Title: Gabriel’s Redemption
Author: Sylvain Reynard
Publisher/Year: Penguin Group USA 12/3/13
Length: 496 pages
Series: Gabriel’s Inferno #3
From the author of the New York Times bestsellers Gabriel’s Rapture and Gabriel’s Inferno comes the epic conclusion to the captivating romantic trilogy.
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. And he’s eager to become a father.
But Julianne’s graduate program threatens Gabriel’s plans, as the pressures of being a student become all consuming. When she is given the honor of presenting an academic lecture at Oxford, Gabriel is forced to confront Julianne about the subject of her presentation—research that conflicts with his own. And in 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, beginning a chain of events that has startling repercussions for himself, Julianne, and his hope of having a family.
I owed it to myself to go back and read books 1 and 2 to ensure that i was up to speed on where things left off since Gabriel’s Rapture seemed to feel like it could have ended the series on it’s own. (which was the original intention i believe).
Anyway, I’m glad that i did, since we pick up right in a great place with book 3, the final installment. We left off with Gabriel and Julia – back in a good place, where they are able to realize that they belong together, and have finally managed to sort things out as they should. There’s always that worry of self destruction that Julia fears will come from Gabriel, but she’s willing to put in the work that’s necessary to make things be amazing.
What i really enjoyed about this last installment is that the style of writing and the story telling was a bit different than the past books. In this third book, we get to see the on-going story of Gabriel and Julia, but we also get passing chapters from other folks and that’s quite enjoyable. I like that we get to see a bit more about Rachel and Aaron, and that we even get the flashes to Simon and Natalie, since i feared that we weren’t done with them yet, and S. Reynard shows that we’re not and even Paulina, Christa and Piaccini.
What’s nice in this plot is that we don’t just follow the educational path that Julia is going on, we also get to see the story of self discovery and walk the fine line of wanting to learn about the past but not wanting to get those answers. It happens on both ends, as a result of an unexpected pregnancy among some supporting characters. This takes Gabriel on his journey most directly and what he learns isnt’ at all what he expected and yet he’s still quite skeptical.
The underlying story here is trust and love. Julia is the angel in all this again, because she has faith that things will work out if you trust and love someone enough, yet she has her own doubts and has trouble standing up for what she’s for and against in her relationship with Gabriel. He has hopes for his life with her and she’s not in the same place just yet.
With all the various stories being interwoven, i kept waiting for the other shoe to drop and it does in interesting and unusual ways. nothing comes without a bit of stress and anxiety and that’s nice. while I kept hoping that i knew how the ending would come, i think that we got to some places in an indirect way which kept me reading, and yet never got to some of the others that i expected.
As you get to the end of this story- you’re still keeping the hope that things will work out for everyone. It’s never that simple and it’s never that cut and dry, with quite a few tears and angst at the end. I think that there was a good conclusion to their story and resolution to some other supporting stories.
separately, in reading about Sylvain Reynard’s next project The Raven Series, i’m fairly certain that i know which character is going to pop up that we know. does the name Uncle Jack ring a bell? I don’t know why – but i feel like he’s going to play a role. i love what he brought to this series and this final installment.