2019 Round Up-Top 10 Redemption Books Pt. 1

So, redemption books. Redemption, according to Miriam Webster, means the action of being saved from a sin, evil, or error. And that’s sorta how I see it when it comes to redemption books. For me, a redemption book means that the main character was a really bad guy, hurt the other main character, did something evil, but over the course of the book or books, in some cases, they redeemed themselves. They end up fixing their fuckup, making amends, changing, whatever. I mean, these are the books where the hero dumps the heroine in the most evil way possible, demolishes her life, thinks about killing her, burns her house down, steals her dog, and is just a rotten motherfucker. But, over the timeline of the book, he realizes that he done fucked up, he’s miserable about it, and he’s gonna make it better, somehow. Doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s going to be a good guy or anything, because yeah, that’s not necessarily it works.

Of course, not all redemption books are that drastic. Look at the movie Groundhog Day. Bill Murray starts as an ass, but over the period of the movie, he starts to realize that he’s an ass, and works to make himself better, at least when it comes to Andie MacDowell. So, there are going to be some books where the redemption is more like that.

Just in case you were wondering how I came up with the books on my various lists, some of them I remember from when I read them. But I wasn’t kidding when I said I’ve read over 800 books this year. Sometimes titles slip my mind, so I look at my yearly challenge on GR and look at all the books I’ve read this year, and go oh yeah! Gives me just the nudge I need.

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Nicolina Martin-Absolution

So, I told you yesterday when I was talking about the book Redemption that you should expect to see Absolution. This is the second book in the duet, and the 6th book in the Russo series. It is the continuing story of Kerry and Christian, and in this one, we get to see Christian come back and redeem himself when it comes to what he did to Kerry. I mean, he tried to kill her in Redemption, and it did all kinds of terrible things to her mental health. And then when he accidentally finds her, after she has run far, far, far away from him, he’s really furious with her, and she’s scared AF. But, he manages to redeem himself and turn back into the Christian I loved when I first met him in Ruin. Actually, I think he’s even better than he was then. He’s more rounded and more human. Of course, I think it’s also a little bit of a redemption for Kerry too. She went through hell, and was able to come out through the other side of it and end up stronger.

Alice Winters-A Villain For Christmas

A Villain For Christmas is in a shared theme series of books. They all have a snowglobe in them somehow, they are all MM, and they are all about Christmas in some way. Because it’s an Alice Winters book, there is a lot of humor, snark, and ridiculousness in there. The reason that I’m counting this as a redemption book is because the titular hero, Landon, AKA Leviathan, is a supervillain, who was raised by a family of “super”villains, and who has the hugest crush on the biggest superhero of the city, August, AKA Chrono. Landon is never evil, really, but there is a redemption arc for him to go on. It’s a really fun book, and I really want Alice to write more in this world.

India R Adams-Ivy’s Poison

Yup, this is India’s 2nd time on my round up lists. I liked Ivy’s Poison so much that I bought a signed copy of it. It’s part of the Cavalieri Della Morte shared world. It’s kind of an Arthurian retelling, if Arthur had a Round Table of assassins instead of knights. This is the story of Bors and Ivy. Bors had to go assisinate the pres of an MC, who just happens to be Ivy’s dad, but instead he gets taken prisoner and tortured by Ivy. I consider this a redemption story for both of them because they are both in a bad place at the beginning of the book and they each go through their own journey to get to a better place and redeem themselves, as well as the journey they go through together. I will warn you that there are some difficult moments in this one, especially in chapter 1, so you may want to be careful when you read it. It is a fantastic book, and it’s the first one of India’s books I read.

Jane Henry-King’s Ransom

King’s Ransom is the latest book in Jane’s Bratva Ruthless Doms books. It’s also a Daddy book, and that’s a good place for Jane. This is the story of Stefan and Taara. Stefan is a character that we’ve run across in the series before, and I really liked him. He’s a head honcho, and makes a lot of things happen. Taara is his housekeeper and has wanted him for years. Here’s what makes it a redemption story for Stefan, IMO. Things happen, and Taara gets herself into a place where she is basically Stefan’s captive, and it just turns really bad. My heart broke for her, and I hated Stefan for a minute, but things worked out and he got his head out of his ass.

