|Beautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Release Date: October 23, 2012
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: Personal Copy
Buy It: Amazon
|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.
Okay. Ethan Wate. You know my love for him. You know I compare all other male narrators to him. You know how much the ending to Beautiful Chaos crushed me. Within ten seconds of opening this book, I was crying. So much has happened, and Ethan is really, truly (SPOILER) dead. Lena is alone. It breaks my heart, and not in the good, I-love-angst kind of way, but in a heart-rending, ugly crying, snot sobbing kind of way. I want Lena and Ethan together forever. And I want forever to start RIGHT NOW. And yet, despite all those feelings, I also found myself laughing. This one brings the old funny back to the series, and I was really happy to see it, especially given our narrator’s circumstances. Ethan wakes up in the Otherworld, not quite Earth, not quite Heaven. His first immediate thought is to find Lena, and Lena is still looking for him too. She doesn’t believe Ethan is really gone, though she’s having some trouble convincing Link. I was really glad to see Lena and Link together without Ridley. I wanted them to bring Ethan back together.
A theme in all these novels has been words–words have power and meaning, words can hurt you, words can rise you up. This one is no different. Ethan’s very life hangs in the balance over a few words. When Lena’s section comes, I nearly cried through the whole thing. Lena feels things differently than Ethan, and I can tell the differences in the writing. Her words, her poetry, are constant, even if she refuses to write. And despite all the sadness, I loved seeing Lena outside of Ethan. I even liked seeing angry, jerky Lena in Beautiful Darkness. Ethan was our narrator for three books, and now we get an extended peek inside Lena’s head. I loved it, and I loved seeing her interactions with Link, Liv, and John. I think I’m just as much in love with Lena as I am with Ethan now.
Two things now. First, it is really hard to review this one a) without spoiling the first three novels, b) without spoiling this novel, and c) because, well, not a ton happens. Sure, there are moments of action, and Link really shines in this one, but it’s mostly Lena and Ethan doing research. Second, I love this series and its characters (all of them, there is not one I don’t like), so my objectivity is very low. This book did what I wanted it to do in that we go to hear more Lena from her own perspective and it’s wraps things up. There are, however, a few things left open for the reader to interpret themselves, and that’s okay with me.
Ashley and I went to Las Vegas last month and met Kami Garcia (among others), and she was so psyched about the Beautiful Creatures movie, so don’t forget about that if you’re a fan of this series! Read this one for its closure, but prepare for some heartbreak throughout.