This review is for the ebook edition from Open Road Media, scheduled for release on September 27, 2016.
I'll be the first to admit that I'm not an anaThis review is for the ebook edition from Open Road Media, scheduled for release on September 27, 2016.
I'll be the first to admit that I'm not an analytical reader. When I read, I read for pleasure. I'm looking for a good story with relatable characters. I want adventures and romance and wonderful flights of fancy. Guardian got off to a slow start but, by the time I finished the last chapter, all of those boxes were checked for me.
Rosa, whose story this is, is an intelligent, independent woman of means during the late 1800s. Early in the story she and her son, Daniel, escape her abusive husband and struggle to make a new life for themselves. Rosa's husband continues his search for years, ultimately pushing Rosa and Daniel into Alaska during the Alaskan Gold Rush. While there, Rosa meets Gordon, an interplanetary being who takes the guise of Raven, a Native American trickster god. Through a series of unlikely planet- and shape-hopping adventures, Raven sets Rosa on a path that will save humanity.
This story was a fun mix of historical fiction, science fiction, and fantasy with a deceptively slow start. The staccato of Rosa's first-person narration took some getting used to. She endures and witnesses serious abuse at the hands of her husband, but the horror of the experience isn't relayed to the reader. She tells us of unspeakable acts as though sharing items on her shopping list. This is especially puzzling when we eventually learn that Rosa has become a well regarded authoress in her later years. Wouldn't her prose be a bit more engaging? Then, to compound the issue, the first half of the book (plus a few chapters), reads more like an historical fiction novel than anything else. Rosa teaches, Daniel grows up, and not much happens... until suddenly it does. The story shifts gears at breakneck speed around the 3/4 mark and then it's a sci-fi/fantasy thrill ride straight out of a Dr. Who episode. There is also a plot twist at the end that is mentioned so casually that you could miss it if you were to blink or perhaps sneeze during those paragraphs.
Overall, Rosa is a great character and the story, once it got going, was exciting. A bit more emotion from Rosa and an earlier entrance for Raven would have possibly added a star or two to my rating. There were also a few typos scattered throughout this ebook edition that, while not world ending, I did find distracting.
Quite a bit of time is devoted to characters reminding each other of historical events and such. Not the most engaging stab at world building I've eveQuite a bit of time is devoted to characters reminding each other of historical events and such. Not the most engaging stab at world building I've ever come across, but I doubt I could do better. The premise itself is interesting and kept me hooked. I'm glad to add this sci-fi classic to my working knowledge of the genre but I highly doubt I'll be finishing the series....more
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I didn't read all of the stories but I got through quite a few. Fun!...more