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Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite
Dire Redemption by Ishmael O. Ross is an engaging story developed against the backdrop of a dystopian setting. Set in 2058, the novel introduces readers to a social conflict where those in the organized part of society prosper while those outside the Federated States of Europe struggle to survive. Readers encounter a segment of humanity whose right to life has been refused. They are the hunted, faced with impossible odds, and thrust into a rough climate. It is against this backdrop that two men, one hunted, and the other on a mission to bring succor to the hunted, must work together to change the stars for themselves and many others. But before they can succeed, they must first overcome their inherent differences.
The story opens with a powerful premise, presenting readers with a crisis point. The sense of fear and urgency that accompany the characters like Jonas and Moses grips readers and makes them want to know more about these characters and what drives them. The writing is gorgeous, highly descriptive, and at times evocative. The author conjures up imagery that captures the characters' experience of hardship and pain while offering a world that readers will want to navigate. The setting takes them from the wilds of Africa to the sophistication of the privileged in the super states. Characters like Alex are well-imagined and tautly written; they are multilayered and the author’s deft handling of their humanity shines through the narrative. Dire Redemption is a fast-paced, episodic, and well-crafted thriller that explores the perennial struggle for equality and shared humanity. The social setting has hints of contemporary divisions and the author comes across as a master in writing conflicts and creating a world that readers can relate to.