Sunday, April 4, 2010

Review by Lauren - Guardian of the Dead

Guardian of the Dead - Karen Healey

"You're Ellie Spencer."

I opened my mouth, just as he added, "And your eyes are opening."

Seventeen-year-old Ellie Spencer is just like any other teenager at her boarding school. She hangs out with her best friend Kevin, she obsesses over Mark, a cute and mysterious bad boy, and her biggest worry is her paper deadline.

But then everything changes. The news headlines are all abuzz about a local string of serial killings that all share the same morbid trademark: the victims were discovered with their eyes missing. Then a beautiful yet eerie woman enters Ellie's circle of friends and develops an unhealthy fascination with Kevin, and a crazed old man grabs Ellie in a public square and shoves a tattered Bible into her hands, exclaiming, "You need it. It will save your soul." Soon, Ellie finds herself plunged into a haunting world of vengeful fairies, Maori mythology, romance, betrayal, and an epic battle for immortality.

First Impressions: Alright. I'm going to be honest here. I picked the book up because it reminded me so much of V for Vendetta and Phantom of the Opera. To my disappontment, the book had no connections to either of the two beyond the fact that there is a mask involved...

Guardian of the Dead started off a little slow for me, but was all around an enjoyable book. It took me several nights to figure out just where the book was going, but I definitely enjoyed the second half. I found Ellie to be a great character and not at all annoying. It's probably one of my biggest peeves to have frustrating main characters, one's that you can't relate to. Besides Ellie, I really did like the other characters. Overall, pretty multi-dimensional :)

Another thing I really like about Guardian of the Dead was the tie-in to all the local mythology and folklore of New Zealand. It's not something you hear too much of in our culture, and the book had a really good combination of supernatural and regular plot. Karen Healey really managed to mix the two together in a credible manner.

Final Impressions: I'm not in love with this book, but I definitely enjoyed it! Great writing style, interesting characters and plot - I have no complaints, but I'm not raving either. So 5/6 shelves :)

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