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Love Redeems (The Redcliffe Novels series) Paperback – February 12, 2013
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Top Customer Reviews
This is the third in the series and it looks like it is open to a fourth. The thing is if this was the one and only I would have been kinder in the review but the thought of another continuing saga of the same people is just not appetising in the least. There is too much going on in the plot, it's messy complicated as opposed to complex. I read the sample for the first book and I was drawn in but something held me back so I purchased this one, the third book instead, not something I normally do but I do listen to my gut instinct. I'm glad I did as I don't think I missed much at all. In saying that it will be interesting to see what others think!
Remembering the old metaphors of vampire as erotic love, werewolf as overwhelming anger, and witch as healer and wise woman does help in reading this book, and its previous stories. And as a big fan of Anne Rice and Stephenie Meyer, I was fascinated with another take on the idea.
Jessica is a new witch, not understanding of her powers, and certainly unable to control her familiar. She lives in an England that acceots "non humans" as a part of life. However, in this writer's opinion, Jess seems a bit naive to the fact.
Tolerence, education, understanding and growing up are all parts of this story. Jess' lover is a vampire, his brother is a werewolf, her best male friend is also a werewolf. She has a powerful witch/mentor and her mother is a ghost that she has confabs with. Her best female human friend, not only overwhelmed with a new baby, but with all that's happened to her friend and Jess wants very much to placate her.
And although there's been one batle that opened up all these revelations, this book contains another, both inward and outer. Jess' understanding of love and faith and a whole life will hang in the balance. This is why I highly recommend this book, and I will look for its predecessors as well
As a matter of disclosure, there are three things I need to say upfront and which influenced by overall rating.
The first is that I'm not a die-hard (or even Twi-hard) fan of this genre. On occasion, however, I do channel-surf to programs such as the SyFy channel's "Being Human" and appreciate the cleverness and supernatural staging that goes into developing characters that have challenges insofar as a normal social life.
Secondly, I hate, hate, hate twin stories. Why? Because virtually every formula that taps into the mysterious phenomenon of zygosity has been appearing - and reappearing - in literature, theater, film and pop culture ever since the time of Romulus and Remus. The irony, of course, is that as fascinated as many of us are by the intrigue of having our own double, we've concurrently become so accustomed to storytellers using twins as a device to try to put one over on us that there are very few surprises left. Even in Green's tableau about twin brothers Jack and Danny, there's an underscore of predictability that diminishes the intended suspense.
Thirdly, it was impressed upon me by third grade teachers that the worst thing to do in a story was to have the lead character wake up and realize it was all a terrible dream. The second worst thing, they said, was to start a book with something pulse-pounding and horrible happening and then having the character wake up in a shaking and discomfited sweat. Enough said.
Green is most certainly a savvy wordsmith who paints compelling visuals and puts readers in the thick of the action. What I found problematic, though, was a heroine I just couldn't warm up to. If Jessica is to be the lynchpin of the series - a new witch who is going through the discovery process of who she is and what she can and cannot do with her special powers - a lot more time needs to be spent in fleshing out her character and, frankly, making her more likable. On the plus side, there are a number of themes that will resonate with target readers and it would be interesting to read other books in the Redcliffe series for comparative purposes. I would also have gone with a different cover that doesn't mix fonts and which evokes more of the ambiance of the setting rather than a stock silhouette of two lovers at sundown.