- Date published: 8th September 2012
- Publisher: Flux Books
- Format: Paperback, 360 pages
- Series: Hearts of Stone, Book 1
- ISBN 13: 9780738730745 ISBN 10: 0738730742
- Categories: YA Fantasy
- Goodreads / The Book Depository / Booktopia (AU) / Bookworld
- Source: provided for review by the publisher
- Challenge: 2012 Debut Author Challenge
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..
For some reason I thought this was a book about a girl who was a gargoyle – serves me right for requesting a review copy of a book after only glancing at the blurb. So it took me a while to figure out that the gargoyle in question was a guy – and that a girl had woken him from a seventy year old sleep. Intriguing premise, but I think there was a lot of potential in this book that went unexplored, and not only did it end up being like all the other YA romances out there, it was kind of boring.
The lady in question, Aube, likes to go by the nickname Odd and proudly lives up to it. Except that the traits that are meant to make her seem eccentric but likeable – like Luna Lovegood – end up alienating the reader and making her extremely inacessible. She has an interesting home life – her mother skips from one relationship to another and Aube even comments, very early on, that she may as well accept money for what she does. Not the kind of thing a normal person says about their mother, but at least Aube is honest, right? Aube is obsessed with the band she is in with her two best friends, who have recently progressed their friendship into a relationship. Except Aube, being the self-centred little so-and-so she is, is convinced that the relationship will go nowhere and ruin the band.
Guillaume is a completely different story – he stalks Aube, buys her things she covets, puts her in danger – the usual YA hero type! I really can’t see what Aube sees in him. She continually points out she is not interested in him, but then waxes lyrical about how gorgeous he and his ‘brothers’ are. One of the things I like about Guillaume (man that’s a mouthful yeah?) is that he has an awesome family. His ‘brothers’ and ‘father’ are there for him whenever he needs them, and even though he and his best friend have some bad blood between them because of a lady, it’s still very sweet.
It was the story that failed to grab me though – the gargoyle angle could have been so much more interesting, complex and well executed. Instead it fell flat. The mythology wasn’t clearly explained, things just seemed to conveniently happen, and even the obstacles the group faced throughout the story seemed contrived. I read through it all, but I lost interest fairly early on and kept reading because I wanted to know more about the gargoyles and Aube’s connection to Marguerite.
I didn’t enjoy Redemption as much as I had hoped, and probably won’t be reading the sequels. I just have no emotional investment in the story or the characters. If you want to try a YA paranormal novel with a difference, then I’d suggest that you try this book – and I hope you enjoy it more than me.