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on June 14, 2012 :
I really enjoyed reading this book. I hope that Jax is able to complete the story as I look forward to learning how it all ends.
I found it refreshing to see this different perspective of creation. I did find it difficult at times to see the Host of Angels conducting themselves with attributed human traits. Looking beyond that, I still found it enjoyable.
Jax's antagonists and protagonists in the story certainly mirrored many in our own reality and that really helped to make them believable, fantasy characters aside....
I'll admit that there were times that the story threads seemed to get a little tangled. I believe with some minor polish, this novel would be tops. The next two will be even better!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on March 03, 2011 :
It's a great book! A masterfully told story spiriting the reader through the worlds of mortals and immortals. The evolving tale brings to life intriguing characters in fascinating,suspensful,romantic and even humorous encounters.
The author,referencing the bible and his own imagination,entertains the reader about the possibilities of parallel universes and the dubious intentions of those that walk the earth amoung us.
Being a lover of detective fiction,I especially enjoyed the mystery aspect of the book and the efforts of the humanly characters to sleuth out the truth.
The book can be hard to follow,sometimes,because of numerous interwoven story threads. The introduction of sewer dwelling adversaries,towards the end,tends to erode the plausibility of the story.
I do,however,highly recommend this creative and enjoyable book and look forward to reading the next two titles in the trilogy.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on Oct. 29, 2010 :
It isn't often I get a chance to say "What a great story!", but that's just what I think about Beyond Redemption.
It took me about twenty pages to really get into it, but once the book had my attention it kept it right to the end. About the only negative thing I can say is the first few pages are too colourful, but once the author finds his pace the story grips you taking you on an adventure complete with cliff-hangers and intense anticipation as you move from one chapter to the next.
The worlds, or maybe alternate universes is more apt, that he paints with his words create a vivid background for his characters, some of which are truly memorable. I'm sure both the characters and the worlds they live in will linger in my imagination for a long time to come.
I'm really looking forward to reading the other books in the series as well. I've grown attached to some of the characters and would love to spend a bit more time with them.
Let's hope this is only the beginning of a very long career for Jax Alexander! :-)
(reviewed long after purchase)
on June 14, 2010 :
With all due respect to Mr. Porretto's opinion, not everyone feels the way he does. At least two published authors have very different opinions of Beyond Redemption. At least one of them regularly makes the New York Times bestseller list. I enjoyed reading Beyond Redemption and found the characters interesting and the plot unpredictable. Here are comments from the other authors.
“Strong stuff...deserves to be published. I still get a feeling of visceral excitement when I read it."
Jack Whyte, author of Camulod Chronicles, Templar Trilogy, etc…
"I admire your inventive scope. You've confronted humanity's closest held beliefs and experimented with them, and that takes some considerable nerve. Fortunately, I think you've done it well."
"Addressing the aspect of technique, I think you did a good job. Your characters are consistent and believable, your story line is coherent, the pace and environment work together - all in all, it's good."
Don McQuinn, author of Gan Moondark series, Captain Lannat series, etc…
As you can see, opinions vary. I guess the best thing to do is read the book and make up your own mind.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Francis W. Porretto
on June 07, 2010 :
I've been casting about for what this book needs.
It's not hopeless. In fact, in many ways it's quite ambitious and original. It draws inspiration from some of the less-well-known parts of Genesis and the legends of Lilith (Eve's supposed precursor), but it departs from and expands on those stories in some novel ways. Unfortunately, what starts as a potential blockbuster of a supernatural fantasy adventure doesn't come off, for at least four reasons.
First, we have the plethora of significant characters. There are just too many, and the need to give each of them "screen time" makes for a jumpy narrative that's very difficult to keep coherent. The braid of plot threads doesn't tighten into unity until three-quarters of the way through the book. Worse, at several points the author moves the viewpoint from one Marquee character to another in the middle of a scene, which is one of fiction's mortal sins.
Second, the character development is unconvincing. That's partly because of the large array of important characters, but it also derives from the characters themselves. For example, was it really necessary to depict so much of Mike Angel's dream life -- and so much of his love life with Bella? Between those two aspects, Mike's character gets very little chance to show us his real, inner "stuff." The same is true for Bella. As for Emerson, Dominic, Mandy, Matron, Zara, the elements of Lilith's entourage, and so on, they never acquire two dimensions, much less three.
Third, the book displays numerous mechanical and stylistic problems. At several points it's heavily overwritten; at others, it feels badly rushed. Atop that, there are many errors in grammar and punctuation, and in one case the spelling of a character's name is changed.
Fourth -- possibly because of the combination of the faults enumerated above -- it goes on for far too long. I read through the first third with interest, the second third with growing impatience, and the last third by pushing my perseverance meter to its stops. Yet this is the first volume of a projected trilogy. I expect that a lot of readers will reach the end of this book unwilling to continue on to Book 2.
For all that, it has its good points. The author shows some talent, but he needs to work on his plot cohesion, his understanding of character development, his stylistic discipline, and his fundamentals of grammar and punctuation. (The comma splices alone came near to driving me insane.) And I just figured out what this book really, truly needs:
A good, tough editor!
(reviewed within a week of purchase)