Aug 292013
 

Gabriel's Redemption
Gabriel’s Redemption by Steve Umstead
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

There’s one tiny problem with rating this ebook: I read it in two time periods. I began and stopped reading it before I started LORETA neurofeedback and direct brain stimulation to help me with my reading. And I picked it up again and finished reading it one session short of the end of my LORETA treatments. Thus there are two different reading-level ‘me’s who read it with two different reactions.

The first problem for me is that it’s not my usual genre. Due to my brain injury, I’m rather partial to sticking to mysteries and to series I know by authors I’ve lived with for years. But this year I wanted to make a concerted effort to try and read new-to-me authors; hence, buying this ebook. Plus I follow the author on Twitter and wanted to try and support him. Well, my good intentions kind of tanked. I couldn’t keep all the characters in my head; I had trouble following the plot; my injured brain was not happy with something new; and despite the fact that Umstead used Toronto as one of the settings — which definitely perked me up — I couldn’t engage with the story. Because of my brain injury, I really was pushing my limits with this novel. The worse thing for my ego is it’s not a hard read. It’s written well and with good flow. Anyway, a library ebook became available, and I dropped Gabriel’s Redemption. I intended to go back. Really, I did! But one thing led to another, and I couldn’t face the effort.

But then I picked it up just before my penultimate LORETA session, right after the third direct stimulation of my Wernicke’s area (area for language input, aka reading), and finished reading it after that LORETA session. Big difference. I still couldn’t keep the characters straight at first. But then they started to firm up in my mind. The plot became knowable. And the story engaged me. I wanted to read it because now my brain was up for the challenge. And I finished it quickly, almost too quickly.

I have some quibbles, like the use of imperial instead of metric. Metric will be dominating by the time of the story. 🙂 And the cliché of Chinese goods. And the lack of women. I know the US Army has only just managed to consider women for combat roles, but that’s not true for the rest of the world. And in the future, I think there will be more . . . or they’ll be put back into purdah. But it won’t be the current status American quo. The ending reminded me of how old 1970s’ TV dramas used to end. I could take it or leave it. So all in all, I’d recommend this ebook.

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