by Wendy Owens
Series: Guardians #1
Published by Four Bean Soup Publishing Release date : August 23rd 2013 (first published November 21st 2011)
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Source: Purchased | Format: eBook
Purchase at: Amazon (Affiliate Link) • The Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads
Tragedy has defined Gabe's short existence in this world. An ominous darkness lurked on the edge of his existence until one day in a subway, strange things start happening. A series of events lead Gabe into a new and fascinating life filled with angels and demons, but he isn't sure if he wants to be a part of it.
Gabe is thrust into the middle of this exciting world that is full of things he has longed for in his life but it comes with a price. This new life also promises constant terrifying dangers that Gabe fears he may not be able to survive.
Welcome to my stop on the Guardians tour! For my stop, read my review and an except from book 1, Sacred Bloodlines and enter to win a Kindle E Ink and an eBook set of the entire series.
Having read my fair share of angel/demon novels, it takes a lot to wow me or blow me away. In all honesty, there are only so many ways you can change things up and create something all your own. In Sacred Bloodlines, Wendy did just that. It’s different, albeit slightly unoriginal, but Wendy did a fantastic job with it and the lore blew me away.
Angle/Demon lore is pretty fascinating to me. I have done extensive research on it and I can definitely tell that Wendy did too. The lore and world in Sacred Bloodlines is by far my favorite aspects. Demons trying to take over. Guardians sent to protect and save mankind. The usual, really. BUT. I feel like Wendy stuck to a lot of what is.. “believed?” (for lack of a better word) of the demon/angel lore. Their appearance, their rank and their vice. Free will, being a huge part of the book as well. There is a mix of powers that all the guardians have. Elements, fighting technique and magic, it’s all there. The history behind the bloodlines of the guardians was also very different. There’s a prophecy, too. I found it rather interesting, especially since it isn’t all that.. great of an outcome. <~ Yes, vague.
Gabe, while lonely, sad and pretty much skeptical of the whole thing, was a pretty laid back guy. He harbored a lot of guilt, since he has brought on a good amount of tragedy. Stuck between a rock and hard place, he decides to follow Uri, a random guy that approached him in a subway, to see if what Uri speaks of is true. I liked Gabe. I honest to goodness felt bad for the guy. He was confused and lonely. It took him a little bit of time to understand and believe everything that was happening, which is completely understandable. His reaction upon discovering more details about this prophecy he is apart of was also understandable and realistic. As for the other characters, we don’t really get to see much into them, save for Uri and Sophie. The other in their little group were funny, like able and each brought their own flare. But since their scenes were minimal, I just couldn’t get a good read for them as a whole.
I was slightly put off by the romance though. I can’t exactly say it’s insta love, because once Gabe really start to let everyone in, their bonds grew rather quick and it was believable. Kindred Spirits in all. I just didn’t feel the romance aspect of the book was necessary. Granted, it doesn’t over shadow the plot and the scenes between the two are very minimal. Which goes to say that if they weren’t there in the first place, it wouldn’t have made a huge of an impact to the story as whole. In any case. I did like Sophie, so maybe as the series progresses and we see the two of them together MORE, I will appreciate it for what it is.
One of the main issues I had with the writing was the switch in narration in mid paragraph. It didn’t happen often but it was slightly confusing since the change was pretty abrupt and only for small segments at a time.
Overall- I really liked it! It’s non stop action, fascinating lore with interesting magical elements, I recommend this for all paranormal fans out there!
Gabe closed his eyes and leaned his head back against the cool subway tiles. The pungent smell of urine and burnt electrical wires filled his nostrils as the loud roar of a passing train erupted in his ears. His social worker’s words replayed again and again in his head, “difficulties with home placement,” “a past filled with tragic incidents,” “more time needed to find the right parental candidates.” Gabe knew what that meant, after years of being shipped from one foster family to the next, it was clear what people thought of him. He was cursed. “And why wouldn’t they,” he thought. It was even obvious to himself.
The bustle of the station increased as the train squealed to a halt. Gabe grabbed his ragged black backpack and headed to the nearest set of open doors. He twisted and turned, trying to make his way through the thick crowd. A chill came over him, one that was all too familiar and Gabe found himself filled with dread. Coming to a sudden stop he looked around at the sea of people. Just steps from the train doors he was unable to move. He was staring and searching, his breath now shallow. The voices around him were instantly silenced as a pulsing white noise consumed his mind.
Gabe’s hands were clammy and he felt his legs weaken. “Are you getting on or what?” the man behind him shouted. The man was wearing a plain, tan trench coat and carried a briefcase. Gabe looked back at him, not able to hear what he was saying for a moment, still distracted by the deafening white noise in his head.
“Come on, some of us have places to be,” the man grumbled as he rudely pushed past Gabe and boarded the subway car. Stumbling to a nearby column, Gabe steadied himself, attempting to regain his composure.
As sounds came flooding back, he heard the buzzer warning that the doors would soon be closing. Gabe looked up and prepared to make a dash for the opening. Before he could make his move, he caught sight of a young woman standing in front of the subway doors. She was wearing a long, black leather coat that was cinched at her waist. There was an odd grey color that surrounded her, creating a halo effect around her entire body. He had seen this before, actually more times than he cared to recall. He even saw the same grey aura the night his parents died.
Gabe stared intensely at her back as she stepped into the subway car. She slowly turned around, her black hair was short, cut just above the chin, which she wore slicked back, tucked behind her petite ears. Gabe thought she looked as though she were trying to remove the femininity from her small frame in any way she could. Her skin was pale; the color reminded Gabe of milk.
He watched, frozen, as the girl lifted her head and looked directly into his eyes. She flashed him a small, wicked smile as the doors closed. He saw her eyes flicker a hint of red. A moment later, the train pulled away. Gabe slid to the cold floor as the crushing weight of impending doom filled him.
Gabe had been plagued by these feelings and visions his entire life. He could remember being sent to at least a dozen different therapists all over the city. Their diagnoses were all the same; however, ‘hallucinations brought on by depression caused by the tragic loss of his parents.’ Some had him writing his feelings in journals, but most of them found it easier to load him up on medication and send him on his way. He had learned a long time ago that the easiest thing to do was to lie about the visions.
Gabe wondered if the therapists were all right. Perhaps he was just crazy with grief. His parents had died when he was only five years old. He found it hard to believe such grief could plague a person for eleven years, but what did he know, he was no …
A loud explosion suddenly interrupted Gabe’s thoughts. He reached out his hands to try and steady himself as the ground under him shook violently. He threw up his arms to cover his head, plaster crumbling and falling like rain from the high ceilings.
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