Claire's Reviews > The Redemption of Ajax

The Redemption of Ajax by Trinity Faegen
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's review

it was ok
bookshelves: fantasy, half-read, ya

This book will be popular. It has a great hook and an interesting mythology and the same utterly-devoted-overprotective-and-totally-into-her-but-with-iron-self-control romance dynamic that Twilight fans like so much.

That said, I couldn't get through it. It made Twilight's 1950s gender dynamics, abusive relationship parallels, and sexual-innocence-is-a-girl's-most-precious-belonging undertones seem subtle in comparison. Sex with a "Mephisto" (sons of a fallen angel who are sorta good -- working for redemption -- but plagued by all these dark thoughts and temptations) will _literally_ mark Sasha, who, given that as an "Anabo" she has no internal conflict or temptation towards selfishness/evil/whatnot, is actually kind of boringly perfect. Once they kiss, she starts to experience actual physiological changes that include a sudden susceptibility to things like anger and hatred. Another issue: Jax actually wipes her memory after their first meeting so that he will have a better chance of wooing her in a normal non-supernatural context before dumping all the fallen-angel-predestined-relationship crap on her. Given that she (unlike Jax) has a choice about the relationship, this strikes me as incredibly manipulative and not at all fair.

And the writing... so much infodumping. So much overstatement. When Sasha finds out a secret about her parentage, she spends several pages being upset and laying out in detail why she is upset. In the next scene, Jax proceeds to explain to the reader his understanding of why she is upset. We have already been through this, and it shouldn't have taken so long in the first place! Everything is told and not shown. Jax is supposed to be hot because he looks "dangerous" in a pretty way and is thoughtful and understanding and imprinted on the heroine. There's some angst about being immortal and exiled from heaven, but it's not very well-developed and there are a lot of mythology backflips performed to make all the angst and misunderstandings make any narrative sense (and even then they often don't).

Anyway. That was a rant. It was the creepy gendered power dynamics that tipped me over the edge, but I could have read past them if the rest of the book had been more fun and smooth. Instead, I found it unfinishable.

In summary, for better or worse, this out-Twilights Twilight. It is Twilight with angels and less subtle moralizing. It is a book that makes me use "Twilight" and "subtle" in the same sentence! If there was a even a trace of an idea you didn't like in Twilight, you won't like this. But if you unconditionally and unironically loved Twilight, by all means, dive in.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
June 16, 2011 – Finished Reading
June 17, 2011 – Shelved
June 17, 2011 – Shelved as: fantasy
June 17, 2011 – Shelved as: half-read
June 17, 2011 – Shelved as: ya

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