Friday, November 16, 2012

Redemption, But Not Quite Beautiful

You don't often see love and devotion and sacrifice like you did from Ethan Waite. In the Beautiful Creatures series, we have taken a beautiful (and usually comical) gothic background full of characters, mortal and otherwise, who take sacrifice to another level, but none more than Ethan Waite. And in Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl's final book in the series, Beautiful Redemption, we finally find his redemption.

After sacrificing himself by leaping from the water tower to save those he loved and the world as a whole, Ethan is thrust into the afterlife. It isn't so bad, full of people he loved and lost, including his mother. Still, Lena is back in the world of the living, and Ethan can't imagine eternity without her. Everyone tries to convince him that there is no coming back form the afterlife, but Ethan won't give up. Especially when he finds out Abraham and Angelus might be involved in bringing him to the after life in the first place. For a boy who was willing to risk everything, he has nothing left to lose in order to get back to the woman he loves, and Ethan is nothing if not determined.

She won't accept it. Ethan is not gone forever. She knows he is around her, trying to communicate with her, and if she can just figure out how, they can work together to find a way to bring Ethan back. She will do anything she can to get Ethan back, even if it means facing Abraham and Hunting alone (well, with Link, but the Linkubus isn't the most helpful or supportive). Everyone wants Lena to just move on, but she knows what "move on" really means- giving up. And nothing can make her give up on the man who lost his life saving her. She won't give up on Ethan.

Oh, boy. I loved this series, too much at times. And when the third book ended? I was disTRAUGHT! So I knew this book was going to fix things, find a way to make it right. I know he died and all, but in a world with sirens and incubi and sucubi, there has to be a way to cheat death. The problem wasn't the premise, it was the execution. I am sad to report that this book just didn't thrill me like the previous 3 (and a half if you count the short story about Link). In fact, it was a little boring. The whole first 200+ pages about Ethan traversing the after life was a struggle to get through. Once you finally left Ethan to follow Lena, the book found the rest of the series' previous vigor and enthusiasm, but 200 pages is a huge waste of plot, time, and quite honestly, paper. I wished the book was cut in half to ditch all that boring fluff in the beginning that just felt like the authors were trying to live up to the size of their previous novels with half the material to work with. It was sad, really, because I love these authors and adored this series up to this point.

I don't think you can read the series without picking up this book, but sadly, it might not give you the satisfaction you desired from such a stellar series. Who knows, maybe you will love it, but I found myself with a shrug and a "meh" by the time I was done. I think the third book should have had a small section at the end where this whole book was condensed and delivered without all the rambling, but hindsight is 20/20. But I can't clarify these comments enough with how much I loved the rest of the series- it really was genius!

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