Friday, November 2, 2012

beautiful redemption

beautiful redemption
caster chronicles series #4
kami garcia & margaret stohl
little brown publishing
published 2012

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.

This series has been one of the ones I wanted to finish, but I wasn't dying for the last book to come out.  The first book I enjoyed quite a bit.  Mostly because the story was from a male POV and the whole mythology was somewhat new and different.  The second and third books I liked a little less.  The third I felt seemed to drag on a bit and there was so much going on in quick, short bursts.  But we've finally come to the end of the series and Garcia & Stohl have not in anyway let us down.

If you haven't read the series yet you should definitely start.  Totally worth it.  Besides the mortal world setting of Gatlin County, South Carolina, the Caster world is mesmerizing and rich.  The characters are surprising, layered, heroic and deeply flawed.  The first book has been made into a movie that will be out in February of 2013 so you definitely will want to read these before that happens!

If you haven't read the series yet then you should probably stop reading this review right

We start out almost directly after the events in Beautiful Chaos.  Ethan has jumped from the water tower and is dead.  He's found himself in the Otherworld and surprisingly, or maybe not so much so, with his mother.  He finds Aunt Prue who holds the answers to returning back to Gatlin and Lena.

The book is split into three parts.  The first from Ethan's POV again until the story is shifted to the mortal world and then it's told from Lena's perspective.  The last part is Ethan again.  Strangely, that did take a little getting used to.  I was more familiar with Ethan's voice than Lena's so when the switch happened it didn't go as smoothly in my head as I would have thought.

The book is quick and you know, now that I think about it kind of sloppy.  Enemies that were almost impossible to beat in previous books, enemies who are the reason things are the way they are seem to be dispatched rather easily this time around.  I guess the point is that the enemies aren't the ones standing in the way this time.  It's the rule of the Caster Chronicles?  Nonetheless, I didn't want to put the book down.

Chapter Seven: Crossword completely and utterly broke my heart.  Amma is by far my favorite character in this series.  She is ornery, but loves Ethan as much as any mother could love her child. 

I feel like even though this book is written for the young adult set it was written with the knowledge of how a mother loves.  The underlying theme throughout the whole series is the sacrifice both Amma and Ethan's mother have made to keep Ethan safe.  I think the books have so much more emotion and meaning if you can relate to that.  I wasn't sad for Lena.  I didn't feel her emotions, but Amma's very raw and obvious heartbreak just broke me.

I guess it's a true sign of getting old.

Taken one by one I'm not sure I would like the books that much.  But the story as a whole, all four books (five if you count Link's short story Dream Dark) was wonderful.

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