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My hopes for Redemption weren't overly high.  The previous original Angel novel (Nancy Holder's Not Forgotten) was rather lacklustre and I found Mel Odom's Buffy novel Unnatural Selection decidedly average.

However, Redemption is an awful lot better than I'd expected and one of the more enjoyable TV spin-offs than I've read recently (which isn't actually saying a lot).

Whitney Tyler is a beautiful actress who plays a vampire on the hit TV series Dark Midnight.  She also just happens to look exactly like someone Angel thought that both he and Darla had killed in eighteenth century Ireland.

Whitney's life is in danger because the fact that she plays a vampire has convinced others that she actually is one, and the studio's initial attempts at publicity aren't helping matters.  Throw in some related deaths and a dodgy backer for the show, and you've got someone in need of help.

While Angel's investigation into Whitney's present and his own past occupy a large part of the book, the other regulars aren't forgotten either.

Doyle combines investigating with trying to retain all his toes, while Cordelia sees a chance of her big break now that she's mixing with Hollywood stars, as well as dishing out her own brand of tact and logic.

Angel believes that Whitney is one of the innocents that he's pledged to protect, but others don't share his conviction.  And just what does the Blood Cadre have to do with things?

The book moves along at a good pace and, unlike some of the flashbacks in previous novels, the ones here are more than just padding.  Not only do they have something to do with the plot, but there are also interesting in themselves.  Definitely one of the better Pocket Books novels.

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Written by MEL ODOM



RATING: 9/10