Title: Redemption (Prophecies of the Nine #1)
Author: Brynn Myers
Publisher: Amber Leaf Publishing
Release Date: 29 March 2013
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Page Count: ??
Source: Direct from the publishers
Kylah is back where she belongs, in the Labyrinths of the Nine, but she’s still being hunted by sadistic creep Liam and needs to forgive herself for her past mistakes and learn to control her power to help stop the asshole once and for all.
I went into Redemption with high hopes after reading the prequel Entasy and finding Kylah an interesting and strong young woman in a very strange situation not often found in the kind of literature I read – Kylah is a Celtic goddess. I want to make it clear that I do not normally read this kind of book and so take any criticisms with a grain of salt.
Unfortunately after I found a few editing mistakes the book was pulled from the market for revisions. I continued to read the copy I had (not the updated version) so I will only say that the occasional tense confusion, improper use of commas and oddly placed dialogue tags annoyed me, however I have let the editing errors slide as they should be cleaned up for the newly revised version, whenever that is released.
Brynn Myers’s talent as a writer seems to lie in character relationships and giving a sense of place to the locations. While most of the book took place underground in the Labyrinth, I was never bored with the location that didn’t vary too much. I loved seeing all the other characters interact with each other. The plot and theme of the book was solid and interesting. I never wanted to skip past any scenes and had several favourite characters I enjoyed reading about very much, even if I did find it weird that the two male love interests shared many mannerisms (such as smacking Kylah’s backside).
The world building seemed pretty solid. Brynn has created a very complex and detailed back story that extends even beyond the prequel Entasy. I loved all the meetings and the business of the first half of the novel. It showed how busy the goddesses are kept trying to keep the bad guys from hurting innocence people, and why they created the Nine to begin with.
As for my critique, well here it is:
The overuse of the word ‘smirk’ really ‘irked’ me. Every few pages a character would smirk at another. I get that they’re gods and goddesses and could go around feeling as smug as all hell but by the end of the book I was thoroughly annoyed. A sexy smirk? Smirking is not sexy, it’s condescending. It implies scorn, smugness, and self-satisfaction. I would be reading a quite pleasant conversation and suddenly the whole tone would change because of all the smirking! It got on my nerves to the point where I declared the next character to do so would be the official character I hated the most. Sadly it ended up being Obsydian who I think is pretty awesome.
I was disappointed that the love triangle was resolved by the halfway mark because the goddesses told Syd to accept the fact that Kylah wasn’t his. Now, I hated Aerric. I felt like he only wanted Kylah for her body and her sexytimes. He continuously said how much he loved making love to her or as he puts it, “I love the look on your face when I’m the one driving you mad with desire.”
But he hardly ever said ‘I love you’. I felt their connection was only physical which disappointed me because I felt that Syd at least appreciated and respected Kylah and would never shout at her nor abandon her, especially after a domestic fight. I felt that Syd was in love with Kylah and wanted her to the point of fighting with Aerric but simply gave up as soon as the goddesses told him to. To be honest, by the wedding I was still hoping Syd would show up and declare his love for Kylah, especially because after Aerric shouted at her she thought that if he couldn’t forgive her then at least she could still fuck Syd. I ship those two hard. I can’t believe any of the Nine would think that out of control Aerric was a better match for Kylah than grounded Syd. Passion does not equal love.
And overall I felt that Kylah was given the luxury to wallow in her grief but didn’t reach a turning point to forgive herself. At the same time she was this useless out of control fire mage but after only one session with minimal coaching she mastered her fire. It left me wondering why, if it was so easy, didn’t she happen to control her powers before her memory was wiped two hundred years ago?
I’m not sure what the climax was supposed to be. The clumsy and confusing fight scene where Kylah killed a few henchmen and the bad guys got away but Aerric supposedly died except not because we’d been told over and over he’d just regenerate, therefore there seemed to be zero conflict or investment in the whole thing? Or maybe the wedding and the subsequent sexytimes, which really wasn’t a big deal because Kylah and Aerric had already had sexytimes all over the pages of the book. I felt unsatisfied as there was no turning point, change, or character growth based on either of these possible climaxes. Kylah never really faced her demons or overcame anything. Liam’s big reveal was saved for the epilogue, which didn’t wrap anything up. In fact it left more questions and served as a final chapter cliffhanger rather than any kind of after word.
I feel that Brynn could have used the mentorship of someone more experienced to help smooth over the end of the book, solidify the climax, tighten and deepen the fight scenes, and make Aerric more likeable.
That being said, I am invested in Kylah’s story and would certainly consider reading the next book in the series to see the completion of this story arc.
Disclosure: Brynn and I are Goodreads friends and an advance reader copy was kindly provided by the publisher.