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3.1 of 5 stars 3.10  ·  rating details  ·  227 ratings  ·  21 reviews
In the late nineteenth century, a seemingly ordinary woman embarks on an extraordinary adventure in the Alaskan gold fields--after her destiny is revealed to her by something not of this world.
Paperback, 304 pages
Published July 27th 2004 by Ace (first published 2002)
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I love Joe Haldeman's books and have read quite a few already. I really liked this book. You are taken on a journey through late nineteenth century America from Philadelphia to Skagway in Alaska. A lot of research must have gone into this book. I'm no history expert but it felt genuinely convincing. A lot of references to writers and other books are made that inspire me to read more. There is a part that is very strange and to my mind does not really fit the book but is somehow also necessary. I ...more
Clark Hallman
The Guardian is a very interesting and unusual book by Haldeman. It covers the life of a women and her son as recorded in her journal. Therefore, Haldeman uses a first-person viewpoint from the woman, and at least in my opinion he does a very good job. It is an unusual story that begins when her abusive husband sexually abuses her son and she takes him from Philadelphia in 1899 and begins a flight the leads her across the country and eventually into the gold fields of Alaska. Along the way she i ...more
Tim Hicks
I really don't know what to say about this odd book. A hundred and sixty pages in, in a 231-page book, it's still a historical travelogue, or if you prefer, setting the scene. We get a few hints from occasional appearances of a raven that can talk a little. Then, at last, we leap into a story that's half sci-fi and half Carlos Castaneda. As if Haldeman didn't know where to go with his story, so he took some mushrooms to get some ideas. Didn't work for me. But I was never much for the (view spoil ...more
Timothy Boyd
A nice quick easy reading SiFi book. This was the least favorite of mine from this writer. While the story slowed well and was interesting the SiFi aspect of the story was almost non existent till the very end. Still a good Haldeman read. Recommended
For quite a while, it is difficult to figure out where this book is going, but the wait was worth it. It was more than I expected, and it it was my best of the month, out of 9.
Holly Weiss
Part HF part sci fi. Well-written female heroine. **spoiler** Abused wife leaves husband in 1800’s with her 14 year old son and starts a new life in Alaska. The last 3rd of the book came out of the blue – the raven that continually appeared to her saying “no gold” transforms into an eagle and “Guardian,” undoing the death of her son in a gunfight. She marries Doc. They move back to Midwest. Their son, Gordon wins the Noble Prize, therefore she “saves the world.” Very odd ending. Enjoyed reading ...more
Freddie Silva
Joe Haldeman has an easy to read writing style. His prose is so good it looks simple, but such writing is hard to duplicate. This story in particular was not hard to read, but hard to get into. The expectation from a Haldeman book is science fiction but this is mostly historical fiction with a fantastical ending. I think I would have probably liked this better if it was a straight historical fiction piece. The speculative ending just seemed like an add-on. It felt like this book was an experimen ...more
This was more philosophical and fantastic than other books I've read of Haldeman's. I very much enjoyed it. My one problem with this one, and it seems to be a consistency through his work I'm discovering, is he has a grand idea, great characters and settings and all the environs needed to pull a reader in. However, it always takes a little too long to get to the grand idea, and it never feels completely fleshed out or there seems to be an incompleteness somehow. It's minor, and I plan to keep re ...more
This is a shelf of books that, counter to most popular fiction, offer nonviolent solutions to their plots.

Joe Haldeman has often dealt with issues of war and peace--perhaps he is best known for his novel "The Forever War". In "Guardian" he tells the story of a woman who is treated brutally, makes a long and remarkable journey, and becomes instrumental in preventing nuclear war.
C.I. DeMann
This book annoyed me. It was a good story, but it was NOT science fiction. It was historical fiction with just the tiniest bit of sci fi thrown in at the end for no obvious reason. So why not be honest and sell it as a historical fic? Why deceive the reader? Annoying.
This book is 2/3's historical drama and 1/3 first contact science fiction. Although the historical part is not in-depth, it is a very interesting look at the life of people after the turn of the century. Although I picked the book up because of the author and the fact that it was Science Fiction, I found that I enjoyed the historical part more and was somewhat disappointed when it switched gears. In addition, the book had some nice discussions about religion and life.
I couldn't get my hands on Forever War, so I read this one instead. It was a quick enjoyable read, and I really cared about what happened to the female lead. (I just started Marsbound - turns out that Haldeman writes great female characters.)

The story went "weird" about 3/4 through, but I still enjoyed it. It reminded me of some of Stephen King's strange spiritual endings. The build-up to it was great and made it believable for me.
The ride through Rosa Coleman's life in the late nineteenth/early twentieth century was enjoyable and interesting, but it was not at all what I was expecting from this book. Rosa is definitely a memorable character.

The book is classified as science fiction in most arenas, but I believe it is historical fiction with a dollop of fantasy thrown in. There is no science fiction (especially the science part) to be found.
Jeanne Boyarsky
This was a great story about traversing the country in the gold rush era days. I spent most of the book wondering where the sci fi was. Then it showed up - crammed in - towards the end. It did tie together well, but I felt like the styles were so different for the different pieces. And if I wasn't interested in the gold rush part, I wouldn't have gotten to the sci fi part.
Gold-rush era piece, with the protagonist being a woman (unusual for Haldeman) struggling to keep her family safe despite some gruesome situations. She's aided by a bizarre supernatural force, that's a bit more deus-ex-machina than I'd expected. Clever, but it wasn't anything thrilling.
I enjoyed this story about a woman's journey across America duriong the late 1800's as she flees the brutality of her husband. I felt that the tow chapter or so..dealing with the planet Mars & Jupiter just didn'f fit with the rest of the story
Christopher McKitterick
As usual for Haldeman's novels, I very much enjoyed this clever first-contact adventure. Recommended!
Another good Haldeman book. I have yet to read one of his books that I haven't liked.
Was an interesting book up until the fantastical, rushed ending.
Decent. Nice story that took a while to get to.
Craig J.
Guardian by Joe Haldeman (2004)
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Mansfield Public ...: Guardian Review by Mike Hettinger 1 2 Jul 27, 2013 10:51AM  
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Brother of Jack C. Haldeman II

Haldeman is the author of 20 novels and five collections. The Forever War won the Nebula, Hugo and Ditmar Awards for best science fiction novel in 1975. Other notable titles include Camouflage, The Accidental Time Machine and Marsbound as well as the short works "Graves," "Tricentennial" and "The Hemingway Hoax." Starbound is scheduled for a January release. SFWA pres
More about Joe Haldeman...
The Forever War (The Forever War, #1) Forever Peace (The Forever War, #2) The Accidental Time Machine Camouflage Forever Free (The Forever War, #3)

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