Monday, September 3, 2012

Redemption by Veronique Launier (ARC)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...Redemption
Veronique Launier
Exp. Pub.: September 8, 2012

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.

Can time really heal all wounds? Probably...unless you're stuck in stone with nothing but your thoughts to haunt you for seventy years.

For the past seventy years, Guillaume, his father and his two brothers have perched atop the four corners of a church in Montreal as stone gargoyles. At one point they were able to shift into human and gargoyle-like forms, but since the death of the witch they protected, their essence faded away and they turned into stone, alive in spirit and forced to watch life as it passes them by. Marguerite's family long held a deal with Guillaume's family - protect the witches and they will feed the gargoyles the essence necessary to keep them alive. Marguerite was the last in their line, and with her went the ability to keep Guillaume's family alive. That is, until the night Aude passes by and is attacked by three guys. Almost seemingly possessed, Aude chants a foreign tongue and the gargoyles break free from their prison.

But their release is only temporary. Without a witch to transfer essence over to them, they'll fade back into stone once again. Determined to learn why Aude was able to break them free and transfer a little energy their way, Guillaume nudges his way into her life, even though she's dead set against it. But Aude can't deny the fact that she keeps hearing tribal drums and chanting in her head, and she keeps getting attacked by various creatures. Not to mention the dead birds that fall around her and the mutant animals that always skitter across her path. When she learns these are the signs of a prophecy that hits a little too close to home, she's more than willing to learn what a few gargoyles may have to say in the matter. In order to have any chance of survival, she'll have to trust the gargoyles, and they in turn, her.

Something fresh and original that Redemption has going for it, besides the gsupernatural argoyles, is Aude being able to manipulate and transfer the very essence of our being. It's similar to what I read in Fractured Light, but instead of harnessing Light, Aude is able to drain however much of our life's essence as she chooses and share as she sees fit. But as awesome as that is, she's as vulnerable as any other human and therefore, can strike a bargain with supernatural creatures to protect her mortality. And a little love on the side? Why not, since the gargoyles can choose to age with their partner, only to return to the young age of seventeen all over again. How cool is that?

Aude is definitely a reluctant hero, and Guillaume a tortured soul, so they spend half of the novel refusing to bend for the other, which can be a little frustrating for those hoping for some romance. And the story's a little slow after that first big bang, even with a couple of attacks on her life, but the real action looms toward the last quarter, so stick it out.

ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley.

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