Release Date: October 23, 2012
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Is death the end . . . or only the beginning?
Ethan Wate has spent most of his life longing to escape the stiflingly small Southern town of Gatlin. He never thought he would meet the girl of his dreams, Lena Duchannes, who unveiled a secretive, powerful, and cursed side of Gatlin, hidden in plain sight. And he never could have expected that he would be forced to leave behind everyone and everything he cares about. So when Ethan awakes after the chilling events of the Eighteenth Moon, he has only one goal: to find a way to return to Lena and the ones he loves.
Back in Gatlin, Lena is making her own bargains for Ethan's return, vowing to do whatever it takes -- even if that means trusting old enemies or risking the lives of the family and friends Ethan left to protect.
Worlds apart, Ethan and Lena must once again work together to rewrite their fate, in this stunning finale to the Beautiful Creatures series. (courtesy of Goodreads.)
The Caster Chronicles series is one of my favorite paranormal series. I have been a huge fan ever since Beautiful Creatures came out in 2009 and have eagerly anticipated this last book for years. So did it meet my expectations? Mostly yes.
I'll get to my hesitation in a minute. First the good parts. Beautiful Redemption is quite different from the rest of the series. And that's a good thing. I'd much rather read a different plot than have a single story line drag on for four books.
In Beautiful Redemption, Ethan is in the Underworld - a kind of Heavenish limbo. He is with his mother Lila Jane. I loved meeting Ethan's mom, a character who has only been referenced in the three prior books. As much as Ethan loves being with his mother again, he desperately misses Lena and wants the chance for them to truly be together. Ethan is in luck. If he can find the Caster Chronicles book, he can change the past - erase his death essentially. This sends Ethan on an epic journey to find the book.
Meanwhile, Lena is mourning Ethan's loss. Not as bad as in she mourned Uncle Macon in Beautiful Darkness thankfully. This time she has a support system - Macon, Liv, Ridley, Link, and John Breed. Like Ethan, she refuses to give up the idea that something can be changed and is the first to realize that Ethan is reaching out to her from the beyond.
As much as I like Ethan and Lena, my two favorite things about the Caster Chronicles series are the complex paranormal world and the rich side characters. Even more layers are added to the concept of the Casters in Beautiful Redemption. Caster society is this vast network of people and places, both good and bad. We've had hints that the Keepers were not all that they seemed before, but they are far more disturbing in this book. And of course, our old baddie buddies Abraham and Seraphine show up.
I both liked and disliked the side characters in this novel. As always, I loved Macon. He is probably my favorite character. Kind, distinguished, eternally heartbroken - a tragic soul. Amma is always fun to read about. She is Ethan's rock and a font of knowledge. She's different in this book though - broken without her boy. No one makes the reader laugh more than Link. I expected to get a lot more from him as a part Incubus. But there was relatively little. I didn't think the authors took enough advantage of his paranormal character. What I'm really hoping is that Link gets a spin-off series.
On the whole, Beautiful Redemption is a good ending to a wonderful series. All the ends are tied up. And while the ending didn't really surprise me, the journey there had many twists and turns. But why is my reaction to it only lackluster? I think it's because I didn't feel an emotional connection to Beautiful Redemption in the same way that I did with Beautiful Creatures or Beautiful Darkness. It's not that the authors did anything wrong, but it just didn't click. With the first two books, I can go back and re-read certain portions over and over. I have no desire to do that with Beautiful Redemption. But still, it was a good book and I look forward to reading more from both the authors.
Rating: 3.5 / 5
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