Monday, December 17, 2012

Redemption, Ransom and Retribution by R.K.Ryals Review ~Kami

Redemption (Redemption #1) by R.K. Ryals 

Dayton and her sister Amber go to live with their aunt, the Abbess of Blackstone Abbey. Dayton starts having a recoccuring dream and in her dream her father repeats “Look for the light”. Dayton's best friend, Monroe has visions. Monroe is a Wiccan, first she sees a man outside Dayton's second floor window, then during a scrying she sees figures, blood and a chain. Monroe thinks Dayton should leave the Abbey that it is dangerous. Amber tells Dayton that “they had you chosen years ago” and “You weren't meant to be brought into the fold.” Another one of Dayton's friends says that her aunt's aura is black. Dayton is really tough. I think it is really ballsy to swear at nuns. She acts recklessly and though there are several warnings to leave the Abbey, she ignores them. Dayton is not afraid of her aunt or the other nuns. A recruiter shows up to talk to Dayton. He says he has a job that she would be perfect for. Dayton is totally creeped out by him, but not once asks him what the job is. Amber says to Dayton: “When you turn seventeen, things change for you here. It's like a rite of passage. And for you and me, it's more than that. It's life altering.”

Since this was the beginning of the series it takes a while to set up the story. I started really getting into the story about half way through once Marcas was there and things started getting exciting. The secondary characters were well fleshed out and I liked them: Monroe and Conor.

You didn't watch the next seven years of her life lived in a prison with no affection and only condemnation. You can't even recognize the fact that her strength comes now from betrayal. What must it feel like to find out you were raised to be sacrificed to a Demon?”

I liked the writing. I think my only critique would be that the supernatural parts were very complicated and the explanations were at times stilted and took a way from the flow of the story by slowing everything down. Dayton was very unwilling to believe in the fantastical parts that her life was thrust into in the beginning. But then towards the middle she accepted everything quickly. In the beginning she was stubbornly acting like an ostrich burying its head in the sand or an obstinate child putting her hands on her ears singing: “la, la, la.” And then all of a sudden she is just over it.

I think since this is the beginning of a series, it takes some time to set up the storyline which can sometimes be jarring for the pacing. I think that I might like the next book in the series better because of this fact. I was really getting drawn into the action and the characterization of Marcas towards the second half of the book. I found Marcas' complexities very intriguing. He is not a very “good” demon. “Marcas' failure is his mercy.” The battle with the demons was exciting and I was drawn into Marcas' and Dayton's quest to find a magic ring. I am excited to start the next book. 4 stars.

Ransom (Redemption #2) by 

This book was gifted to me by the author. Thank You!

The book begins with Marcas and Dayton on a flying carpet going on a quest to retrieve a magic ring so as to break their bond. Dayton is afraid of heights and is swearing and complaining for the entire trip.  Marcus' ex, the angel Sophia shows up and Dayton gets a bit jealous. "It was like staring at a perfect piece of china, so beautiful, so flawless, that the only thing I wanted to do with it was throw it agaisnt a wall and watch it shatter." Things get really complicated on the quest for the ring. "Sophia wanted to protect the ring, Lucas wanted to take me to my father, Marcas wanted unbound, and I just wanted to go home." "Something told me mixing the word Hell with hound wasn't like mixing ice with cream."

I am liking Dayton more in this book. She is stronger. And she is so funny.  While Dayton gets tougher, Marcas seems to soften a bit. "I may need instruction. I may even need rescuing here and there. But, I am not weak. And when I learn something new, I learn it. I don't forget it, Marcas. I may fear things, but I am one hell of a fighter. And I didn't inherit that from Angels. It didn't come from Bezaliel. No, I inherited that from my mother." All these forces stand in Dayton's way. Demons want her destroyed or they want to use her for their own gain. Dayton insists on doing things the hard way and being complicated, because "it's more fun." Then she starts a forbidden love affair with Marcas. "I loved words. They gave meaning to life, explained feelings many couldn't express otherwise. It was a release. And if it was strange for me to like literature and poetry, then I rather liked being strange." Marcas is the only one without an agenda, the only one who doesn't want to use Dayton. Marcas wants to give Dayton the chance to choose her own fate. "Everyone has the capacity for evil. But evil doesn't have the capacity to be merciful."

I really like this book better than the first one. Dayton seems more mature and the writing is stronger. This book is really exciting too with all the battles going on and Dayton standing strong in the middle. I like the tough, surly, demon Marcas. He cares a lot for Dayton, though he is a man of few words, he is always there when she needs him.  And when you are at war with Hell, and the mother of demons Lilith, it is a good idea to have a badass, warrior demon at your back. With all the pain and evil in the world, I do believe that good will triumph. I believe that love is stronger than horror.  This book ends with a cliffhanger and now I must see how this trilogy will end because now I am really loving this story. 5 stars.

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