The pulse-pounding sequel to Proxy! Inspired by The Whipping Boy and Feed, this adrenaline-fueled thriller will appeal to fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent.
In the new world led by the Rebooters, former Proxy Syd is the figurehead of the Revolution, beloved by some and hated by others. Liam, a seventeen-year-old Rebooter, is Syd’s bodyguard and must protect him with his life. But armed Machinists aren’t the only danger.
People are falling ill—their veins show through their skin, they find it hard to speak, and sores erupt all over their bodies. Guardians, the violent enforcers of the old system, are hit first, and the government does nothing to help. The old elites fall next, and in the face of an indifferent government, Syd decides it’s up to him to find a cure . . . and what he discovers leaves him stunned.
This heart-stopping thriller is packed with action, adventure, and heroics. Guardian will leave you breathless until the final page.
A fast-paced, thrill-ride of novel full of non-stop action, heart-hammering suspense and true friendship—just as moving as it is exhilarating. Fans of Anthony Horowitz's Alex Rider series, James Dashner's Maze Runner, Patrick Ness's Chaos Walking series, and Marie Lu's Legend trilogy will be swept away by this story.
Alex London writes books for adults (One Day The Soldiers Came: Voices of Children in War), children (Dog Tags series; An Accidental Adventure series) and teens (Proxy). At one time a journalist reporting from conflict zones and refugee camps, he is now a full time novelist living in Brooklyn, NY, where he can be found wandering the streets talking to his dog, who is the real brains of the operation.
The Long Version:
C. Alexander London grew up in Baltimore, Maryland. He's an author of nonfiction for grown-ups (under a slightly different not very secret name), books for teens (as Alex London...see above), and, younger readers. He once won a 12-gauge skeet-shooting tournament because no one else had signed up in his age group. He's a Master SCUBA diver who hasn't been diving in way too long, and, most excitingly, a fully licensed librarian. He used to know the Dewey Decimal System from memory.
He doesn't anymore.
While traveling as a journalist, he watched television in 23 countries (Burmese soap operas were the most confusing; Cuban news reports were the most dull), survived an erupting volcano in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a hurricane on small island in the Caribbean, 4 civil wars (one of them was over by the time he got there, thankfully), and a mysterious bite on his little toe in the jungles of Thailand. The bite got infected and swollen and gross and gave him a deep mistrust of lizards, even though it probably wasn't a lizard that bit him.
Although he has had many adventures, he really does prefer curling up on the couch and watching some good television or reading a book. He enjoys danger and intrigue far more when it's happening to somebody else.
[Insert internal squealing here] I really want that to be Knox. Please let it be Knox. PLEASE. I'm hoping that it's not 'Liam' or whatever the guy mentioned in the blurb. You can never replace Knox's sassiness.
Story/Plot One of the reasons why I loved Guardian was that unlike the usual dystopian series it's set after the revolution that destroys the old society. Guardian is set a few months after Proxy,there is no longer a network and now Syd is considered by most a hero and by others a destroyer -most unaware that Knox was the one to bring down the system. Syd is unwillingly taking part in the savior charade,we can tell from the start he feels guilty over Knox's death. Things aren't rosy in the new world,though there are no more debts there is a new ongoing problem: an illness. The first part of Guardian was seemingly slow,we are introduced to the Reconciliation where Syd is tormented by his past decisions,Marie is a Purifier and Liam is Syd's bodyguard. In this first part we mainly see the new world through three different views:to Syd it's still the same bitter world where now he's considered something he's not,Marie instead is "on board" with the new society and works for the Council then there is Liam -who was never even connected to the network- he just follows his orders to protect Syd from the people who don’t consider him a savior. Only after the illness starts spreading the actions kicks off,Syd,Marie and Liam have to quickly find a solution to stop the illness. I really enjoyed the second part of Guardian,thought at time I had to stop reading because of all the bad things that happened to the characters,especially Syd and Liam -can't these guys ever catch a break?
So many things were happening towards the end and to me the ending was bit too abrupt,I would have loved having just one more chapter with a proper epilogue.
