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The Secret of Redemption
Jennifer St. Clair
Eggplant Literary Productions, 65 pages (in PDF)

The Secret of Redemption
Jennifer St. Clair
Jennifer St. Clair lives in Southern Ohio with her hedgehog and two cats. She has written over forty novels, a handful of short stories, and a bucket full of poems. When not writing, she can be found at auctions and antique shows where she collects old books, vintage clothing, and various sets of china that were never meant to match.

Jennifer St. Clair Website
ISFDB Bibliography

Past Feature Reviews
A review by David Hebblethwaite

It's another ordinary day at the library for Assistant Director Karen Montgomery -- until, that is, Malachi of the Wild Hunt pays a visit, feeling guilty about his past and seeking... well, he's not quite sure. But Karen has an idea: why doesn't he come along and tell stories of Faerie to the children at the library's after-school club? Malachi accepts, and turns up the next day. However, the children are not accompanied by the usual Mrs Green, but by her niece Jenny -- whom he recognizes as a Water Hag, known to abduct and eat children. And then one of the group goes missing...

The Secret of Redemption is the sequel to Budget Cuts, an earlier e-book by Jennifer St. Clair. It's not necessary to have read that novella to understand this one (I hadn't); but it would help, because the background isn't fully explained (I don't mean to criticize the author here, just to warn potential readers!). It's an amiable enough story, and Karen is a likeable first-person narrator. There's a nice line in wry humour, even if the jokes can be a little obvious ('It would be so much easier to contact your friends and family by telepathy instead of mundane means. And it would cut down on the phone bills for everyone involved.')

As for the story, it begins as an intriguing mystery, but eventually defaults into a standard quest that could have come straight out of a role-playing game. And the ending is a little too predictable. So, overall, The Secret of Redemption is disappointing; but I like the background St. Clair has created. It would be good to see it explored at greater length. And I hope this isn't the last we'll see of Karen and the Wild Hunt.

Copyright © 2005 David Hebblethwaite

David lives out in the wilds of Yorkshire, where he attempts to make a dent in his collection of unread books. You can read more of David's reviews at his review blog.

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