafine, Hunting, Ridley, and the other Dark Casters live to see another day.
In the end, the song "Sixteen Moons" becomes "Seventeen Moons," foreshadowing another exciting year in Gatlin....
BOOK 2: Beautiful Chaos
- Young lovers Ethan Wate and Lena Duchannes must recover from the battle against Lena's evil mother, Sarafine.
- Lena becomes distant and stops writing in her journal, while Ethan begins having strange visions of Macon Ravenwood, Abraham Ravenwood, and a girl named Jane.
- Lena tells Ethan her family is leaving town soon. They kiss, but then she rides off on the back of a Harley with a guy who we later learn is Ridley Duchannes' friend John Breed.
- Ethan befriends a girl named Olivia "Liv" Durand.
- Lena shows up at the County Fair dressed in Dark Caster clothes (see: gothic) with Ridley and John. Ethan speaks with her, but when Liv shows up, Lena's jealously sparks a storm of chaos and hijinks caused by the dark trio. John kicks Ethan's ass, and they soon disappear.
Ethan Learns More
At this point in the story, Ethan is confused and desperate for help in finding Lena. He seeks Marian, a mortal librarian/Keeper of the Lunae Libri (the Caster Library), and finds that Liv is there as a Keeper in training.
Marian suspects that Ethan may be a Wayward, a Mortal who helps Casters in finding the way to their fates, or the one who knows the way. She also tells him that his mother was a Keeper. To find Lena, Ethan, Liv, and Link set out in the underground Caster tunnels, discovering a Caster bar, where they find Lena dancing with John. Lena tells the trio to leave, and back in the tunnels, Ethan almost kisses Liv. Later, when Ethan goes to see Lena at home, she reveals her plans to run away before her family moves.
On All Souls Day, when Marian gives Ethan the Arclight (a metaphysical prison for Incubuses), he realizes that the Jane from his visions was his mother, Lila Jane Evers, and she loved Macon, But Marian confirms that Lila also loved Mitchell, Ethan's father.
- Ethan and Liv have conclude that Sarafine is trying to pull the Seventeenth Moon out of time in order to get Lena to claim herself.
- Ridley loses her powers, and begins helping Ethan, along with Link, Liv, and Lucille, Ethan's Great Aunt's cat (who had been disappearing a lot recently).
- The team finds The Great Barrier, where Sarafine will attempt to get Lena to claim herself, in the Caster Tunnels.
- Ethan discovers that Lena made a deal with The Book of Moons, trading Macon's life to resurrect Ethan, and that is why Lena was blaming herself for her Uncle's death.
- Ethan, with Liv's help, uses the Arclight to resurrect Macon (who was helped by Lila Jane's ghost in the afterlife) before the team is about to enter Sarafine's hiding place, the Sea Cave.
- Leah Ravenwood, Macon's sister and a Succubus, joins the team.
- Inside the cave, John is holding Lena, who has no idea where she is or what she is doing (and hasn't for the entire book). There are also a lot of Vexes, powerful demons of the underground, Incubuses, and Dark Casters.
- Amma, Arelia (Macon's Mother), Gramma (Lena's Grandmother) and Twyla (Macon's Aunt) arrive to help the team, with great success, but when Lena claims herself to be both Dark and Light, Twyla (a Light Caster) and Larkin (a Dark Caster and Lena's Cousin), are killed.
- After the victory, Link confesses to Ethan that he was bitten by John, who is revealed to be a half Caster, half Incubus hybrid. After Lena confirms it, we learn that Link is turning into an Incubus.
BOOK 3: Beautiful Chaos
- Ethan Wate starts being haunted in his dreams, and begins changing slowly, losing memories and such.
- Because Lena Duchannes claimed herself in the previous book as both Dark and Light, Gatlin and the Caster world may end in destruction because order has now become chaos.
- Ethan and Link (who must adapt to a new life as an Incubus) follow Amma to a Seer, who reveals that Ethan has a "fractured soul" as a result of his resurrection in Beautiful Creatures. Part of him is gradually being lost to the underworld, but the Seer won't tell them more because he has a deal with Amma.
- Lena and Ethan discover that a sacrifice, "One Who is Two", is needed to restore order. The Seer tells Ethan that it's not Lena, because she is needed to "Bind the New Order."
- They become positive, with Ridley Duchannes' help, that the sacrifice must be John Breed. They go to a water tower where John must throw himself off, and Liv is waiting for him. Apparently, they fell in love.
- John throws himself over the edge, but a voice in Ethan's head tells him the price is still unpaid, and the Seer transfers John, Liv and Ethan back to his room just in time.
- The Seer helps Ethan realize that he is the "One Who Is Two." He must die in order to save Gatlin and the Caster world.
- Ethan begins saying his goodbyes to Link, Marian, Liv, Amma, his Dad and eventually Lena. They cry, hold each other, exchange gifts, make promises, and hope for love in the after life.
Ethan goes to jump from the water tower, and John Breed appears for moral support, in return for the last time. But when they climb the tower, Amma appears, and she has brought a "bokor" (sorcerer priest) to prevent Ethan from dying. Then, Macon Ravenwood shows up and tries to prevent Amma from engaging in using Dark Casting to save Ethan, and he ends up scaring off the bokor. Amma blames Macon for botching her rescue attempt, and in one last effort, calls upon the Greats, who also ignore her. Macon must hold her back from trying to prevent Ethan from jumping.
As he goes to the edge, he is dragged back by his other half. The other half of him tries to stop Ethan from throwing himself off and an internal battle ensues. 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. As he falls through the air and hits the ground he only thinks of one thing... Lena.
CLIFFHANGER WATER TOWER HANGER!!!!!