Rating: 4 stars
It’s been 15 years since the City Dome fell and Owen Sanders returned home with his small twin brothers, Micah and Lucah to the Katrian village where he lives with his mate, Maltok, co leader of the Katria. And while Lucah recovered from their shared ordeal, Micah’s health still suffers from the effects of the gassing he took as a child. But one thing has stayed constant, other than his love for his brothers, and that would be his love of Sashan, the Katrian warrior who found them escaping from the City and carried him back to the village. For all 15 years, Micah has loved Sashan but the shy, hermit like warrior stays away from Micah and the village, visiting infrequently. From Sashan’s actions, Micah concludes that it is his physical weakness and small size that repulses Sashan, and he despairs of ever having his love returned.
Sashon is a gentle and troubled warrior who is still trying to recover emotionally from the events of the past. Emotionally and physically abused by his twin brother, Rashon, he was still devastated when the identity of the betrayer was revealed. Further solidifying his guilt and pain was the fact that Sashon delivered the blow that killed his brother. His emotions in turmoil and his guilt overwhelming him, Sashon feels unworthy of the one person he loves and who he knows to be his mate, Micah.
Then Micah is kidnapped and Sashan must put away all his fears and guilt to rescue his mate, discover who is behind the kidnapping, and how the City and its Planners are involved. The race is on and Micah’s frail health puts his life in jeopardy. Will Sashon find the redemption he seeks when he finds his mate?
Redemption of the Beast is the third book in this addicting and sometimes frustrating series, Outside The City, by Amylea Lyn. First let’s go over the highlights and wonders that make me return book after book.
Amylea Lyn has created a remarkable universe for her series. We are on a planet of various geology and climes, but humans (as such) have retreated to a Domed City that was created by the Founders, their creation race, and now never venture outside because of the rules of their society and their fears of the creatures and plants that live there. A race of felines called the Katria (various species from tigers to lions etc) live in villages outside the Dome and are at odds with the rulers of the City. Book one, The Nature of the Beast, gives us a general outline for The City, its culture and homogeneous human inhabitants. They all have light blue eyes, white blonde hair, same physical structure and anything outside of that norm, including honey blonde hair is looked down upon. Along with the marvelous Katrian culture, Lyn brought an amazing element of plant symbiosis in Raine, another important character. This merger of human and plants is so enthralling and potent that I still cannot stop thinking about all the possibilities that can occur in future plots.
Book two, The Beast’s Promise, saw the fall of the Dome that protected the City and isolated its citizens. It was brings back a secondary character of Owen Sanders, his mate Maltok and Owen’s quest to find and save his twin brothers. It is also our first glimpse of Sashan. We are given further information as to the Founders and their purpose on the planet, just fascinating as the author starts adding additional layers to her universe and the series story lines. By the end of this book, we are clamoring to know more about the twins and she gives it to us in book three. However, there is no mention of the plant symbiosis that drove the first book, sigh.
Redemption of the Beast continues to enlarge our knowledge of the planet’s inhabitants as it now adds a race of wolf shifters called Wolfrik to the mix and an explanation as to their (and the Katrians) existence. Sashan, a character that captured our hearts along with the twins now gets his story and that of his mate. The addition of the Wolfrik shows that the Founders had a larger role for all the species involved, we just don’t know what it is yet. There are more betrayals, twists and turns along with the angst and sorrow I have come to expect from this series. But Lyn always balances the pain with the joy of a mate bond concluded and the suspense of a new bond yet to be revealed. Amylea Lyn always sets the stage for the next in the series by the end of the current book. So we know that Lucah’s book is the next to come.
Combine the author’s terrific plot ideas with her ability to bring her scenes to life with vivid and powerful descriptions, and you have a series that compels you to read them like an addictive treat you can’t stop eating. But there are also frustrations here as well that make me grind my teeth even as I devour each page of the story. Most of it would be assuaged if Silver Publishing would do a better job at editing their stories. Mistakes such as “on” when it should be “of”, and other errors similar in nature are noted but what really makes me crazy is things like the sentence below:
“I would know where I was going if you hadn’t broken my (blank), you little piss ant!” (spoiler word removed)
Now, yes you can call someone a piss ant although with that usage it should be pissed ant. I suspect (and hope) that the editors knew the word was pissant for an insignificant or contemptible person or thing. Or use piss-ant, that’s ok too. Both come from pismire, a 14th Old English term for ant. Yes, spell check wants to divide it, not so the dictionary. Still a human editor relying on knowledge and not a machine should know whether you want it to mean an angry arthropod or someone of no consequence. By the way, the word piss came from the smell emanating from an ant hill, good Jeopardy question. Now you know.
And another is that when talking about a treaty between the Wolfrik tribe and the Katria, it is proposed between two negotiators to send the wolf shifter healers to the Katria and Katrian hunters to the Wolfrik to help them hunt. Huh, because wolves are such bad hunters? Either we are missing some necessary information, or this doesn’t make sense give the wolf shifter backstory the author supplies us with.
Anyhow let’s return to my qualms about editing errors and mistakes because I know there are some of you thinking that this is nick picking and you might be right. But when something, whether it is suspect language or punctuation, stops you mid sentence, interrupting the story for you, then it becomes important, It has provided a distraction away from the author’s narrative, impeded the proceedings, and the momentum is lost for however long it takes to get it back, not good when it happens during an “aha” moment. Frustrating or as I call it, the “argh” moment.
But even with those issues, I can’t stop reading this series. Lyn’s lively, layered characters will stay with you, their backstories will haunt you, and the predicaments they find themselves in amuse and terrify you. Amylea Lyn leaves me wanting more and wanting to know more about the universe she has created and the beings that populate it. This is a terrific series and with the right editor, it could be a 5 star series that the ideas deserve. Either way, if you are new to the series, start at the beginning book and work your way through. It is the only way to make sense of the characters and the situations they are involved in.
Here are the books in the order they were written and should be read:
Redemption of the Beast (Outside the City #3)
Cover design by Reese Dante. I love the design with the exception of the blond haired model, something about him seems off and ruins it for me. Otherwise it is ok, love the tiger and the mountains as well as the model at the upper left corner.