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A Reader of Fictions: Review: Guardian

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Review: Guardian

Halflings, Book 1

Author: Heather Burch
Pages: 320
Publisher: Zonderkidz
Source: Publisher for blog tour hosted by The Book Vortex

Description from Goodreads:
Vigilance. The mission to safeguard Nikki Youngblood depends on the fragile alliance of two half-angel, half-human guardians, both struggling with intense feelings for the girl who has been assigned to their care. Mace, steadfast and deeply in love, wants to protect Nikki at all costs, while Raven's loyalty to Nikki finds him advocating for her independence and battling his own darker inclinations. At the same time, Nikki finds it harder and harder to choose between the two heavenly beings she may never have. Dangers intensify, and tensions between Mace and Raven flare as the purpose of their mission becomes clear. Can their defenses hold up to master manipulator Damon Vessler and the powerful secret he holds regarding Nikki's heritage? Can anyone protect Nikki from her true purpose and destiny?

First Sentence: "'We are not going in.'"

The fact that I enjoy the Halflings series by Heather Burch remains an utter surprise to me. They are so much not my thing that I keep expecting to be annoyed beyond repair on every page. I say this to emphasize that, while my rating is certainly on the low end of liking the book, it's a miracle that I liked it at all. If you enjoy paranormal romance and Christian themes more than I do, then you should most definitely check out Heather Burch's Halflings books.

As those familiar with my reviews probably know by this point, one of the few genres I generally cannot stand is Christian fiction. Not being a believer myself, I hate being preached to, so that kills a book immediately. Thankfully, Burch does not preach much at all. Both Halflings and Guardian felt more like they were merely set in Christian mythology rather than trying to impart Christian values to me, a fact I am immensely thankful for. 

Another reason I like these books is Nikki. Except with regards to romance, Nikki Youngblood does not act like the stereotypical heroine. She's strong, and always wants to help, even when people (primarily Will and Mace) try to marginalize her. From years of martial arts training, she's physically powerful. She loves motorcycles, and actually knows how to ride them, unlike Bella Swan who used them as suicide machines. On top of that, she knows and appreciates her own skills and refuses to let anyone tell her what she can or can't do. Best of all, she will not compromise herself to make a boy happy.

The plot meandered a bit in the beginning of the book, but took shape towards the end. I never did figure out precisely why the trip to Europe at the opening was necessary; the explanation that a higher power told Will does not fly with me. They really do not seem to have accomplished anything there that could not have been done in Nikki's home town. However, once the actual plot kicked in, it was both exciting and creepy, as Nikki confronts her internal battles and Raven studies some mad scientists.

The biggest weak point of the series is the love triangle. Of course, I'm generally not a huge fan of love triangles, so I suppose that's not surprising. On the plus side, there does seem to be a slight possibility Nikki might go for either guy, but I don't really imagine she would choose anyone but Mace. Unfortunately, Mace bores and irritates me, what with his desires to protect her like a manly man. Raven may be the "bad boy," but he empowers Nikki, helping her gain in strength so she can protect herself. Sure, he'll protect her if she needs it, but that's the back up plan. Mostly, though, I dislike the way Nikki acts when she's with them, because she finds herself unable to resist either Raven's or Mace's charms, swept away. Nikki is stronger than that, and it seems out of character for her to be so indecisive and to go from boy to boy, and especially to cheat.

Though I am not the ideal audience, I happily recommend these books to those who welcome Christianity as a main theme in their fiction and who are perhaps more tolerant of love triangle shenanigans than I am. They're well-written and certainly some of the better angel books I've read.

Rating: 3/5

Favorite Quote: "'In case you didn't notice, there's a war going on around us. And I've been drafted. So I'm sorry you don't like the idea of your girl fighting, but you better get used to it. Because I'm not backing down.'"

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Blogger Unknown said...

This isn't a book I'd normally read either, but your review is great :) And I also love motorcycles so Nikki and I have something in common there! Your favorite quote makes me smile!

December 17, 2012 at 8:57 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

It's not my usual thing at all. I only read the first one, because I was trying to read as many of the Apocalypsies debuts as I could and it showed up on NetGalley. I liked it well enough to be curious about book two.

That quote is awesome. If only she'd stop bothering with Mace at all. Sigh.

December 17, 2012 at 9:17 AM  
Blogger Jenni said...

Unlike Bella Swan bahahaha nice.

Happy to see that this wasn't preachy, there is nothing worse than feeling like you are being hit in the head with a bible.

Not sure this would be for me, but happy to see that you enjoyed it overall! The MC sounds pretty kick ass which is always welcome with me!

December 17, 2012 at 11:56 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Truth. Speaking of being hit in the head with a bible, one of my friend's coworkers beat a mugger off with her purse containing a bible and a tambourine. That story kills me every time.

I do not think this would be for you, probably. :-p

December 17, 2012 at 11:58 AM  
Blogger Kat said...

I really didn't think this would be your kind of book :) Not because of the religious message, but it always came across as kind of ... fluffy I guess.

Down with love triangles, boo!

December 17, 2012 at 1:30 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Right. I only tried the first one because she was part of the Apocalypsies. I was curious what would happen next, so here we are. ;)

December 17, 2012 at 1:32 PM  

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