The Characters Syd Just like in Proxy I really liked him,thought in Guardian he was in a way a bit broken.Between the deaths of his friends and the fact that he is now known by everyone as Yovel the savior symbol of the Reconciliation ,he doesn't know what he wants,though he's alive he doesn't truly feel like he’s really living.I was really sad for him.
He’ll stop feeling helpless in fact during the course of Guardian he takes matters in his own hands,he's not gonna let the illness kill the survivors of the Reconciliation. He still thinks about Knox even mimicking his very sarcastic comments. He's still friends with Marie but there is a certain tension between the two. He doesn’t really like Liam -for the matter Syd seems to dislike everyone in the first few chapters- but their relationship will slowly change once Syd is able to truly start living.
Liam My favourite character. Firstly I was wary of him thinking he was going to be a Knox replacement,was I wrong! He’s a guard trained to kill yet he can be really sweet and in some ways naive.
Liam wasn’t as shaken by the Reconciliation as others having always lived differently from others. He makes some mistakes during Guardian but with always the best intention at heart. I absolutely loved him,from his somewhat merciless behaviour to the moments -usually when Syd involved- where he’s embarrassed or feels a left out.
Marie It’s not a secret that Marie was against the network,at the beginning of Guardian she’s a Purifier working directly for the new council. Her character is strong but not always likable,her idea of greater good makes her seem somewhat cold. Also more than once she acts likes an hypocrite,ignoring her own beliefs but wanting others to fulfill them. Nonetheless I thought she could kick some serious ass.
Other Characters Cousin was a clever but horrible person,I loathed him throughout the whole book. Chey and her gang were a nice addition even if I disliked them. Krystof Junior appeared towards the end and being raised in a not so healhty environment it was understandable why he was kind of a brat,still I really liked him.
The Romance A side-story to the real plot;I loved the romance between the two main characters Syd and Liam. Liam was from the start so obviously devoted to protecting Syd it was easy to tell just how deeply he cared for the other boy. Even if Syd initially doesn't want to have a strong bond with someone -understandably because of the illness being a greater emergency- he slowly starts opening up to Liam. Their interactions where a joy to read,from the awkward moments to the tender ones,Syd and Liam are both resolute and brave.
Overall I loved Guardian even more than Proxy. Be warned Guardian is not an easy read,as I’ve already mentioned things are still not good for Syd -or Liam for the matter- and there was a constant feeling of sadness that accompanied me while I was reading this sequel and for some bizarre reason I loved it,not always things go better after big changes and like Syd says:
"It’s going to get worse,"Syd said out loud.
And even if Guardian left me desperately wanting more the last page gives the right sense of hope the characters need. Now I think I shall just crawl into a hole and eat chocolate.Trying not think of Guardian.
4.25* When you get rid of slavery the world falls into communism.
This author is the best I ever read at writing fight scenes between people. What a weird ending. I'm pretty sure the author meant for this to be a trilogy and then decided the open ending was ok. The difference between this and Proxy is that it was never boring throughout the story ever (unlike the desert section of Proxy). Almost all the characters were really unlikable however. It was done on purpose, but it's still a little irritating.
I actually liked Liam the best by the end. I still like Syd too. Marie continues to be the worst however. She just is a subtle asshole in lots of ways like when she threatened Tom thinking he left her parents and how she believes in the Reconciliation when it doesn't really make sense for her given that it strips her of her Patron status. I just don't really align with her beliefs of equality over self gain.
IS THIS THE LAST BOOK OR THERES MORE??? I don’t know what to feel about the last part… maybe it’s a cliffhanger or Syd… (not saying it) *MC’s Corner* Note: SPOILERS! • Knox is dead, really dead. And that is not a spoiler; if you read it you will know it.
• I am so inlove with Liam he reminds me of Edward Elric (Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood, BEST JAPANESE ANIME EVER), the only difference us just Liam is red haired.
