Review of ‘Quest for Redemption’ by Jessie Chandler
Interesting read and not what I was expecting at all. This was an odd mix for me. Parts I really enjoyed others not so much. I have read Chandler before but this book felt very different than her others. Not because this wasn’t one of her mysteries, but because it had a really different feel. This is not an easy one to rate and I’m definitely torn.
In the Acknowledgment section, Chandler mentions that this book was a struggle to write and that it took her over three years. I think part of the issue is you can kind of sense that. While I like Chandler’s writing, she tried to tell this epic story and I think it was all too much. This book is actually about four different parts. Part one is a sweet YA story that I really enjoyed. Part two was about joining Homeland Security because of what happened on 9-11. Part three was agent Flynn dealing with PTDS and alcoholism. And finally, part four was actually about an art heist. That is a lot right there. You take pick any one of those parts and that would be enough for a full book right there. Instead, using all four was just so much to pack all in and I felt like the book was a little disjointed at times.
Another problem with packing so much into the book is that we are left with loose ends hanging all over. There was just too much to fit into an average length lesfic book. Unfortunately, two of the most interesting storylines, in my opinion, are left hanging. Not only that but a new mystery pops up in the last few pages, so the story feels even more incomplete. If a book ever screamed for a sequel, this would be one. My problem is I don’t know if Chandler wants to come back here. The way she had issues with this book does that mean she is done? I wish I knew for certain that this was the start of a series because it would actually affect my rating more positively if it was. Right now, not knowing if all these threads will be left hanging has to affect my rating.
Let me go on to the good parts. I really enjoyed part one which was the YA romance storyline. The main characters are both really likable and their story is really sweet. It was tough to read about 9-11. After all these years it still affects me but it didn’t take over the book and most of part one was really sweet and not sad. While I am putting the romance tag on this book, it’s not a full-length romance. Most of it is the YA romance and then the book changes with other parts. This is not a book to read if you are looking for a romance.
I thought the PTSD and the main character Flynn drowning in alcohol was well written and realistic. I liked Flynn’s character from the beginning but she never had the self-confidence she needed since being a child so it was hard for her to fight the self-doubt demons. Because her character is likable it was easy to root for her and hope she would admit that she needed help.
The final part four was pretty fun and entertaining. I can’t help but enjoy heist type books and movies so I did like the end of the novel. There was some light humor and the art history was really interesting too. Chandler had a chance to close a big storyline with the heist but didn’t and instead left more questions than answers. So again it left me really hoping a book two is coming.
This is a bit of an oddball lesbian book and not an easy one for me to rate. Parts of the story I really liked, I just wished all four parts were not jammed into one book. This had the potential to be a book I loved but it didn’t come together for me. If there is a book two I will absolutely read it. I’m crossing my fingers and pinning my hopes on a sequel. This is not one I can really recommend but I would not say stay away either. There are parts here that I know readers will enjoy, it just has some issues too. 3.25 Stars.
An ARC was given to me for an honest review.