Monday, May 25, 2015

Sylvain Reynard - Gabriel's Redemption

The third book in the wildly romantic Gabriel's Inferno series by Sylvain Reynard, following on from Gabriel's Inferno and Gabriel's Rapture.
Professor Gabriel Emerson has left his position at the University of Toronto to embark on a new life with his beloved Julianne. Together, he's confident that they can face any challenge.
But Julianne's graduate program threatens Gabriel's plans for their life together, as the pressures of being a student become all consuming. When she is given the honour of presenting an academic lecture at Oxford, several individuals from their past appear, including an old nemesis intent on humiliating Julia and exposing one of Gabriel's darkest secrets.
In an effort to confront his remaining demons, Gabriel begins a quest to discover more about his biological parents - a search that has startling repercussions for himself and for Julianne.

Comment: This is the last installment in the Gabriel's Inferno trilogy by author Sylvain Reynard. In the previous books we've met professor Emerson and his student Julianne, we saw how their relationship started, developed and stabilized. In the second book we saw how they were dealing with what was happening and how others weren't likely to leave the alone. Now, in this third book they are married and living a good life together. Well, almost.

In this final story Gabriel and Julianne are finally happily living together, away from Toronto and the problems they faced there. Their marriage is new but already meaningful and everlasting. Things seem to go smoothly except Julianne has so much to do sometimes she can't cope. But Gabriel is there to help even if there's something else in the back of his mind he can't let go of.
While looking for clues about his past and trying to help Julianne, Gabriel also faces the fear of any man, what if he loses Julianne?

I liked this story a lot. I remember I've read the first book in 2013 and that it wasn't as spectacular as I thought because it had, mostly, too detailed sentences and scenes. Then I've read the second book and it seemed better structured. It seems the author had only planned those two books, which, all things considered, I ended up liking.

However, this last book, unplanned and only in existence, apparently, by fan's requests, ends up being my absolute favorite. I really liked the place where Gabriel and Julianne are after they put all the troubles and opposition they faced in the other books. This is their HEA happening and I actually liked how the author decided to give them some stability. Even in the times where they had a fight or exchange more heated words, it was obvious it wasn't with mean intent or that it would signify the end. I liked how they talked about things, how they were considerate of the other's feelings in the end. It doesn't mean they are perfect and bubbly but I think there's a good balance in what they used to be to what they are now that can be together.

Also interesting was the secondary character's roles. In the other books it seemed they were there to be the people the protagonists had to be compared with or had to interact with but in this one it felt like the important characters were 1) part of the family connections Julianne and Gabriel needed and respected and 2) people that existed in their lives even if not close by.
I don't think this was casually done, so my thanks to the author to have done it in a way that gave consistency and maturity to the story, something else that wasn't all evident in the other books.

The conflicts here are all valid though. The things Gabriel wants and fears at the same time are well thought for the type of person he is meant to be. Things wouldn't just happen perfectly in the life of someone like him and his behavior in trying to solve it all and in reacting that way seemed something he would do. I really liked the character growth Gabriel went through during this final book.
Julianne always seemed a more quiet and dreamlike character but she acted human here and she made valid points in her need to fight for a career, despite her want of happiness too.
I think that, even if this book was never meant to be when th author thought about writing Gabriel's story, there's skill, thought, there's a mind process and careful structure in writing this. That is why I really loved it, it's a story done with care.

I couldn't put this one down. It took me no time to finish and I'm really happy to say I looked to know what would happen next all the time. I think the pace is faster here and despite the label names and detailed clothes and food they ate, something that annoyed me a bit and which I think isn't all that necessary, in this book it was almost unnoticed because the story was flowing so smoothly and the character's actions seemed more suitable for intelligent people, heartfelt feelings notwithstanding.

So, in the end I liked it and I'm sure it will be wonderful to re-read my favorite parts when I want. I know taste and opinions are always personal and I understand if others don't agree but for me this story really worked and I loved it.
Grade: 9/10

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