Beautiful Redemption (Caster Chronicles series book 4) by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (book review).
‘Beautiful Redemption is the last book in the four book ‘Caster Chronicles’ series preceded by ‘Beautiful Creatures’, ‘Beautiful Darkness’ and ‘Beautiful Chaos’. I love the fact that this is the last book, not because it will all be finished but because I know that the story won’t be extended further and further. Although a few short stories about some of the bit-part characters in the books would be a nice idea, I’m thinking Link especially.
I will warn you that as this is a review of the fourth book in the series there will be some spoilers for the previous books so do not read on if you haven’t read books 1, 2 and 3.
After Lena’s decision in ‘Beautiful Darkness’ to become both Light and Dark and the subsequent breaking of the Order of Things, a penalty had to be paid. In Beautiful Chaos’, Ethan paid that penalty with his life. Now Ethan and Lena are on opposite sides of that great barrier, death. Can they ever get back together and will they ever be able to live a normal life? ‘Beautiful Redemption’ tells the tale of Ethan trying desperately to get back to Lena while Lena fights to believe that Ethan still exists somewhere and is trying to get back to her. All I want now, after having read all the previous books, is to find out how everything finishes and this is the book to tell me that.
‘Beautiful Redemption’ definitely starts out better than ‘Beautiful Chaos’ thank heavens, much lighter and there’s an immediate mystery that made me sit down and want to read the whole book in one sitting. I really enjoyed the first few chapters, far more than the previous one, probably because there were so many new things to find out about where Ethan finds himself. I didn’t find myself enjoying the middle section however, not sure why but it felt much slower than the beginning and the end sections.
The first thing I noticed about is the way the chapters are headed. Previously, they were given dates, now they’re just chapter numbers. I guess this is because of where we find Ethan, I don’t think they have dates or even time where he finds himself. We also have a multiple point of view as there are chapters from Ethan and Lena.
The second thing I noticed is that it is written very differently to the first few in this series, this time although we’re following Ethan trying to sort out a problem, it’s very much more a tale of adventure rather than teenage angst. I really enjoyed this change from the norm, it certainly made the book move along quickly and I knew what Ethan needed to do next rather than everything coming together at the end. This, together with the shortness of this book, compared to the others definitely made it a much faster and more enjoyable read. Although it being faster to read does mean the end of the series rushes towards the reader that much quicker which may or may not be a good thing.
There are a few new characters in the last book of the series and a few new-but-not-new characters that I was especially happy to finally meet properly. I loved that because of where Ethan is we get to talk to loads of the characters that we’d previously only really read about in the Lunae Libri or watched in a time-slip. An excellent way for Garcia and Stohl to make sure that even the characters that aren’t around anymore can get their say before the ‘Caster Chronicles’ series comes to an end.
It goes without saying that there are moments where I had a tear in my eye for various reasons, I think you’d have to have a heart of stone not to. As readers we’ve followed these characters for four books, so it is hard to say goodbye. This is an excellent ending to a brilliant series, most things are cleared up nice and tidy, but there were a few little elements that niggled but I guess that’s realistic. Nothing is ever completely neat and tidy!
(pub: Penguin. 451 page paperback. Price: about £ 3.50 (UK) if you know where to look. ISBN: 978-0-14133-527-8)
check out website: www.penguin.co.uk