Just a forewarning, there are spoilers in this review but they could not be avoided. Read at your own risk.
Date started: March 5, 2016
Date finished: March 11, 2016
There are books that you savor every page that you read and books that you simply couldn’t wait to finish. Beautiful Redemption was a combination of both. As I have previously stated in other reviews, the Caster Chronicles were not my cup of tea. I started reading this series and this book with high hopes and as you can tell, it took me a week or so to finally say goodbye. The ending, for us was bittersweet and I’m going to miss every single character of this book. If the ending to Beautiful Chaos left you in a fetal position and an empty box of tissues, this book may or may not make up for that. My feelings? Well, like many of the others, this book wasn’t up to par – sadly.
Beautiful Redemption finds Gatlin mourning the death of our leading man – at least, those who were in the know. Link hounds Lena on the pretense of wanting to protect her. Lena haunts Greenbrier where Ethan was buried, while Amma and the all the other casters put a very powerful spell to protect Ethan’s dad from ever knowing his son offed himself by jumping off the water tower. Business as usual in Gatlin except for the fact that our main man is conspicuously missing.
Meanwhile, Ethan hasn’t given up hope that he could return to those he loves. In the Otherworld, he’s making deals left and right, traveling across treks of land, trying to find ways to get back to Lena and his family. Ethan, though dead, is still attempting to right the wrong that started the whole thing to begin with. He creates unique ways to communicate with the others beyond the grave, using crossword puzzles and clues as to his well being. This give Lena, Amma, and the gang hope that they will see their Ethan again. Told in two POV’s, Ethan and Lena’s, the reader is led on a fantastic journey, wishing beyond hope, that everyone will get the happy ending they deserve. And they do, but to a point. Stohl and Garcia, at the very end, when the audience least expects it, throws a heartbreaking twist.
Well, this is where Ethan and Lena’s trials and tribulations come to an end. And while I’m happy with the way this book ended, I have closure and can say good by the the characters, I can’t help but feel like it was entirely anti-climactic. I thought that they didn’t really struggle and that the authors gave the characters an easy out. Not that they were convenient or anything; I just found that Beautiful Chaos was more suspenseful than this one was. But that’s been the thing about this whole series too.
Half the time, Ethan was fighting his battles without having a clue on what to do. And really, who would, right? I mean he’s a teenager who suddenly found himself in the after life trying to figure out how to get back to the real life. Trust me, it wasn’t like the stuff he had to do was easy but he was his own army going into battles with his gun half-cocked. The final showdown between him and the “bad guy” was a bit of a let-down. I expected some black magic kickassery and never got it. It was too tidy and – pardon me for saying this – kind of lame.
However, I love that this has a Lena POV. But what’s a mystery to me was the lack of distinction between their voices. It seemed like Lena and Ethan were the same person. Their thought processes were alike. Which lacks depth and character development. I was thoroughly looking forward to reading through Lena’s POV, because I prefer a female POV, but like I said before, it was lackluster.
As usual, the southern Gothic theme in this book was of high caliber. I’ve always found this world mystical and mysterious and the writing duo of Stohl and Garcia never disappoint. The appeal of this series also extends to their colorful secondary characters. Overall, I think Beautiful Redemption was a good enough adieu to the series. Everything was wrapped up in tidy little ribbons, but personally, I didn’t think Beautiful Redemption lived up to its anticipated reputation. This book could’ve been better, which only adds to my grief of its closing.