Beautiful Redemption (Caster Chronicles #4) by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Beautiful Redemption is the final installment in the Caster Chronicles. Ethan has paid the ultimate sacrifice, restoring the balance to the Order and saving the ones he loves. When he wakes in the Otherworld, all he can think about is Lena and those he left behind. He soon discovers that the destiny he believed was his was really the result of dark forces trying to upset the balance and bring an end to the Mortal race, and that there might be a way for him to reverse his fate and return home. Armed with a renewed hope, Ethan sets out on a journey to return home.

Meanwhile back in Gatlin, Lena refuses to give up on Ethan and is determined to believe that he is not gone and that he will find a way back to her. When she starts receiving messages through the local paper's crossword puzzles, Lena vows to do whatever is necessary, including making deals with old enemies, to bring Ethan home. Can they find their way back to each other even when they are worlds apart?

This is probably one of the most anti-climatic endings to a series that I have ever read. I wanted it to be amazing and had hope after reading the third book that maybe the story had really picked up some momentum...Nope! I felt like the story had tremendous potential and there was moment after moment when I saw a glimpse of greatness, only to have it snatched away. The story was almost lackadaisical, like it couldn't be bothered to tell the exciting version. There were no real surprises including the return of one character which I felt was completely unnecessary. Ethan's journey home seemed almost too easy and there seemed to be a general lack of angst and suspense. There didn't ever seem to be a question of whether or not Ethan would get home, but rather how long it would take. I was hoping for more of a struggle, more of an emotional journey wondering if he would really be able to reunite with Lena. The ending was somewhat disappointing and I wasn't left with heart-wrenching, sigh inducing, sense of fulfillment I have experienced with other series.

Overall, I did not love this series. I'm not sorry that I read it, and there were elements and characters that I really liked. I think the whole thing could have used a good edit and it will probably be a "one read" series for me. I was not left with the desire to return to the world of this series. It's more like a "been there, done that" for me. Reviews for this series are largely mixed and I think it is one of those series that you either love or you hate. I fall somewhere in the middle, but I am curious to see how this series will translate to the big screen. This may be a case where I like the movie better than the book...I guess I will have to wait and see until the movie hits theaters on February 14th. 

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