Warning: Spoilers galore. Read at your own risk.
There are books that you savour every page that you read and books that you simply couldn’t wait to finish. Beautiful Redemption was a combination of both. I’ve started reading this book ever since it came out; 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, sucking your thumb, this book may or may not make up for that. My feelings? Well, this book wasn’t up to scratch – sadly.
Beautiful Redemption finds Gatlin mourning the death of our boy – 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 “interred” while Amma and the all the other casters casted 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 their son 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, finding ways to get back to Lena and attempting to right the wrong that started the whole thing to begin with.
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 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 ever was.
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.
As usual, the southern gothic theme in this book was of high calibre. 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 colourful secondary characters.
Over all, I think Beautiful Redemption was a good enough adieu to a series that I’ve come to love. But I think it didn’t live up to its fantastic reputation. This book could’ve been better, which only adds to my grief of it ending.