• Guardian, for me, is one of the best Dystopian Books written. Yes it’s not a guy and girl, you know what I mean. It doesn’t have a “romance” part but when you read it, it was like your brain says Syd and Liam are together romantically. It’s not a M/M book, it a Dystopian book it’s just the protagonist is a boy who happens to like boys. It’s original, I think if there’s a romance involve (the kissing etc.) or if Syd is a girl it won’t work that well. Or if Syd is a girl
• If I explained the story, it’s going to be full of spoilers. Its kinda hard, I like the “mystery” part, so I’m not spoiling anything, I think what I said in the above is enough spoilers. Just remember that I HATE COUSIN!!! *bang* *bang* bang* @gleekidMC
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
The second book in the Proxy trilogy had me worried. Proxy was an overthrow novel, a book about an unfair government being taken down by a ragtag band of desperate fugitives. Lots of Big Think, plus lots of chases! How do you follow that up?
Wow, though. Guardian is what happens when the oligarchs have been overthrown and the Maoists take over. Sort-of-Maoists. Let's not split hairs. Maoists. And man, you think oligarchs are fun enemies - ain't nobody you want to see get their teeth stove in like a Maoist.
The action is just as fast. The Think is just as big. And I swear, I was really impressed by Alexander London's depiction and explanations of institutionalized economic injustice in Proxy, but now I am convinced that what he knows most about is postcolonial trauma. Amazing.
[3.5 Stars] I think I agree with most of the reviews I've read that I liked the first book a tad better than this one, but I still liked it. I think the story really progressed organically, and everything that happened made sense in terms of the world and the characters' motivations. At times I could find the omniscient POV pushing me out of the story. We would get "X" character's feelings about something, and then in the next sentence it switches to "Y" character's thoughts on the matter. The transitions between third person close with one character and another weren't as smooth as I would have liked, is what I guess I'm saying. As for the ending, I'd like a little more closure than what we got seeing as this is the final book, but I'm okay with it. Overall, I'm glad I read this and if you're looking for a YA dystopian book with a gay, male, main character, it's a good one.
I liked this one soooo much more then book one. Holy shit did I not expect that. We still have three conflicting goals from the people we are following which is sometimes a pain because you feel most for one and therefore can resent the others. But they were authentic and well thought out and all around good storytelling. Add to that I actually shipped this romance and for sure preferred this kind of trajectory for humanity it’s seriously the better of the two books in this world. I’d recommend reading this as a stand-alone because book one and book two take place at very different times and so it’s not a direct sequel that you need all off the story from book one. Only bullet points that they give us in this work.
If Proxy felt like the progeny of Uglies and Legend, Guardian feels like the lovechild of The Maze Runner by James Dashner and Feed by Mira Grant. Now that former Proxy Syd has overthrown the old government with the help of his friends, he must deal with the Revolution, a new way of life led by Rebooters who want to use Syd as the face of their uprising. While battles erupt between revolutionaries and those who advocate for the old system, a disease starts to infect everyone, making their veins show through their skin and robbing them of their speech. Syd embarks on a mission with his old friend, Marie, and his new bodyguard, Liam to find a cure - because he too is vulnerable to the disease.
Alex London jumps right into the action with Guardian. I finished this book in a day because I could not put it down: I read it in McDonald's, I read it in Starbucks, and I even read it on the treadmill. From the first page Syd has to figure out who to trust and what he needs to do, both for himself and for those around him. London devotes a huge part of this book to Syd's journey to find a cure for the disease, and along the way he develops Syd, Marie, and Liam as well-rounded characters.
Similar to Proxy, London incorporates deeper ideas and themes into this adventure-filled sequel. This book examines post-colonial trauma, the effects of dismantling an oppressive government, and the pain that comes with hero worship. With Liam, London provides a romantic interest for Syd, and he also raises questions regarding blind trust and the dedication of one's life to another.
The constant action in Guardian detracted from my enjoyment of the book as a whole. Though I give it a solid four stars, I wish London had taken more time to flesh out the state of the world after the upheaval, as well as the dynamic between Liam and Syd. These remaining questions might give him more material for a third book, but I desired just a bit more development from Guardian all-around.
Overall, recommended for those who liked Proxy, even though it could have served as a stand-alone. Guardian has a slightly different feel than its predecessor - not in a good or a bad way - and I am excited to read whatever London publishes next.
