By: Cynthia A.
By: Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Published: October 22, 2013
Publisher: Little, Brown
Series: Caster Chronicles
Genre: Young Adult, (Urban) Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Ethan Wate gave up his life not only for the girl of his dreams and the love of his life, but also for the Order of the Universe and for everyone he loves. Now he has woken up in the land between, a world around his own with only one thing set on his mind: to find a way to get back home, cheat death and return to Lena and everyone else he loves. At the same time, Lena is making her own bargains for Ethan’s returns, vowing to do whatever it takes, even if it means trusting those who burned her. Together the pair must once again work together to rewrite their fate in the final novel of the Caster Chronicles.
This book is hard to judge considering the way the story was told is incredibly different from the previous novels in the series. Beautiful Redemption shifts between point of views unlike in the earlier novels, joining both worlds and both lives of Ethan and Lena. However, the shift gives the story more depth and more character, making it a riveting novel from beginning to end as the pair race to join again. The shift between characters and between personalities give the story more rich detail. In the previous books, Lena was never a two-dimensional character but as readers, we only ever saw her through the eyes of Ethan, but we never really got a feel into her psyche, into who she was as a person outside of her relationship with Ethan. Now that has finally been given to us. Now her personality shines even brighter in this book, as well as her strength in the novel. The trials and tribulations that her character feels and goes through give her side of the story more depth and more life.
As for the rest of the characters, they were as strong as bright as ever as well even though we only got to see them through the eyes of another. Take Link and Ridley for example, both of those characters shine in the novel and their relationship is a clear opposite of Lena and Ethan. They are more fun, more risky and adventurous and just down right enjoyable to read, stealing the show. They aren’t this carbon cutout of what a relationship is supposed to be, even though they love each other that doesn’t mean they have to be incredibly sappy and wishy-washy about it, making their relationship shine a little brighter Lena and Ethan’s.
Nevertheless, while the detail in the novel was good and the pace of the novel was fast, it almost came off as though the writers rushing to get to the end that they wanted. There is a sense of desperation in the writing that takes away from the overall enjoyment of the novel. Everything just moves so fast, and while that is on the one hand good because it keeps the reader hooked, details such as scenery, are lost. There were times in the novel where it almost jumps from one scene to another, jarring the flow. And it happens more than once. The overall detail is good but with the fast pace of the novel a little more scene specifics would have worked to better ground the reader into the novel allowing for less jarring and head-spinning reading. ★★★☆☆ (B-)