Saturday, October 27, 2012

Book Review: Beautiful Redemption

Is death the end . . . or only the beginning?

Ethan Wate always dreamed of leaving the stifling Southern town of Gatlin.

But he never dreamt that finding love with Lena Duchannes would drive him away. Lena is a Caster girl whose supernatural powers unveiled a secretive and cursed side of Gatlin, so powerful it forced him to make a terrible sacrifice.

Now Ethan must find a way to return to Lena - and Gatlin - as she vows to do whatever it takes to get him back. Even if it means trusting old enemies or risking their loved ones' lives.

Can Ethan and Lena rewrite their fate and their spellbinding love story in this stunning finale to the Beautiful Creatures series? Quoted from Goodreads


Stop. Before you start reading this, you need to make sure you've read Beautiful Chaos.  If you haven't, I'll be giving the end of that book away, and it's really something you should experience without anyone spoiling it for you, so I'll say it again. Stop, if you haven't read Beautiful Chaos.

Now that's taken care of (and you're not still reading this if you haven't read Beautiful Chaos, are you?), on to Beautiful Redemption.  Just wow.  After that ending in the third book, I wasn't sure exactly how this book was going to go.  Would it be from Lena's POV? How do you top the third book's ending? How do you change what happened?

Needless to say, this book matched right up with the rest of the series, and, if anything, is even more creative.  Don't worry, the setting is still there (I mean, taking he South and Gatlin out of these books would be worse than killing off a character), but most of this book is told from Ethan's POV.  What? But he's dead! (See, I told you. You have to read the third book first.) Yes, and that's what makes this book so creative.  

I've read lots of books about ghosts or people looking back on their loved ones from beyond, but I don't know that I've ever read one where the person is stuck in the in-between trying to come back. That's basically what this book is.  It's Ethan and Lena working from opposite sides of death to bring him home/back. It could have been a horrible plot device, but it really worked.  Between Amma talking with the Greats to Macon's return and Ethan's dying twice, it's perfectly set up to be an amazing adventure.  Plus, I loved meeting everyone who's already died throughout the series all over again, especially Ethan's mom  (sorry if I gave too much away there, but it happens in the beginning of the book so too bad).

Then there's all the other lovely characters, and they all make one last great appearance.  Link is given a beautiful, shining moment of glory (and by the way, this book made me grateful that I read Dream Dark.  It was fun when I read it, but hardly significant.  Now it is.), and he still makes me laugh.  Ridley is still Ridley, seductive, shallow, and  more complex then I ever imagined in the first book. Macon is as debonair as ever, and Amma . . . I love her more every book.

Then there's Lena and Ethan.  They are apart pretty much the whole book.  I mean, Ethan may see her, and she may get a message from him, but essentially, they're apart.  Some books suffer when this happens, but this one didn't.  At this point they're so solid as a couple, you don't need to see them holding hands and making out to know they're in love.  Everything they do is for the other person, and that's enough. In fact, it's perfect.

Now for the ending. It broke my heart just a little. It didn't quite measure up to Beautiful Chaos, but I don't know how it could have. Still, it's that perfect mix of bitter-sweetness that every book needs.  There is also enough after the climax to satisfy me, to get a glimpse of where the character's lives are heading, and to say a final goodbye.

This book is absolutely 4 stars. It is innovative, while still capturing the feel of the three books before it.  Plus, it was the perfect ending to a great series.  I've been to a lot of different places, but never the South, especially not the Deep South, but this book kind of makes me feel like I have, even though I'm pretty sure there aren't any Casters currently in residence.

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