3 out of 5 stars
***Please note, ARC copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.***
Symbol of Redemption is book #2 in the Symbols Duet series by Nataly Orekhov and is a continuation of Alice's story and struggles. Just as with book #1, Symbol of Treason, the story telling is very vivid and imaginative. In most cases, this is a great quality but with this installment, the lyrical writing style confused me a bit by not only making it hard to know who was talking but also what era they were in. Logan comes across as ancient. I could easily see his character in say, a historical romance or even paranormal where the gorgeous twenty-somethings are actually hundreds or thousands of years old. He and Alice both, their way of speaking is just too similar to one another. It would have been nice to have the chapters labeled so I knew whose POV was about to take place. In some cases, it was noted but not always. It should be noted that I received the PDF copy so the final cut may perhaps take care of this issue. Even so, the two leads way of speaking is just too similar for my taste. Something else that would have been beneficial? A recap of book #1. Most of what took away from the story was my inability to 'keep up'. This series has multiple characters and without some type of backstory refresher, I found myself almost halfway through before things really started to click.
It was also at around the 50% mark that things really picked up and carried the type of pacing I'm most fond of. A lot was happening all at once yet the author managed to keep it clear and concise. The ultimate 'showdown' was nicely done. I'm not the biggest fan of Alice I'm afraid or maybe it's her interactions with Logan. I much preferred her scenes with everyone else. I liked the dynamic between she and Lex , not to mention, Gabe. Speaking of Gabe, the reserved, brooding, machine. He's easily my standout character and while I do hope he gets his own book in the future, I'm a bit nervous about that as well. For me, don't go there unless you're willing to go. there. What has so far been revealed about his past is dark, disturbing and brutal. Symbol of Redemption has violence, sex, etc but on a limited exposure basis. Not quite fade to black but it's more of a PG13 approach to an R rated situation. A scene or two is fine but when the entire series and character(s) background is dark, you gotta be willing to show that darkness.
At the end of the day, Ms. Orekhov is a talent with a vivid imagination and fluid storytelling. For me, I saw growth and a bit more grit in this installment and if Gabe is next (and I do hope he is!), please, rip open the hearts of your readers. Go. there.