Note: I will hide spoilers pertaining to this particular book in this review, however it is impossible to discuss Guardian without mentioning some spoilers from Proxy (the first book in the series) so if you haven't read Proxy, stop reading this, go get Proxy immediately, read it, fall in love with it, and then come back and read my review :)
I was apprehensive, after the brilliance that was Proxy, wondering if the sequel would do it justice. It totally did, and cemented Alex London's place among my new most favorite authors. But I caution any of you who loved Proxy as deeply as I did, not to go into this expecting it to be exactly the same story, with exactly the same character dynamic. Because without Knox, the dynamic of the first story is forever shattered, and will never be regained. And, if you think about it, that's how life is, really; when we lose someone who has had such a profound effect on our lives, we are forever changed. Both for the better (good memories, lessons learned) and the bad (the constant reminder that that important person is no longer there.)
But! Where the old dynamic has been lost, an interesting (very interesting) new dynamic has begun. We actually met Liam at the end of Proxy, though he wasn't called out by name: the "ferocious-looking" soldier with red hair and the metal hand who sighed when he saw Syd, causing Knox to raise an eyebrow.
Let me tell you: No one loved Knox as much as I did. Alex London ripped my heart out of my chest at the end of the first book and then stomped on it furiously for good measure. (I still like him anyway.) But once this story got going, I fell even more in love with Liam. Again, just like Knox, London takes a character who at the outset wouldn't seem very sympathetic or loveable (first a spoiled élite rich brat; now a rough and tough bodyguard/assassin) and made me totally adore them. Liam is like a big teddy bear--rough and tough, sure, but also doggedly loyal and with a romantic streak a mile wide. And a ginger, on top of all of that. And most importantly of all: someone, unlike Knox, who is physically and emotionally able to reciprocate Syd's feelings.
And Liam's character on its own is wonderfully complex and well-developed. Neither total saint nor total sinner, but somewhere in between...again, just like all of us. I really gravitate toward characters like this, because there is so much truth in them. It's the same truth that is in all of us. Liam does some things he regrets--some of which are horrible. Yet he cares about, and loves, Syd, and would do absolutely anything for him. It kind of makes me wish I were a character in this series (as long as I lived, that is, heh.)
Marie is another wonderful character. In stories where the love interest (or, in this case, perhaps better stated 'love challenge') is male-male, it isn't often that a strong female character can have her own vivid identity and agenda, yet not overshadow the other characters. Marie, too, is a mixture of saint and sinner, and she finds herself having to reconcile her beliefs with what she feels in her heart. Really good stuff here. And that aside, she's just a kicka*$ character who is a joy to watch do just that (kick a*$ and take names.) You'd definitely want Marie on your side, and not against you, as I think at least one character has mentioned in some point during this series.
Syd, too, gets another level of complexity. His world just keeps on changing, and he has to fight to keep up with it. He does lose his way for a while - but we all do, at times, don't we? - and in the end, that changes.
I was extremely interested by the socioeconomic saga playing out, continuing what had begun in Proxy. Again, it is based on what we see in real life, and here I can't help but wonder if Alex London's time spent as a journalist in the war-torn areas of the world had some effect here. But the message is powerful and one that people tend to overlook: trading one set of extremes for another set of extremes fixes nothing, and usually makes things worse off than they were before. If you shatter the old, ultra-capitalist elitist world just to replace it with an ultra-communist/socialist world, you haven't fixed anything. Stories about the poor downtrodden masses overthrowing the big bad evil élite and instantly creating a perfect world where everyone is happy and has exactly what they need and happily toil together to build a brighter future as the rays of heavenly light shine down from on high with a chorus of horns and angel's voices...stories like that, well, beyond being boring, are also unrealistic and kind of childish. Equality for all is a noble aspiration, but so often it goes awry.
This story goes in a different direction than Proxy did...from one extreme to the other. Yet there are still some common elements that were the same I fell in love with the first time around: believable, flawed yet loveable characters. Never-ending excitement, suspense, action, and exploration. Lots of unexpected surprises (good and bad) and plot twists. Several familiar faces from Proxy who you thought you'd never see again, or just didn't give much thought to at all.
