Throughout reading Beautiful Redemption, I felt like I was saying goodbye to an old friend. From the beginning of this series, I’ve been a fan of Ethan and Lena’s and in this novel, watching him struggle to make his way back to her caused me, a time or two, to become emotional. I felt like his journey and the bittersweet journey of others, in relationship to him and Lena (Sarafine, Amma, his mother), came full circle. And I was moved by each and every one of them.
(Slightly spoilerish) Beautiful Redemption picks up just a few days after Beautiful Chaos, with Ethan having made the ultimate sacrifice and then finding his spirit self in a spirit realm with his mother. Knowing how his mother’s premature death had affected him (and his father and Macon, as well), and having an only son myself, I was overjoyed to see his character get to spend time with her; I felt like it was closure that he needed. I kinda kept hoping, too, that they would write a similar type closure for Macon and Lila. But there wasn’t. There’s not an abundant amount of Macon in this story, but regardless, I wished there had been more of an epilogue for his character. You see Lila in this “holding” spirit realm, and she hasn’t crossed over yet-and there’s a reason, but it’s never clear as to why-and I just kept thinking, Hmm...maybe. As a fan of Macon’s from the very start, I would have loved to have seen him gotten his own HEA with Lila (somehow). I know, I know, that probably wouldn’t be politically correct, given Ethan’s father’s own strong feelings for Ethan’s mother. Moreover, that’s probably why they didn’t. But had I been the author…
I felt this way about Ridley and Link also. Okay, I’m one of these readers that you have to spell things out for me; open-ended endings with characters, more often than not, just leave me feeling frustrated and unsatisfied. I want to know-will they, won’t they? Will Ridley remain a Dark Caster forever? Can they be together long-term if she is a Dark Caster/Siren? Will Link move to New York and be the bad-a$$ rocker that he longs to be? I’m going to hope that maybe a novella for Ridley and Link will one day be in the works to answer and expound on some of these questions. That just goes to show you how much I enjoyed reading about these characters; unrealistically, no doubt, but I want all of them to have a HEA before I close the book on them. God help me when the last Sookie Stackhouse book comes out next month; I will be a crying, deplorable mess. Over the course of these four books, all of these characters/couples have come to mean something to me: Lena and Ethan, Lila and Macon, Ridley and Link, and John and Liv. As for the last couple, I was glad to see more of them-I’ve always liked John from his character’s bad boy inception on-and felt that their storyline, for what there was of it, was wrapped up nicely.
One of the reasons why I liked this book so much was because of the cutting of fat. That was one of my chief complaints with the previous books: they were just too descriptive, and they needed to have some fat trimmed off them. Now having said that, there were some substantive loose ends that could have been wrapped up better and given a few more worthy pages. There was also some bending and manipulating of the paranormal world created in the previous books. Overall, if the book is well done, and if it’s not too polarizing, it doesn’t really bother me all that much because I tend to look at it more in terms of initial parameters than anything. Moreover, you can’t say that it’s not commonplace within the paranormal genre (to change rules/reasons), such as when there is a need for a rapid progression of a storyline(s), particularly one that has become redundant or stagnant. Or when it’s the last book in a series, or, of course, just to suit the author’s needed purpose/whim. Translation: it happens. It bothers me more when an author starts making such changes early on in a story or series, though.
Verdict: If you’ve read the others-no matter how many-then you’ve got to finish the series. If you haven’t read any of them, I say give it a try. If you love (YA or other) books that take place in the South-like I love books that take place in the South-then what are you waiting for. Happy Reading!
Beautiful Redemption – 4.5 stars out of 5 stars!
Beautiful Redemption Playlist (No playlist for a story that takes place in the South would be complete without country musicJ )
I Do by Paul Brandt (my favorite!!!!!-I love when it says that I promise to be your best friend. It reminded me of Lena and Ethan.)
I Will Not Say Goodbye by Danny Gokey (Lena missing Ethan-Perfect!)
Once In A Lifetime by Keith Urban (Just because I love KU!)
I Run To You by Lady Antebellum
You by Rascal Flatts (because Ethan had to go down many “roads” to get back to Lena)
Can’t Shake You by Gloriana (Link and Ridley)
I Want Crazy by Hunter Hayes (Link to Ridley;)
Reviewed by Susannah;)