Sunday, August 26, 2012

Redemption by Veronique Launier

Redemption by Veronique Launier
ARC received by Flux Books via Netgalley
Release Date:  9-8-2012
Reviewed by:  Middle Sis Jenn
The Sisters Say:  An twisted tale with a new paranormal creature
Guillaume: For five hundred years I've existed as a gargoyle. Perched atop an old Montreal church, I've watched idly as humanity wanders by. With the witch Marguerite gone, there is no one left to protect, nothing to care about. I never planned to feel again. But then a girl released me from my stone restraints, allowing me to return as a seventeen-year-old human boy. I must find out all I can about this girl's power . . .

Aude: Getting attacked twice in as many days is strange in itself, but even stranger is the intriguing guy I keep running into. There's something so familiar about him, like a primal drum rhythm from my dreams. But spending time together only raises more questions--about my heritage, a native Mohawk prophecy . . . and an unearthly magic threatening our city..

Redemption started off with a bang, capturing my attention right away.  In the first few pages, Aude is attacked and somehow manages to awaken Guillaume and his family from the form they have been stuck in for 70 years.  From this part I was intrigued and couldn’t wait to read more, however, from this first bang, things began to slow down.

 I had to push myself through the middle of the book in order to finish.  It was slow going, and there were many parts that needed to more action.  There were small bits of action  (mainly more attacks) throughout the middle of the novel, but they started and were over very quickly, and they didn’t seem to add the spice the novel needed.  Perhaps if there had been more romance, it wouldn’t have been so slow.

It did pick up again near the end and I found myself, once again, interested to see how the story was going to unfold.  The end was fun and interesting, and it set things up for the next installment in the series.  Had the rest of the story had the same bang as the beginning and end, it would have been a great book.

I did like the idea that Guillaume was a gargoyle.  It was completely unique, and I really enjoyed the parts that dug into his history and the history of the witches that created him.  I wish there had been more because these parts were the only things that kept me going through the middle of the book.  Guillaume is broken and he feels like he can’t love someone.  Watching him grow and discover himself was one of the better parts of this book.

I liked Aude—she’s spunky and self-aware, but I found it difficult to read about her when she was letting her mom get into her head.  Her mother is, in my opinion, broken beyond repair and her views about men and life are rubbing off on Aude.  Her mother really frustrated me, and I wanted Aude to stand up for herself and let her mother know that life isn’t that bad.

There were times when the prose was tight and poetic, but at other times it seemed forced and bland.  One of my favorite quotes in the book echoed the shattered lives of Guillaume and Aude:  “Because things fall apart, that’s what they do.  There’s no such thing as happily ever after.”  I really loved this line because it was heartfelt, and for the characters, it held so much truth.  I wanted more of this type of prose and revelation.  Again, hopefully the next book will be written more fluently.

The romance was sweet near the end, but there was so much lost in the middle because each of them were denying their feelings.  It wasn’t angsty, either.  It was just flat—I wanted to see more spark.  I wanted to see a moment where Guillaume grabs Aude and presses her against the wall with a breath-taking kiss.  But, that moment never came.  If this romance is going to help the story, it must be more pronounced and steamy in the next book.

Overall, I found the idea of gargoyles to be unique and interesting, and I truly did want to know more about them.  However, the slow-paced action really made it difficult for me to want to move forward.  The characters were different and at times, fun.  I am curious about what the future holds for them, but am I curious enough to read the sequel?  Right now, I just don’t know.