Exp. Pub.: September 8, 2012
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.