Tuesday, 19 February 2013

The Beautiful Redemption, by Kami Garcia and Margeret Stohl - The Review

The final book in the Beautiful Creatures series or the
Caster Chronicles if you like brings the series to fitting
if somewhat philosophical conclusion.

The Concept
Death isn't that bad but if you had a choice you should
choose life.

The book starts slow for me, mainly because I was still
pissed at how the beautiful chaos turned out, but also
because the logic of who is still in the otherworld and who
resides where, in the otherworld didn't quite convince me.

I liked that the authors were not shy of making him choose
between death and his mother on the one hand and Lena,
Amma and life on the other. Pretty easy to choose though.

The Story
The story picks up quickly though with Ethan's discovery
that there is a fate worse than death and Obidias 'Snakehands'
disclosure that his death is reversible. Not that we ever
entertained the thought that he would stay dead of course.
I always knew just didn't know how.

I liked the greek mythology style journey akin to Hercules' or
Perseus' complete with paying river masters and all.

I didn't like that the bad  guys rarely matched their hype, and
unlike Hercules or Perseus, Ethan seemed a passive actor in
the drama - never winning any battles by virtue of his own effort.

The Telling
Ethan told his story just as well as he'd told Lena's - plainly
and simply. Very refreshing also, to have Lena take up the story
like she did in the final parts of the beautiful chaos . I wonder why
there wasn't more of a back and forth in the final chapters
leading up to the resolution of matters.

The Writing
They teach English after all, surely they should be able to write
well. Well they are.

For the more mathematically inclined however, you should find
plenty what-do-you-take-me-for moments where the logic just
doesn't sit right, e.g the queen of the dead battle scene, really??
Or at the risk of spoiling it for some, why would destroying paper
by fire have such drastically different results from destroying paper
with water? Not many I-knew-it or just-like-I-predicted moments

The Resolution
Despite Ethan's protestations that the end is really a bang, a bang,
it really feels like a whimper. From the river master through the gate
keeper and the queen of the dead to the challenge at the far keep.
Not enough drama.
All of it.

And that Amma thing. smh with a sneer on my face. I'll give it a
few weeks, see how I feel.

The Morale of
Know what you want - He wants life and Lena.
Keep going after it whether you have a plan or not.
No need to be tough, to be nice is usually enough.

Don't know if I necessarily agree especially not with three.

The Verdict
In respect of the series, definitely way better than the chaos,
but not as good as the first, about par with the darkness.
As a standalone, it surely isn't making me hoot and holler!

The Series
At the end Ethan philosophizes about how there may not be
a meaning to life, but definitely a meaning to living which is:
Living and Loving.

If that matches your worldview, you'll probably love it, otherwise
you'll find it frustrating at times and only just about like it!

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