And, once again, for me personally it is such a joy to read a story about two guys who could have something together, who could build a life and a future together, without this being a "gay" story and without sex. This series is exactly what society needs right now, and I hope any teenaged guys who bat for my team who happen to read this are comforted and encouraged to dream of exactly the same thing: a world where they can build a future with a guy who means something special to them.
One thing to be nit-picky on, I guess, is that OK, so that was a few things to be nit-picky on, but still, it did not detract overall from me LOVING THIS BOOK.
Now I just need to wait patiently for the next installment.
While I'm okay with this as an ending, I'm still so disappointed that there isn't another book. 😢
This is so not the story I expected, but it was oddly the one I needed. Liam is wonderful, and I love Syd's evolution (it's kind of perfect).
However, I hate that I'll never get answers to my questions, especially regarding Cousin. A major missed opportunity, because he could have been a very interesting character. Instead, he's a half-disappointing mystery.
I really, really, really like the ideas behind Alex London's work, but unfortunately the writing is so sloppy and sometimes hard to read that it obscures what he's trying to do.
Guardian is a slog for the first 100+ pages. It picks up post-Jubilee, six months after Proxy. Everything is awful for everyone. The societies in this world seem to be very textbook Marxist; where the hyper-capitalistic society of Proxy is the thesis, the almost comical communism of Guardian is antithesis, and whatever maybe happens at the end of Guardian the synthesis. I don't think this is terrible, but it does make a world that is necessarily complicated seem a little simplistic.
The Reconciliation is so nonsensically awful that it's impressive that no one has rioted. There seem to be very few people who were always part of the Rebooters actually active in this society; most of their police force are former proxies. Why these proxies, some of whom would have undoubtedly had am much better life under the old regime, seem into serving the Reconciliation is baffling. What the leaders of the Reconciliation even want is also baffling. There's an obvious theme of corruption and hypocrisy within the upper ranks, but the leaders actually seem to zealously believe in their cause. The whole structure of the Reconciliation and its reason for existing remain opaque, and halfway through the book it becomes a non-issue anyway, which leads me to wonder why it was even A Thing.
Really, the entire ideological underpinnings of the book are a little shaky. London seems to want to say something, but seems quite fuzzy on what he wants to say. The book ends on a positive note for this society, but its such a weirdly optimistic, uncritical note that it feels campy.
The characters themselves are fine. I loved Syd in Proxy, and he is also quite enjoyable in Guardian. Everyone else suffers from lack of characterization (Liam) or inconsistent characterization (Marie) making it hard to really connect with the narrative. The relationship that built between Syd and Liam felt inorganic and a little problematic -- it was unclear where Liam's hero worship of Syd ended and his respect for him being a human being began -- but I'm glad it existed. I wanted more of Marie and Syd working out their complicated friendship, and I wanted more of Marie becoming a Real Girl and less of her spouting awkward ideology.
The second half of the book was much better than the first -- London does action exceptionally well, and I found it difficult to put down. Sometimes it did feel like there was a little too much action, making up for the agonizingly slow beginning of the book. The author needs to learn to allow for more breathing room in the narrative. London still does that awful random POV switch mid-paragraph which is terrible writing, and confusing to boot. If you're going to write third omniscient, write third omniscient. If you're going to writer third limited, hone your skills so you can portray what your characters are feeling without randomly diving into their thoughts.
Overall I (a) want to see more of this author's work and (b) want there to be another book in this series, as Guardian felt like an end that was neither satisfactory nor actually conclusive. The book itself is worth reading, and I think it's an okay continuation of the story, despite its flaws.
soooooooooo this was not as amazing as Proxy (granted my expectations were hella high cause Proxy is life) But I still really enjoyed it. Alex London never fails to get me anxious, invested and worried about the characters in his books. He is not an author who is afraid of ruining his characters lives/murdering them. Which is something I really respect. Overall this was good but not something that I was in love with.
Light-years ahead of the first book - it gets so much better as it goes along, too. Let's just say that if the Revolution apocalypse were to happen, better it happen now than in the future where the world is like the one featured here.
