Hey Readers! Ethan here with an exciting post for you today. With only FOUR days until Christmas, who would have thought you'd find yet another novel to add to your wishlist? Well, I've got one for you today. I am so excited to be sharing my thoughts on the finale to one of my favorite YA series with you all today. This time on the chopping block? Redemption by Christina Manzari. Before we get to my thoughts, here's a bit about the novel and our author:
Cleo finally has the freedom that she’s always craved, but it’s come at a terrible price—the Program wants to terminate the Deviant Dozen and now she and her friends are on the run. To make matters worse, she’s finally learned to use her deviation—except when she’s around Ozzy. Even an innocent touch or kiss can cause her skills to spiral out of control. He’s the last person she’d ever want to hurt, but he’s also the one in the most danger if she can’t learn to master her skills and emotions.
Ozzy’s duty has always been to protect the Dozen, but now he must make the difficult choice between laying low to stay safe or starting an all-out war so that the Dozen can truly be free. He knows that if they have any chance of outsmarting the Program, they’ll have to look for help in unlikely places—even if that means trusting their enemies.
Rune and the Others have always been anonymous, hiding in the shadows as they carried out acts of terror and revenge. That all changed the moment the Program discovered they existed. To survive, Rune and the Others will be forced to make an alliance that is just as likely to kill them as it is to save them.
Program officials are determined to erase their mistakes, but when they terrorize innocent civilians and Sophisticates in an effort to flush out the Dozen, they discover a harsh truth—the weapons they created are fighting back.
As a reader, one of the most challenging aspects of the industry is anxiously awaiting the next installment in a series that is near and dear to your heart. With new novels hitting the shelves each day, as time goes on it gets easier, but your bookish mind is always ready for what your favorite authors have up their sleeves next. In the fall of 2014, I discovered a new-to-me young adult paranormal/dystopian series that truly blew me away. It was so far off the reach from my 'norm' that I still don't know exactly what prompted me to take the plunge, but I am so ridiculously glad I did. A new-to-me author and a new series were exactly what the doctor ordered. Deviation was fresh, original, and shook my world in the best of ways. Immediately after, I devoured Conviction and was yet again blown away. But that wasn't it. Manzari had one last story up her sleeve. The finale to end all finales, but I had to wait A YEAR to get my hands on it!
Was Redemption worth the wait? Could it possibly live up to its' predecessors?
HELL YES. And then some.
Oh man readers, I don't hardly know where to start. If you guys have read my reviews of the first two novels in this series, you'll know how much I absolutely loved each and every word in them. Manzari left us with a huge cliffhanger headed into the series finale that had me bouncing with excitement. Could this entire story come full story and end with one final round?
Of all the incredible things I'll say about this one, I will say that, in my opinion, the very best part was that Manzari was able to wrap up the entire story to perfection. All loose ends were tied and the reader was left with a very satisfying conclusion to a mind-blowing series. With a plot a complex as The Sophisticates, I will admit that I had my doubts.
The plot for this one was extremely fast paced and Manzari took little time to rehash the past events of the previous installments. I highly suggest brushing up on the first two novels before diving into this one, because if you're anything like me, it's been awhile and you'd forgotten a lot. Once I was able to wrap my mind around the story and full immerse myself back into Manzari's world, I couldn't set this one down. I don't know the last time I devoured a story like Redemption. This should go without being said, but I will absolutely say that this is not a series you will be able to pick up on book three and understand what is happening, you must read books one and two before starting this one.
As a huge fan of Manzari's for quite some time now (and having read all of her published works), I was thoroughly impressed with the evolution of her writing style as evident in this latest release. From young adult to new adult romance, Manzari has recently branched out of her comfort zone and really knocked the ball out of the park (her New Adult Romance, Hooked, remains one of my all-time favorites in the genre). An incredible testament to her talent, Manzari completely astounded me with the final product of Redemption. The plot, character development, and intriguing settings made for one novel I was genuinely thrilled to have devoured.
The only real downside about this series is the huge cast that it features. I'm talking 40+ very important/supporting characters at all times. I won't lie, it's confusing. Names are thrown around so constantly that as a reader you have to take your time to get 'into' the world to know who is who and why they are important. After you can finally get that down, it makes a whole lot more sense. As a fan who had been away from the series for over a year, I found myself consulting the cast list (included in the front of the novel) several times. You know you've got a legit story on your hands when you need a cast list. Aside from the large cast of characters, it's refreshing to see that each character was truly written to perfection. The development throughout the series was truly a work of genius and a pleasure to read. Cleo, Ozzy, Rune, Queenie, and all the rest of the gang opened my eyes wider with each passing scene. I don't know that I've ever seen an author pour such complex emotions into so many YA characters in a series. I'm telling you folks, it's awesome!
As evident by the title of this novel, the entire storyline focuses on the overarching theme of 'redemption'. I won't lie, this one is an extremely deep read with some dark undertones that will leave the reader questioning their own beliefs and thoughts on redemption while struggling to keep their emotions in check with the plot twists and feels that Manzari throws their way. It's a beautiful tapestry the author weaves through her words. If you make it through this novel without reflecting on your own thoughts and beliefs, you've read it wrong friend.
With Redemption, the Sophisticates series is officially at a close. And to be honest, I'm okay with that. Manzari ended this series (one that's very close to my heart) on an incredible note. The ending was everything I was looking for and then some. Definitely not something I can say often enough.
As you guys can clearly see, with literary brilliance, Christine Manzari has wrapped up The Sophisticates series to perfection. I couldn't have been more pleased with the final result. It's been a genuine pleasure to consider myself one of this series' biggest fans and I absolutely cannot wait to share the love with an entire new group of readers. I absolutely highly recommend this series to all readers of YA, paranormal, dystopian, and sci-fi novels. You will not be disappointed. It should come as absolutely no surprise that I am granting Redemption a near-perfect 5-star review. Add this one to your TBR folks, it's a decision you won't soon regret. As for me, I won't mourn the finale to one of my all-time favorite series, I'll revel in the fact that I'm perfectly at peace knowing it received the sendoff it so desperately deserved. Kudos to you Manzari, you truly are a treasure to the genre. I absolutely cannot wait to see what you have in store next!
Check out my reviews of the first two novels
in the series by clicking the covers below!
Deviation is FREE for a limited time only (until Dec. 25, 2015)
Conviction is ONLY $0.99 for a limited time (until Dec. 27, 2015)
Don't miss your chance to get both novels for less than $1!
To celebrate the release of Redemption, Christine Manzari is giving away a $50 Amazon gift card AND a Kindle Fire just in time for Christmas! Who could resist that prize! Head on over to her post by clicking the graphic below to see how you can win!
Alright readers, that's all I have for you on the topic of Redemption by Christine Manzari. It's definitely a bittersweet moment for this reader to have to say goodbye to the characters I've come to love, but I know with an author like Christine Manzari, it's only a matter of time before I fall for another amazing work of hers. Add this series to your TBR today. Until next time, Happy Reading!