Redemption – Will Jordan

Since I really enjoy the Critical Drinker’s You Tube videos I felt I should give one of his books a try – written under his real name Will Jordan (I think). An action scene and a soldier apparently dying in the desert got me into the book, then other stuff kicked me out. It started to drag a few chapters in with character sketches and scene setting. Much of this seemed to consist of laborious info-dumps and I felt this writer had failed to grasp the basic principle of ‘show don’t tell’. At least this was my initial impression and I put the book aside.

But then the internet came to the rescue by crashing in my Cretan village for ten days. I’d managed to download some books during a brief spell when it came back on again but, since I seem to be on a reading jag I was soon scrabbling round for more to read. So I thought I’d give Redemption another go.


It seemed I’d opted out of the book just before the good stuff started. What I got thereafter was an action thriller right through to the end with characters that grew on me along the way. Sure, the hero Ryan Drake annoyed me with his vulnerabilities and I felt he could do with the occasional kick up the arse. Some scenes slid into bathos and/or had the emotional sensibility of, well, a neophyte writer. I also have to add that it was a source of amusement to me that the character Anya was a kick-ass, zero-compromise petite blond woman who could kill trained soldiers with her bare hands. Contrast that to the Critical Drinker’s take on Hollywood boss-bitches. However, other characters, like Dietrich, had an arc that was a joy to read. The action scenes were spot on and I suspect well researched, just as were the locations. And the story itself (after that initial phase) rolled on at a good pace and came to a satisfying conclusion with, of course, a nice scattering of hooks to pull the reader into the next book.

Thinking about my initial reaction to this book I realized that just because Will Jordan as the Critical Drinker is high profile doesn’t mean he was never a new writer labouring through his first book. We do tend to be more critical of those who are in the limelight and in some way successful – a lot less forgiving. This also being the first time I’ve gotten so deep into reading for the best part of a decade, maybe my reading mojo wasn’t up to speed when I started it. It could also be that the critical facility Jordan applies to films was applied here in his first book with a heavy hand. He was being too meticulous about laying the groundwork from which the story springs, and he was ‘telling’ us stuff about characters they later ‘showed’ us.

However many years ago Jordan wrote it, Redemption was a good start. I will try the next book in the series on the assumption that the faults I mentioned will go away. And I do want to know where this story and these characters are going.

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