Wow, this duology was so good. Like Proxy, I flew through the pages of this book. There were no dull moments and for that reason I started and finished it within twenty four hours of each other. Despite being such a breezy read, I was slightly underwhelmed with the very ending of the story so I couldn’t give the rating a full 5 stars.
Overall though, these books are incredibly underrated dystopians that I think a lot of people would enjoy.
(It's actually 3.5, but I need to differentiate somehow between this one and the previous one.) Definitely better than the first one! I read it with pleasure (though the POV switches... what a nightmare), but overall it was really interesting and, to my surprise, I enjoyed it a lot. Still, it'd be so, so much better if it was... like at least twice as long as it is. This world and these characters have so much potential! (Espacially the world, which was so intriguing in the first one, and so underdeveloped, disappointingly.) But, yes, I do not regret going back to it and picking it back up. A good read.
DNF'd. I don't care about Liam, I care even less about Marie and Syd is starting to irritate me. I worship Proxy but Guardian has been disappointment in every way. I don't care about the characters left and I don't enjoy reading it, so yeah. Proxy will always be one of my favourites.
Guardian is not as comical as the first book in the series but still a very fast paced action packed story. The book is filled with plenty of twists to keep you on the edge of your seat. I absolutely loved this book and would recommend it to anyone.
”Civilization without humanity was just a graveyard.”
★ ★ ★ . 5 / 5 Stars
*note: As this is a sequel, it is going to be hard to review until I go into the spoilers*
Let’s talk about what I liked: •The writing and the pacing were done so much better in Guardian than in Proxy.
•This was super action packed and descriptive. -Also as this was a sequel and I did read it right after finishing the first one, it was super easy to get into.
•I personally just enjoyed this one more than Proxy.
And some of the things I didn’t like: •While the writing was much better; I did notice that “..exhaled a breath he didn’t know was holding” was used which automatically made me wary.
•Syd was a little unlikeable at first, and I didn’t feel like he had a lot of character growth through the first two books.
•The ending while sweet, was extremely abrupt and while I get it being an ambiguous ending I felt there definitely could have been more.
Regardless, all in all, I did enjoy it and thought it was a fun duology. If you like sci fi, definitely check it out!
Now, on to some spoilers:
Okayyyyy, some key things I made note of:
•I found Syd to be so unlikeable throughout this novel, especially whenever Liam was trying to protect him and Syd was like “that’s a good idea but i’m not going to listen!”
•Liam was so cute and like a lil teddy bear, a deadly teddy bear, but a teddy bear regardless.
•It seemed like Liam would quite literally never get a break, like when did he sleep, when did he eat
•Cousin was the obvious villain, but he would go above and beyond to be the villain with impeccable timing also.
•Also, Syd wanted Liam to kill Krystof, and I get it he was making Liam and Syd fight but he is just a kid regardless.
•In the end, since there was never time for them to release the virus into the data and reboot how did the Guardians and everyone just stop being sick? Was it just a temporary illness, even though it seemed like an epidemic? That really confused me.
•That ending was SUCH a cop out. With Syd going to sleep, and Liam being there and then it just said something like “He was there in my dreams.”
Maybe I’m just getting harder to please with books as I get older, but like I said, I did like it and I do own London’s other book Black Wings Beating, so I’m sure I’ll get back to reading more of his work eventually.
Okay so badhgkfshbsd I wasn't really enjoying this book very much???? I was around 2/5 into it and I was like "meeeehhh."
However, somewhere around the middle of it, the book became AMAZINGLY GOOD. I spent 4 hours reading it nonstop until it was finished while barely even drinking water. There was a scene where I thought that my medication-induced hand tremors became EVEN WORSE. Seriously, my hands were shaking as I grabbed the book and moved it with my hands. LOL
I also LOVED Liam/Syd? It was so cuuuuuuuuuuute, I love them. I love Liam, and I hated how Syd treated him at first???? I've loved Liam since he appeared, and I was so angry with Syd's treatment. fhksdbfsdhbfsdbfsdj
Characters aside, I gotta admit I liked this new take of the "government overthrown" trope. It was very interesting to see how not always good things come out of such thing, that maybe even if this type of government is bad, there's a worse thing around the corner.
