542 of 582 people found the following review helpful
The antidote for Fifty Shades of Grey,
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This review is from: Gabriel's Inferno (Gabriel, Book 1) (Paperback)
My guilty pleasure lately has been crappy self published "contemporary romance" ebooks. Like falling for a dumb jock or a bad boy, my relationship with books like "Beautiful Disaster" and "Fifty Shades of Grey" was embarrassing and degrading. I always inevitably felt guilty afterward, and I resolved to find a book that would appeal both to my intelligence and my heart.
Enter "Gabriel's Inferno."
Like a good lover, this book is thoughtful, deliberate and profound. Each character is nuanced, and each moment is strategically delivered. I'll spare the plot summary since several other reviewers did a great job at it, but I will say that it's been a long time since I read a book that was so well organized. Scenes that seem inconsequential reappear as important background later in the book, and each peripheral story line is elaborately folded into the bigger picture. This book is absolutely exquisite.
Julianne is an intriguing heroine, because she is the anti-Bella, anti-Katniss of the major blockbuster dichotomy. She is neither vapid and ungrateful, nor aloof and merciless. She does not adhere to the idea that a woman must either be a damsel in distress or a dragon lady. Julianne is something entirely different - she is broken and rebuilding. I normally despise meekness (in fictional characters and in real people), but I found her timid nature endearing, because beneath it was the soul of a lion. She knew how to choose her battles, and when she chose to let loose, she knew how to leave a mark. The best summation of her character was the scene when Christa screamed insults at her, and Julianne refused to lower herself by responding in kind. Her restraint, along with the fact that she loved Gabriel from afar for six years, produced the most beautiful tension between strength and patience that I have ever seen in a protagonist.
To say that this book has deeply affected me is an understatement. My daughter will grow up in a world full of contemporary books that teach horrible lessons about what love is supposed to look like. I don't want her anywhere near that codependent Twilight crap. I will, however, gladly let her read Gabriel's Inferno when she's old enough to understand what being broken and finding redemption through love can mean.
If "Fifty Shades of Grey" is considered mom porn, then "Gabriel's Inferno" is Thinking Woman Porn.
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Showing 1-10 of 20 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 6, 2012 4:10:27 AM PDT
R Morgan says:
A shame it's yet another Twilight fanfiction pretending to be otherwise. Le sigh. (Yes, it probably doesn't read like it, etc. But you'd never have heard of it if a bunch of Twilight fans didn't launch it and get it the attention most debut romances don't get).
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 7, 2012 5:06:38 PM PDT
There are SO many things about this book that turned me off prior to reading it. I think fanfic is silly, and have never read it prior to the abysmally bad Fifty Shades. The title of Gabriel's Inferno sounds like a cheesy Harlequin romance. The cover is a little embarrassing in a "I wouldn't pull this out while on public transit" kind of way.
However, if I'd let all of those initial judgments scare me away, I would have missed a grand and complex world. Reynard took metaphorically bad grapes (Twilight) and turned them into wine. Instead of recreating a love story based on unhealthy obsession, Reynard turned the characters into people with depth and independence. The entire world of Twilight revolved around Bella, and every character lived to serve or save her. In Gabriel's Inferno the characters are autonomous, and each has his/her own history and storyline.
I can't speak to how this book because popular, because I personally didn't see Twilight in this book. I did not select or enjoy it based on its fanfic origin, and I don't see why that should negate its popularity.
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 24, 2012 6:52:53 AM PDT
The story goes that the Great Library of Alexandria was burned down by a Turkish Caliph who gave as his reason that the books inside were either copies of the Holy Book, in which case they were superfluous and could be destroyed, or text that differed from the Holy Book, in which case they were blasphemous and should be destroyed.
The story is a myth - Julius Caesar was the first one to try burning the Great Library - but the attitude persists, it would seem, in the attitude of Twilight fans to works inspired by Stephenie Meyer - either they are the Work of the Mistress or they are worthless.
The history of literature is full of examples of writers who were inspired by the works of those who came before them (Louis de Bernieres following Garcia Marquez, for one example). Sometimes the new works are derivative and sometimes they transcend their origins to become greater than the books that inspired them. Either way, that is how books get written, and those who any work out of hand on the grounds that 'it used to be fanfiction' are repetitive, tedious, and apparently lack the imagination to address any new work on its own terms.
Posted on Apr 27, 2012 1:04:53 PM PDT
Amazon Customer says:
Oh. I thought Beautiful Disaster was great.
Posted on May 10, 2012 11:37:54 PM PDT
A.D. Mayer says:
I want to thank you for this review. I can honestly say that I agree with everything that you have said in it. I cant wait for the next book to come out this month. I was a little dissappointed from the lack of carnal activity, but oh well, it was still an awesome read. I was "iffy" about this book until I read your review. :-D
In reply to an earlier post on May 26, 2012 6:12:36 PM PDT
I totally agree with your review. I never review books; I just read the reviews. I'm only just beginning to read again. Retirement and a kindle have brought books back into my life. These two books are totally awesome. I would love to see a TV mini series try to do them justice. I thought I loved 50 Shades....but not nearly as much as these two books.
In reply to an earlier post on May 26, 2012 8:08:08 PM PDT
A.D. Mayer says:
If you have liked these books then you may want to read Beautiful Disaster by Jamie Mcguire, I couldn't put that book down either
Posted on Jun 8, 2012 6:33:20 PM PDT
E. Diioia says:
Ha! Laughed right away reading your review. I felt the same way after Fifty and Beautiful Disaster. I didn't want to tell my co-workers what I was reading when they asked as I was drooling over my kindle. A woman after my own heart Florence!
Posted on Jun 15, 2012 10:06:48 AM PDT
I would completely disagree with the last comment "If "Fifty Shades of Grey" is considered mom porn, then "Gabriel's Inferno" is Thinking Woman Porn.".....you have to have a few sex scenes to to make it anything porn...and the one and only time they have sex was boring, and on the last few pages of the book. If you are looking for a romance novel, or anything like 50 shades, this is NOT the book for you.
Posted on Jul 2, 2012 8:34:38 PM PDT
I thought I was the only one who greatly disliked Beautiful Disaster! Felt like I was in high school again.... I will try this book.