Review - Raphael's Redemption by C.J. Dragon

book cover

Raphael's Redemption

by C.J. Dragon

My rating:

Volume 2 of Archangel

Tags: Science Fiction

Posted in Book Reviews on February 22, 2023

Kindly note: This series is very much meant to be read in order. If you haven't yet read the previous book in this series, this review may contain spoilers about how it turns out.

Raphael is on his way to the planet Ta’Kun with his Chi’NoSa lover Lord Teo to offer the inhabitants an unprecedented compromise from the Chi’NoSa. A lot is riding on the success of the mission, possibly including Raphael's life. The danger may be closer than the pair realize, as not everyone is happy with the influence Raphael has on Teo.

Raphael remains the excessively polite yet strong-willed character we got to know in the first book. His mental powers prove to be quite a bit stronger than you may have thought, as he “communicates” with planets in much the way Sir Yaden does. While he doesn't get harmed physically as much in this book, the mental ups and downs Raphael has to endure are still heart-wrenching.

Teo is definitely the more conflicted character in this story. He is torn between upholding the rigid traditions that his culture believes, and the possibility of something better that Raphael's ways seem to promise. His attempts to reconcile the expectations of his people with the changes Raphael brings provides much of the drama of the plot.

Curiously, there's a common theme running through this book and the one I just finished, Historic Ember. The two stories are very different, but they both end up discussing the inevitability of change. You can try to fight it, turn it to your advantage, or just accept it, but change will happen no matter what. In “Raphael's Redemption,” Raphael is, unintentionally, the agent of change, and much of the story revolves around Teo's urge to fight it.

As in the first volume of the series, the ornately formal dialog between the characters is a bit distracting. I still liked the story. I just think it would be a better read if the language was a bit more natural. It also felt like the story telegraphed the major plot twists a bit too clearly. Maybe I just read too much these days, but I could tell where the story was going a few chapters in.

“Raphael’s Redemption” is available from Amazon.