October 4, 2013

Review: Redemption by C.J. Barry

Redemption by C.J. Barry
Series: Soul #1
Publisher: Forever
Source: Netgalley
ISBN: 9781455577491
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Pages: 252

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Reya Sinclair is a Redeemer of Souls. Her mission is to give Earth’s most depraved sinners a shot at redemption just before they are slated to die. Her own redemption is on the line as she fulfills her duties, leaving a trail of dead bodies in her wake. It’s all going perfectly well until one detective takes notice, possibly bringing her salvation to a halt.

Thane Driscoll is a good cop who’s seen too many bad guys get away, including the man who murdered his father. He exacts his own style of justice, even if it costs him his humanity. A string of mysterious deaths leads him to a woman who’s not quite human and might hold the key to finding his father’s killer.

When death and shadows descend, New York City becomes a battleground for the forces of light and dark. As the body count rises and sparks fly between them, Reya and Thane race to uncover a terrible truth. Can one man hell-bent on revenge and one woman determined to save her eternal soul be enough to keep the planet from spiraling into darkness?

Redemption was a novel I didn’t really know a lot about until I saw it on Netgalley, but it intrigued me, so I requested. There were a lot of things/ideas that I loved about this book, but for me Redemption kind of fell flat. It’s not that I hated it, I just didn’t love it. I mean I did like it, but that isn’t enough for me.

Redemption revolves around a woman, Reya, who is trying to redeem herself and her soul in order to get to that better place. Reya meets people prior to their death and offers them redemption, but only if they are sorry for what they have done. She works with vile and despicable humans, from murders to thieving corporate CEOs to rapists. But everyone deserves redemption in Reya’s world, even if they never take it.

“Everyone screws up. It’s expected. It is how you learn and grow and evolve into a loving being.”

What did I like about Redemption? The idea behind Redeems and that humans still have free will. I loved the idea that you can mess up, but still work towards redemption. That death just isn’t black and white. That your soul recycles and with each life you learn and you try to be a better person. Redemption delves into a lot from souls to the afterlife to past lives, etc. At times it was a lot coming at you at once, but C.J. Barry did a good job at writing those parts.

“We always have a choice. We are free to choose our paths—right or wrong. And I was wrong to follow Surt.”

Then you are swamped with the mystery of who is making good people spontaneously combust? This leads me to what I didn’t love about the book. I just didn’t connect with the characters. I didn’t dislike Reya or Thane, but I just didn’t connect with them, and as a reader I need to connect to my characters. This could because Redemption is written in third person, so you don’t get that direct feel that you do with first person point of views. Sometimes I found Reya and Thane to be a bit one dimensional. I would have liked to know a bit more about them instead of just their present being focused on, and it did feel like the romance was a bit thrown together.

Redemption would be great for your traditional Urban Fantasy reader, but that just wasn’t me in this case. It reminded me a lot of a show I used to watch called Dead Like Me, (which is a great show BTW, so go watch it. You won’t regret it). In fact it reminded me so much of the show that every scene with Orson had me picturing Rube and his Post-It notes.

The ending was super cute. I mean I loved the ending. I won’t go into details so not to spoil it for you, but it will give you warm fuzzy feelings.

My Rating: