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Publisher's Summary

A major new thriller series featuring Ryan Drake - a British CIA agent on his most dangerous mission yet - for fans of Lee Child, David Baldacci and Vince Flynn.  

Ryan Drake is a man who finds people who don't want to be found. Once a British soldier, he now works for the CIA, leading an elite investigation team that tracks down missing agents. But his latest mission - to free a prisoner, code-named Maras, and bring her back onto US soil within 48 hours - is more dangerous than anything his team has attempted before. 

Despite the risks, the team successfully completes their mission, but for Drake the real danger has only just begun. Faced with a terrible threat, he is forced to go on the run with Maras. Hunted by his former comrades, Drake is left with no choice but to trust a dangerous woman he barely knows.

©2012 Will Jordan (P)2020 W. F. Howes Ltd

Critic Reviews

“A tense heart-pounder with plenty of detail and pace...this book’s a winner." (Jon Wise, Weekend Sport)

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What listeners say about Redemption

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Brilliant

There are a lot of negative reviews here and I suspect the the majority of them are because of the author's YouTube persons "The Critical Drinker". It is an unfortunate result of the times we live in, but don't let them sway you.
If you like good spy thrillers and realistic, deep, and flawed characters then this is for you. There were moments in this story that had my full attention to the point of barely moving when I was supposed to be doing housework and listening at the same time. I found myself standing for minutes on end, fully immersed in the story, driven to distraction and oblivious to anything else. There aren't many authors that can get that kind of reaction from me. Truly heart-pounding at times. This is an excellent story and well worth your time.

4 people found this helpful

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hard pass

I couldn't finish it. The story is so cliche and the accents and voices used by the narrator are almost comical.

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Captivating and engaging

Unlike almost any book I’ve ever listen to, this particular story was enhanced by the narrators unique ability to portray extremely different and unique voices. while I look forward to listing to more books by this author, I will certainly be keeping my eye out for any books with the same narrator.

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A good yarn spoiled by woke far-left dogma

This could have been a good yarn ... a great yarn. However the author, Will Jordan, injected too much of his far-left woke and sexist dogma. Give it a miss.

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Can't finish the book

Oh, my, only 3 hours left to listen but it is just not happening for me. It is like a B grade movie with forced drama but not engaging at all. I am going to return the book unfinished, don't want to waste any more of my time.

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Disappointing

The men characters are pussies and the women are arrogant bastards.
Same same story line like just about every other book of its type except worse.
The writers advice, “to show, not tell” needs to be applied here. Maybe the series gets better but I will never know.

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  • grael23
  • 17-07-2020

Great female protagonist

I discovered Redemption through Will Jordan's YouTube channel, The Critical Drinker. I enjoyed his narrative character's openly hostile amusing and articulate narration towards things that are executed poorly... His wrath especially focused on terrible female and "diversity casting" characters. Then I realized he was an author and I decided to see if he could put his money where his mouth was. He can tear female characters down well enough. But can he write a good one of his own? He can. In fact, the book's great female co-protagonist and dark cynicism/realism really set it apart. And I've read a lot of spy thrillers. While on the surface his main female character seems a Mary Sue, she is also deeply flawed, and those traits rear themselves up over and over again. As her backstory is unveiled, she has greater and greater depth. Her relationship with the male protagonist is also enjoyable in how it oscillates both dramatically and believably. She's definitely the draw and the focus of the book. Supporting characters are fantastic, fleshed out and developed wonderfully. It's actually Drake himself who has the least agency and is the least interesting in the mosaic of incredibly fascinating supporting characters and relationships. The narrator does an excellent job on Ryan's voice and the narration, but his versions of everyone else range from fine to good enough. I ended up speeding him up 10% just to match the pace of the plot. If you love spy thrillers, get this book. If you love great female action characters, get this book. If you love great structure and foreshadowing, get this book. Highly enjoyable.

21 people found this helpful

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  • Henri
  • 19-02-2020

An attempt was made

Took quite a while to get me to care and the first time I did it was for an A-hole, take from that what you will

Also when the end comes and all is revealef this insane convoluted plot doesn't quite add up

It's not bad but I don't know who I would recommend this book to or why

5 people found this helpful

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  • snozek
  • 03-06-2020

fast paced and multifaceted character development

fast paced and multifaceted character development is Absolutely what is found in this book.

The story never went slow, it never got stale. The action and plot continued to move forward and the characters all were dynamic, changing, real people.

With the exception of a few information qualms, The book was very entertaining and praught you in to really care about the characters.

It may have been a minor mistake, but Marines do not come from West Point.

Aside from that tiny bit of factual issue, the rest of the story was extremely good.

Whereas some stories keep 2 dimensional cutouts as their characters, never achieving development with even the main character, this book achieves significant character development with almost all of the significant characters. This is quite a rare achievement!

Read this book! It'll be fine! The drinker recommends!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Robert
  • 05-01-2021

Move over Jack Ryan

I loved this book. Very rarely have I loved a military/espionage thriller like this one. Jordan definitely practices what he preaches: his characters are all fully fleshed out people you care about, and even when they're at the point of breaking or giving up you never have that eye roll "oh come on" moment. He's a master at making people feel real.

what I also loved is he never made me feel stupid or ignorant. A lot of this genre can get too into itself with technical jargon and expects the user to know what the latest in military hardware is, but Jordan doesn't. He tells you exactly what you're looking at without going hard into it, and it feels like he gives a damn about the layman reading his books instead of just those hard core invested in espionage thriller.

I'm a huge fan of his persona on YouTube, the Critical Drinker, and I can 100% say he practices what he preaches regarding storytelling. I cannot rate this book highly enough

2 people found this helpful

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  • Cinibas
  • 30-06-2021

well done but quiet

good novel. good narrator. but his voice was soft and even at full volume on my phone he was hard to hear at times.

1 person found this helpful

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  • ANSWER 42
  • 18-11-2020

great story, narrator not so much

ended up enjoying this more than I thought I would. the characters were pretty well developed, the story moved at a good pace, good balance of action and character development, and plotline with a lot of twists. My negative comments are with the narrator-his accents are odd and his German accent sounded like every bad impersonation of Arnold Schwarzenegger combined. Good beginning to a series

1 person found this helpful

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  • Caleb West
  • 22-09-2020

Jack and Coke

I read this book because I came across Will's work on YouTube, and after enjoying what he had to say while guest starring on a podcast I love.  I found his Critical Drinker channel to be excellent entertainment, full of strong insight into the fundamentals of storytelling, and offering undeniable and fair criticism to modern and classic films.  I knew he claimed to be a writer according to allusions in his videos, but I didn't take it seriously until he posted a picture of a new novel release.

Well, I thought, let's see if the armchair quarterback can take a hit.

I jumped into Redemption guard-up, ready to be disillusioned if I found the critic to be lacking as an artist.  I will openly admit that, for the first few chapters, I began to lose hope.

I'll be straightforward on the front end, and let you know I enjoyed this book enormously, and I think Will has serious talent and potential.  With polish, I think he'll stand on a very high shelf next to Scott Lynch, Joe Abercrombie, and Tom Clancy.

That said, to better facilitate a glimpse at the development of my feelings for the book, we are going to start with the hard knocks.

Light spoilers follow.

Right out of the gate, I got the feeling that I'd heard this story before.  Depressed British Spec Ops lad (see: Call of Duty) is shown at Death's gloomy door in a very dramatic prologue (see: Uncharted 2) and then we bounce back two weeks to watch as he assembles a team of elite soldiers to launch a C.I.A. operation to break a top secret badass hottie out of a Russian gulag (see: Call of Duty again, minus the hottie detail).

The rest of the book unfolds like a traditional spy thriller.  I won't go spoiling anything further, even though what I've described above is no more than set-up.  It ran the knife edge between comfortable and cliche, and, once or twice, strayed to the tedious side of the division, and the rest of the book follows the same pattern.  I wasn't shocked off my seat at any point, even by the major plot twists.

I think Will's writing style is part of the reason the book feels this way.  His tone is direct and efficient, and sometimes it can feel simple and flat.  There were a couple times I wanted to hear a description wax metaphorical, or hoped to see a little more poetry in word choice, and Will chugged right along without turning.

But as the book continued, I found I began to really care about the characters and the stakes.  It's not a story that subverted my expectations, but it didn't need to.

Even with my deliberate attempt at cynicism, this book satisfied me, and I will be reading more.  It's the sort of story you've heard before, and you want to hear it again because it's damn good.  The characters are tropey, but they're also well-realized and easy to connect with because they are familiar and human.  The plot isn't revolutionary, but it manages to hit all the high notes of a military/espionage thriller, and can very seriously be looked at as the quintessential tale of its genre.  The tropes that Will utilizes are tropes for a reason, and Redemption is an immersion in all of the reasons I love the genre.

The action is written with good attention to detail, dedication to passable realism, and confidently excites. The quiet moments are genuinely poignant, and bring weight to the dangerous encounters.

Comfortable and adventurous, firm and supple, Redemption is a great book, and I am glad to say my pessimism was ill-founded.  It reminds me of a Jack and Coke, uniting extremes into a familiar and welcoming flavor that anyone can enjoy.  It accomplishes its objective, it doesn't waste your time, and you'll be back for more.

An instant classic.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jacob C
  • 23-06-2020

WOW

This book was absolutely fantastic. If you like action and a glimpse into the life of a CIA operatives this is for you. Stop reading this review and listen to this book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • J.Brock
  • 11-03-2020

Couldn’t finish

I hate leaving reviews like this, but this book is painful. Nothing about the story is followable. From the start, it’s awful. Unfortunately, there isn’t anything else to say. I tried to stay with it, but only lasted 4 hours. Maybe someone else will have better luck.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jarred Hess
  • 26-07-2021

Solid Start, looking forward to the rest

I am a fan of the drinker on YouTube so I gave this a shot. Definitely recommend. I have loved early Clancy, Ludlum, Child, and now JL Bourne and Konkoly and this is fairly good on action but really great on character dev and plot continuity, pacing and buildup with payoffs.
Going to get the rest of the series as I get credits to spend. (Only thing that was odd was that a marine having gone to west point -drakes buddy Franklin-instead of just marine ocs or Annapolis.

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  • spud
  • 26-08-2020

cliché aplenty

Here we go again, ex British soldier who is a functioning alcoholic, female spy who longs to be a mother, wise Arab elder, there is even a 'I'm too old for this.'
It's also clear that the author has zero experience of what he is writing about, just eye rolling cliché nonsense. The narrator does what he can, but why does the German sound like Arnie?

9 people found this helpful

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  • Simon
  • 20-01-2020

A Modern Good Old-fashioned Adventure!

This is story telling like the good old days all wrapped up with modern-day twists! You know, like in the old days when men were men and all that, well actually also it seems when women were real women because the dominance here isn't male oriented at all!

Ryan Drake, a unique operative as a Brit in the CIA with a chequered past is given a seemingly impossible mission to rescue a mysterious woman from deepest darkest Russia where she was being held in a top security prison. Jordan is happy to switch POVs between the characters but most of the book focuses on Drake himself and the enigmatic 'Maras'. There is lots of juicy back story to get your teeth into as both of them have lived fairly tortured existences in their own way. Both become larger than life and there are bundles of suspicions, betrayals, loyalties and of course violence of pretty much every sort.

It's written very much like an action picture and if you can get into it it's a really entertaining ride that leads up to an extended and action-packed conclusion with everything from knife fights to drone strikes thrown in for good measure. And you know I liked these characters, Jordan isn't scared to give them frailties as well as super operator skills. Maybe he plays a bit fast and loose with them at times and the dialogue does creak on occasion but it's none the wore for it.

One thing I have to mention is Sam Deveraux's performance. It's something else, he's got a voice that's generally easy to listen to but also quite a range of character voices and some of them are seriously big voices and I suspect his vocal chords have some kind of artificial enhancement, either that or he spent two weeks without speaking to recover from producing the book! For sure some who require good accuracy in their accents may have a thing or two against it but for a book like this I think he was ideal.

So, it is in many way a good old-fashioned kind of adventure story, with big and special characters and lots of action and intrigue. The plot is clever enough to carry it all and it's well set as the start to what could be a real fun series.

7 people found this helpful

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  • John Burdess
  • 14-10-2020

Critical drinker and super storyteller!

All I can say is I'm stoked there's 5 more books. Fabulous. Narrator needs improvement.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anthony M.
  • 15-03-2020

Excellent Read

First time I have looked at this author and wow! was i impressed. A fantastic read. well written and presented. The characters felt real and storey was very easy to get into. Had to go buy the next two in the series immediately

2 people found this helpful

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  • Frank Weston
  • 01-03-2021

Absolute rubbish

This is so badly written that it caused me constantly to cringe. The author should take up some other useful occupation. I give it no stars. The performance hampered by the poor quality of the writing.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Gadget Enthusiast!
  • 14-02-2021

Compelling characters and action packed!

Compelling characters and action packed! The twists and turns of this book doesn't stop and will keep you gripped right till the end.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 19-09-2020

an ok story

its an ok story the narrator did a decent job i especially liked it when he did the Arnold schwarzenegger impression for one of the characters

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ronald Betts
  • 24-06-2021

Dramatic to say the least

Soldiers who put their lives on the line for those who supposedly run government's for the benefit of their country. It can take your breath away. well written and well narrated.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • elPaco
  • 18-06-2021

More than underwhelmed

This really didn’t grab me. I rarely don’t finish books but this was one of them. Thin story, as far as I got. Not very well written. Full of cliches. Narrator wasn’t suited to the book.

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  • Pete Griffin
  • 26-02-2021

Griping

From the very outset this story had me totally enthralled. Continually action packed and fast paced, no sooner do you think you are on top of the story than another twist is revealed.
Thoroughly enjoyable.

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