Friday, November 30, 2012

'Redemption' (#4 of The Chosen Series) by Denise Grover Swank

I'll start out by saying that I've been following this series for a few years. It all started one day when I was on the train commuting to work with a brand new membership to Amazon Prime burning a hole in my pocket. I'd purchased the membership because I'm addicted to books and online shopping. To not stray too far off topic I would definitely recommend splurging on the membership if you have either problem. I couldn't even tell you how much I've probably saved over the last few years because of it.

Anyway, in an effort to lower my exorbitant book buying budget, I was determined to exploit the new lending library and find a free title. That first day of free-book-glee I stumbled upon 'The Chosen' by Denise Grover Swank.

For the most part, The Chosen Series has been an okay ride, and one of the better titles I've found through the Lending Library. It's a supernatural series with the main focus laying squarely on the trials that single mother, Emma Thompson, goes through searching for her son, Jake. There are elementals who control fire, water, wind and earth. There are scenes of utter destruction and scenes brimming with hope. It was interesting for sure. But was it worth it?

In some cases yes, others no. 'Redemption' was entertaining - The Chosen (book #1) was a bestseller for a reason. The first few installments where new and interesting details surrounding the characters, their abilities and their relationships are flying around at full throttle had an energy that kept me reading and kept my interest.

Unfortunately, this final installment felt like it was missing something. It was like the gas ran out or the author got bored and it resulted in a full length novel with the feeling of a long, drawn out, wrap up. Emma, who had been so fierce throughout, became whiny and repetitive. While the focus had always been on rescuing her son in the first three novels, it was all she would talk about in the last one. Again, I get it, I'm not a mom, and maybe that has something to do with it. But the characterization simply felt off to me.

In the end, if you've got Amazon Prime, and you've made it this far in the series, then reading through 'Redemption' is no-brainer. Pick it up and go get yourself some closure. Heck - if you've got Amazon Prime and you're looking for something new, go for the whole series! But if you don't, and you've got something else lined up, I'd probably recommend you approach with caution.  


  1. Maybe you can help me, I finished reading it a few seconds ago. First I thought there'd be another book because of what Emmanuella said "not everything is what it seems blah blah blah" then there was the hug then Emma was alive and then the end. i thought Emmanuella had tricked Emma and Emmanuella actually replaced Emma and is now alive and pretending to be Emma with Will and James and Jake. And if not, then what was the whole point of that part? Your thoughts?

    1. Hi CoRtNZ! It's been awhile since I've finished this title so some of the finer details might have escaped me but to answer your bigger question - no, I'm fairly certain that Emma and Emmanuella are in fact, two entirely different people. While the rest of the cast of characters seem to be the same people being brought back over and over again to decide the ultimate winners of the bet made by some pretty terrible gods long, long ago, Emma was created as a way for her father (one of those nasty, controlling gods) to sway the outcome in his favor. By letting the old Emmanuella die for real, and by letting this new, completely different Emma take her place in the bizarre love triangle bet, she fell in love with someone entirely new. In turn, that shook up how she interacted with the other players (who still had memories of their prior incarnations) and how she approached learning to use her powers.

      To be honest, the whole thing was kind of a tangled web of spaghetti and I don't blame you for being the least bit confused. But, yeah, I can be pretty sure in saying that the "old" Emmanuella was 100% dead and gone, and that this was the "new" Emma's first incarnation.

    2. We know they are 2 different people. However if you retread the ending, CORtNZ's thoughts were exactly my own. The ending left me hanging wIting for another chapter where Will, Jake and James had to fight Emmanuela to bring back Emma. "Smoke billowed into the room and an unsettled feeling washed over Emma. Something wasn’t right." so what wasn't right?

  2. Hey, CoRnTZ, your words came right out of my mouth! I really enjoyed this series, but I'm looking for another book to follow because, yeah, this was a cliffhanger! It seemed as though Emmanuella replaced Emma from the "hereafter", but everyone acted like it was a great homecoming for Emma, even Jake who would have recognized that Emmanuella wasn't Mommy! And Will responded to her hug and kiss as though she was Emma, not to mention the baby - how did everyone know it was a girl except "Emma", who responded as if she was really pregnant (which Emmanuella was obviously not), so what? Everything went black with Emma after Emmanuella was set free. Okay, and what gives with James getting a mark as the new guardian of earth until the baby's born? The fact that James now bears the mark of the element earth (which was Raphael's element) for no apparent reason, seems to be the only tie in to Emmanuella taking Emma's place. However, that doesn't really make sense does it, because Emmanuella wanted to come back to her love Raphael, but she's tied to Will. Okay, the author said "Redemption" wouldn't have the current ending without the feedback of [her] beta readers." But I'm confused with this ending. Come on Denise, you need to come up with at least a Novella to straighten all this out. Thanks!