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I Belong

Review: Redemption by Veronique Launier

Title: Redemption

Author: Veronique Launier

Genre: YA Paranormal

Series: Hearts of Stone (Book 1)

Publication Date: September 8, 2012

Format: Paperback, 360 Pages

ISBN-10: 0738730742 (Flux)

ISBN-13: 978-0738730745 (Flux)

Reviewed by: Kristie


Aude Vanier is a sixteen-year-old rock star with a problem–stone monsters keep attacking her. And when they do, she finds herself chanting in a language she doesn’t understand.

Guillaume de Rouen has been stuck as a gargoyle on a church for the last seventy years, until Aude’s chanting releases him back to his seventeen-year-old human form.

An ancient Iroquois prophecy about the destruction of Montreal is coming true. Together, Aude and Guillaume can stop it. But Aude is the descendant of a centuries-old coven of witches–a coven that Guillaume failed to protect seventy years ago. This time, if they fail, the world will never be the same.

Quick & Dirty: A gothic love story with the potential to become an interesting series.

Opening Sentence: Humanity wandered by, the way it always had.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Redemption is a gargoyle love story with some potential. As a teenager I would have probably fell in love with this book but as an adult not quite so much. Aude, pronounced “Ode” but everyone calls her “Odd” is a musically talented young woman who is looking forward to a future in music with her band. She is basically a loner, her only two friends are her bandmates who have just recently begun dating. Her dating bandmates have her believeing her band will fall apart and with the new tension she doesn’t believe she can confide in her friends about the strange things happening to her.

An attack on Aude ultimately releases Guillaume and his gargoyle brothers from stone. The gargoyles can turn from stone to human flesh but to do that they have to rely on essence fed to them by an essentialist (basically a witch). It has been over 70 years since Guillaume has been in human form, the last essentialist he knew died, and he can’t help but follow Aude to find out what power she holds. It doesn’t take him long to confront her but he knows he is going to slowly have to gain her trust if he wants to find out why she was able to bring him back to flesh.

Aude is being followed by Guillaume almost wherever she goes, she isn’t a huge fan of it but then she begins to be attacked by a stone man. A few times she relies on Guillaume to save her but she does save herself a couple times too when he isn’t around. Aude and Guillaume begin to unravel a prophecy about the destruction of Montreal and they have to figure out how to keep it from happening.

I liked Aude most of the time and I really enjoyed her enthusiasm for music but I felt she was way too stubborn at times. She didn’t want to listen to people and when her friend finally gave her a wakeup call about who was really destroying the band, she begin to trust in other people. Now Guillaume is a different story, I really liked him at first but when as his backstory was revealed there was just something about his character that I couldn’t quite feel for. And for having no emotions he was certainly quite selfish. As for Aude and Guillaume’s relationship, I was rooting for it off and on. (I would add more but I feel like I’d be spoilery about it.)

The setting for Redemption is the Montreal, Quebec, Canada and Veronique Launier pays close attention to detail about the buildings of that city, past and present, and how they affect the story. The atmosphere to the story has a bit of a gothic feel with little twists of humor.

Redemption jumps back and forth between Aude and Guillaume’s point of views. It is easy to know who is speaking since it is labeled at the beginning of every chapter. I had a few issues with the plot, mainly at the end of the book. I did have to read the end fight scene twice because after I read it the first time, I couldn’t remember what just had happened and why the following scene was like it was.

Overall, I think Redemption has some potential to be a good series. I like the originality to the gargoyles and their backstory. There is also a interesting set up to a Persian gargoyle that I would love to read more about and learn his story. He definitely added some extra conflict to Aude’s feelings and I’d like to see where it goes. As of right now, I can’t find any information on a sequel except for Goodreads listing Redemption as part of a series.

Notable Scene:

Finally, I felt the bitter wind against my bare skin and I knelt beside her. Her eyes were closed again. I made a small gagging sound as I tried to swallow past a lump in my throat. Her eyes opened a slit and she watched me, her breath rasping. In my imagination, I saw the corners of her lips raise slightly at the sight of me. I knew this wasn’t real but it was enough to pierce through the walls I’d kept up for centuries.

Here she was, this girl I’d come to love, dying in an alley, and it was my fault. I stroked her hair as I choked back a scream. I wasn’t meant to feel. This is what happened when I went against my nature. First Marguerite and now Aude. I was responsible for both. Instead of protecting them, I had to watch them both die.

“Guil … ” Her words sounded like a dry cough.

“Shhhh, don’t speak.” I put my finger on her lips in a gesture for silence.
“Don’t … ” She let out a couple of broken breaths before continuing. “ … cry.”

It took me a while to understand what she meant. Tears streamed down my cheeks, I wiped at them  ith the back of my hand.

Whatever light was still in her eyes dimmed slightly.

“No! You can’t die on me! You can’t abandon me like she did.” Like she abandoned all of us. My  heart was so heavy I thought it would fall out of my chest. It hurt.

“Hang on. I need to get help.”

“Please … ” She made a small sound and her eyes rolled a little. She closed them and I saw the tears streaking down her cheeks to mix with the blood and dirt that covered her face. “Please stay.”

Hearts of Stone Series:

1. Redemption

FTC Advisory: Flux provided me with a copy of Redemption. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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