Book Reviews

Review: Someday I’ll Be Redeemed by Kelly Blanchard

Kelly Blanchard’s Someday I’ll Be Redeemed is a clever conglomerate of epic high fantasy and fascinating science fiction. It chronicles the return of Prince Lorrek after his ten-year disappearance and delves into the long-lasting consequences that events long past can have on relationships and on nations. Through strategically placed flashbacks, the introduction of a vast cast of characters, and annoyingly persistent rumours circling Lorrek’s disappearance, Blanchard keeps the reader guessing as to the answer to one question: what did Lorrek do all those years ago?

Blanchard employs what she calls “cinematographic writing;” this style creates many memorable and powerful moments in her novel. This style is one that attempts to create scenes in a cinematic way, so that the reader can clearly see the action of the story and is left with those visual impressions long after they close the book, much in the same way that a cinematographer would manipulate a scene in a movie for ultimate impact.

Though there are multiple moments in Someday I’ll Be Redeemed in which this technique works, the necessity of multiple info-dumps throughout the novel (due to its high fantasy aspects and complex nature) sometimes cuts into these movie-like moments and slows down the pace. In the first half of the book especially, there are so many characters and places introduced that it is difficult to follow on first reading, let alone keep track of alliances and relationships. The reader must be on alert at all times to catch any detail that might turn out to be important later in the novel.

Though there are multiple moments in Someday I’ll Be Redeemed in which this technique works, the necessity of multiple info-dumps throughout the novel (due to its high fantasy aspects and complex nature) sometimes cuts into these movie-like moments and slows down the pace. In the first half of the book especially, there are so many characters and places introduced that it is difficult to follow on first reading, let alone keep track of alliances and relationships. The reader must be on alert at all times to catch any detail that might turn out to be important later in the novel.

This changes with the second half of the book, where Blanchard finally hits her stride and delivers a fast-paced and high-stakes narrative that gets us to cheer for characters we previously cared little about and even become sympathetic for characters that we previously despised. No one is a hero, no one is a villain. Everyone has a complexity that is continuously shaped by their experiences and the choices that they make.

Despite pacing issues and unclear direction in the first half, Someday I’ll Be Redeemed is an enjoyable novel throughout that kicks it into high gear in the second half and ends on a note that manages to satisfy the reader while exciting them for the next book in the Chronicles of Lorrek. It excels beyond other novels in the science fantasy genre and is even better upon a second or third reading.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars