Monday, May 11, 2015

Off the Bookshelf: THE GUARDIANS, Book 1: THE GIRL, by Lola StVil

Okay, this was a free Nook book. I downloaded it because it looked interesting, because I'm trying to write some more YA/NA type fantasy books. And free is always good, right?

Let me say right off that this author is brave and creative and has a hugely detailed world. Brave because she's writing in present tense, and that is NOT easy. I avoid it. I counsel people I edit to avoid it, because consistency of voice is crucial and it's too easy to slip out of present into past tense. Most present tense books are first person, so there's the problem of showing scenes and plot developments when the POV character isn't around.

That said ... StVil has created a whole new cosmology or theology or whatever you want to call it. There are angels, but they're not the kind I was brought up with in Sunday school. The main character, Emmy, is surrounded by the Guardians, angels charged with finding an item in a massive scavenger hunt/game of keepaway with the forces of evil. These angels are teens who died in terrible, heart-rending ways, and they are caught between heaven and hell -- only they aren't called heaven and hell, and ... it's complicated.

My personal tastes, my theology, got in the way of wholeheartedly jumping in and enjoying the story. I kept saying in my head, "Uh, no, angels don't do that," etc., etc. If you can get past that problem, you'll probably enjoy this cleverly thought out and executed series of books. Especially since on the last page of the first book, one of the Guardians violates a rule and it seems the entire world has just ... stopped.

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