Friday, March 25, 2011

Book Review: Gabriel's Redemption by Steve Umstead

Gabriel’s Redemption by Steve Umstead tells the tale of a man named Evan Gabriel. Evan’s past haunts him, but the opportunity arises for him to make up for what happened. He accepts a mission to a far off planet, Poliahu, to find and capture a drug lord. And what he finds upon arriving at the planet, not only surprises him, but has the potential to change all human lives dramatically.

The Good: Gabriel’s Redemption is a very well written book. The author’s use of words is very easy to follow and not cluttered with too much information. I particularly like that the author uses colloquialisms more in the writing than proper grammar. This doesn’t mean that the writing sounds unintelligent. Rather,  you feel like a friend is relating the story to you. It’s actually very pleasing to read this style of writing. And I can honestly say this is the first time I read a book that made me feel that way.

The Bad: This is a very minor gripe, because overall, the book does a fine job of explaining details about the characters. However, the main character, Evan Gabriel, doesn’t appear enough in the book, in my opinion. I feel like there is more about him and his personality that the author should reveal but never does. I understand who he is as a character, but feeling more of that within the pages (or maybe I should say locations) of the book would have been nice. Although it is completely possible that this was the author’s intent, since this book is part of a trilogy and the author my further develop the character in future books.

The Ugly: There is one thing about this book that would greatly improve it. Cut it in half and you have a great story! However, this is not the case. The book clocks in at around 66,000 words – which is a good length. However, the first half of the book is very slow. The author introduces many characters and their personalities, but I feel that it just drags. While there is a goal introduced in the beginning of the story, it takes way too long to get to that goal and introduce the next one. It is not until about halfway through the book that it really picks up and becomes interesting. I feel shortening this book would have made it better.

Overall, I liked Gabriel’s Redemption. I see great potential within the world the author has created and hope that the next book in the series improves upon some of the aspects mentioned above. If you’re into trilogies, give this one a shot, because the ride is just getting started.

Gabriel's Redemption is available for $2.99 on Smashwords.