Laura Thalassa-War

I debated whether or not to put War on this list. After all, he’s less a person than a personification, but decided that it was a redemption story of sorts. It’s the same with Pestilence, which is the first book in the Four Horsemen series. I can’t wait for the next ones. These books are so good. So, the way that the story works is that years ago the 4 rode out to Earth, and then they disappeared. The Pestilence showed up and killed many, many, many people, and he disappeared. Now War has shown up in the Middle East, doing what he does best. Miriam lived in Jerusalem, and caught War’s eye, and he took her for his wife. The reason that I put this in the redemption list is that while all this is going on, War changes from who he was, a personification of the divine, to something that is both less and more than that. I think that it works well that way.

OK, come back tomorrow for part 2. I hope that everyone has a safe and happy New Year’s Eve, or had, depending on where and when you read this. I’ll probably be asleep by 10, because I have to be up at 4 tomorrow. Happy New Year, and may this coming year and decade lead to better things.

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Laura Thalassa-Pestilence

I love a good post-apocalyptic story, and you can’t get much more apocalyptic than Laura Thalassa’s Four Horsemen series, which starts with Pestilence. And yes, it’s the four horsemen as in the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. See, can’t get much more apocalyptic than that.

So, here’s how this world works. Five years ago, the Horsemen rode out on Earth. Pestilence, War, Famine, and Death each picked a direction and rode. And in their wake, everything that made up the modern world stopped working. Then, they suddenly disappeared. Now, some things are starting to come back, well, sort of. There is some television, there is some electricity, but not much. And they aren’t very trustworthy. But there is enough television to let people know that Pestilence has now come back, and where he rides, the Messianic Fever follows. The modern day plague has a 100% death rate. And it’s not a pretty death. It involves swellings, and sores, and pustules, and just yucky in general. Luckily, Pestilence the Conqueror is following a predictable path, so they are able to issue evacuation warnings so that the towns can empty. The further you can get from Pestilence, the better.

Sara is one of the few firefighters in her town who stayed to help everyone evacuate. Now it’s down to just these few, and they are drawing straws to see who is going to stay and kill Pestilence when he rides through their town. Guess who the lucky one is? She knows that it’s a suicide mission, but if she can kill Pestilence, then she can save the world, so her life is a good tradeoff. So, she sees off her friends, and goes to find the perfect place to hide so she can kill Pestilence with her grandfather’s rifle. Only, it turns out, Pestilence is harder to kill than you might think, and now Sara is stuck with him. He’s not going to kill her. He’s going to make her suffer.

This story just emotionally wiped me out. I had to spend a couple of days processing it until I could talk about how it made me feel. It’s a slow book. Not just a slow burn, but a slow book. There is a lot of riding, and a lot of analyzing of feelings, and a lot of suffering. There are quick bursts of action in places, but most of the time, it’s a fairly slow book. And that’s not a bad thing. It’s kind of like the Lord of the Rings books. There’s a lot of walking and riding to get to where they are going, but it’s during that walking and riding that you get to know the characters and get to see what makes them tick. Then you get the quick bursts of action which give you a nice jolt and make the characters realize things.

There are times I hate Pestilence, but the thing is, as I think about it now, it’s kind of hard to hate him. It’s like hating a hurricane or a force of nature. Pestilence just IS. How can you hate something that just is? I could easier hate a tree. Of course, that doesn’t mean that I like him a lot of the time. He is who he is, and he is implacable. He is doing his God-given duty, and Pestilence isn’t just his name, it is who he is.

Sara isn’t always likable either. I truly dislike her a couple of times, but in general, I tend to like her. She’s dealing with a hell of a lot of stuff and not just physical pain or anything. There’s a lot there, and I don’t think that I could’ve handled everything that Sara had to deal with. I would’ve probably totally shattered, never to be able to be put back together again.

I can’t wait for War to come out. It’s supposed to come out soon.

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Rob and Ruth just broke my heart and then put it back together again. It was a beautiful section of the book.

OK, that’s all I have to say today. Go check it out and make sure to tell me what you think of it. Happy reading!