Dec 15, 2012

Review: Beautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

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?

The gothic love adventure between Lena Duchannes and Ethan Wate has come an end, and a bittersweet moment it was, turning that last page. I've followed this series for years, and from the very beginning, I've been madly in love the story. The typical southern town, the hidden world of the Casters, the forbidden love between Ethan and Lena... All described epically in poetic fashion... What's not to love?

The first three novels had me reeling... I couldn't get through the pages fast enough, although I never wanted it to end... *sigh* but alas... The finale... It pains me to say that I didn't exactly have the same experience..

I hate, hate, hate that I couldn't love the fourth and final book in this series as much as I adored the first three. It's heartbreaking for me as an avid follower... But it just wasn't there for me, and I'll tell you why..

Ethan's dead ~ but he's not really gone, and he's determined to find his way back to Lena. Usually, when you're dead, you're, well... dead. But Ethan knows the world differently, and he knows that there has to be a way out of the mess he's made of his life.. or death.. you get what I'm saying. And that's what the whole novel is. A long, drawn out journey out of the Otherworld.

Everything in this novel felt different from the others. While I can embrace a change of pace, this one was pretty slow, and I honestly had a difficult time getting through it. There wasn't that action, mystery, or anticipation like there was in the first three novels. No big revelations or major conflicts. Ethan took one careful step at a time in his journey, and he didn't really face any crazy obstacles that were damn near impossible to overcome. Everything pretty much just fell into place for the guy. I was kinda... bored... There. I said it.

One cool thing I would like to mention is the dual point of view. The novel is cut into three "books," and in the second portion, we hear the story from Lena's perspective. I would've adored this new addition, and it is a nice element because of the change, except that Lena and Ethan's voices were pretty much identical. I couldn't tell them apart ~ it was like they were the same person in two different situations... *sigh* again...

I'm a pretty big fan of the bad guys ~ not because I'm on their side, but because they mix it up. They add a menacing texture, and they challenge our heroes. The one's we've become familiar with in the Caster Chronicles reveal their devious faces in this novel as well, but I didn't find them half as scary as I did in the first three novels. They might as well have come in waving a white flag, with all the fight they put up against Ethan, Lena, and Link. It was ridiculous how easily they were defeated. I think that's what irked me the most about this novel. It was such a letdown and completely anticlimactic ~ especially Ethan's little tussle in the end in which he finally achieves his mission ~ the goal that he had worked the entire novel to reach. I was kinda hoping for a twist, something unpredictable but... Yeah, it ended in like three paragraphs and Ethan barely had to lift a finger. The bad guys pretty much took themselves out, the whole way through. Such a waste of evil...

I did like the end ~ it was happy, but not all happily ever after, if that makes sense. It left me warm and fuzzy and it was a nice, closed ending that made you smile.

I hate giving anything less than a stellar review when it comes to this series, but I must be honest.  I didn't get that feeling of complexity and careful planning like I did in the first three novels... It was all just too simple, easy, and predictable... *totally bummed*

I'll give it three out of five stars ~ because I love the series, and Ethan and Lena will always be one of my favorite love stories :)

Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

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