While this was a good duology overall, I think I liked this first book much better than this one. I just thought Syd was too whiny and Liam gave me a weird vibe from the start. The cult like fashion of the different groups was too much for me and I felt like I pushed myself through most of the book unlike with the first where it pulled me through it.
Q: What is one word you would use to describe Guardian? A: Pointless.
(note: you will see the word above multiple times in this review)
Proxy's next installment Guardian is a perfect example of a sequel without a proper planning. My reading experience of this sequel feels like reading a draft of an author's writer's block. Every page feels heavy, as if I'm sitting right next to Mr. London as he struggles trying to get his idea out for the manuscript. Unnecessary action sequences and pointless(#1) scenes scatter all over the places, and on each page you can't see where London wants to take you to.
I really like the first installment, despite its cliched take on a young-adult dystopian genre, but I was thoroughly entertained. The ending of Proxy sort of escalated my expectations on its sequel, because I had a thought this series would be an awesome, simple entertaining ride if handled carefully. Unfortunately, when I first opened the book, I wasn't thrilled. The worse kind of cliches bloomed unexpectedly on the early chapters -- you name it: plagues, pointless(#2) uprisings, pointless(#3) deaths, etc. The further I got into the book, the more hesitant I felt about the story's direction. So I put it down -- there were better books that I could read, and the emptiness of the plot didn't help my reading slump.
Boy, oh boy, did I thought this book was a trilogy! I was stalling around the whole time, thinking that maybe I should just wait for the final one so I could marathon through the next half of Guardian and jump into the third one! That's when I found out from Twitter that Mr. London had no plans to continue the series! HA HA. From that moment I knew Guardian would be a total empty crap with all the pointless(#4)ness going on in the story. I knew that Alex London hadn't spend his time thinking on how to develop Proxy as a well-thought-out trilogy/series by the half portion that I already read of Guardian. Clearly London had hit a lot of bumps in the road, and failed miserably at a lot of places in this book.
Here are my thoughts:
1. I don't feel any depth or connection with any of the characters. Syd is completely different in this one -- he's sorta like the Katniss we met in Mockingjay, only he didn't show any sign of progress at all. Thus, all the character deaths in this one didn't have any effect on me.
2. TOO. MANY. POINTLESS(#5)NESS. Where do we go from Chapter 1, really? Fights. Demonstrations. Discover more betrayals that are not reasonable at all anywhere. Met a few enemies. Fight dem enemies and somehow the enemies become friends
3. The gay young-adult romance failed miserably, and boy oh boy do I anticipate a lot for this one. The relationship between Syd and Liam is awkward and messy and I didn't feel like it's growing in me while I read them. I was rooting the whole time to squeal and ship these two boys but in the end I wouldn't even care if one of them dies. The only thing that happened was with Syd acknowledging Liam's feeling and had his ego stroked, and Liam loathing himself the whole time for being who he was feeling undeserving of Syd's love. BLAH BLAH BLAH.
4. There are plenty of pointless(#7) philosophical lines in the narratives. While the city is exploding before your characters' eyes, Mr. London goes on with his cliched take of life and death, about love, justice, humanity, blah blah blah. Sadly it didn't make his writing better -- the prose felt a bit shivery and uncertain.
5. The ending was all anticlimactic, and definitely this book didn't close up properly. I didn't see any good closure, just an empty open-ended ending that is so boring that you wouldn't even bother to wonder what would happen next.
So, overall, I think what the whole team behind this book could've done is to give London more time. The editor or whoever in charge should reject the manuscript and tell Mr. London to take his time off to figure out this story for a longer time. Sadly, the YA series market focuses on releasing one book of a series a year, and that's not always working. Guardian is a perfect example of what all YA series writers should fear.
Guardian is an excellent sequel to Proxy, and a great breath of fresh air as far as sequels go. In a way of sweeping generalization, many books these days seem to continue on in a series without really exploring the fallout from the book previous, almost rehashing exactly what went on prior. Guardian is an exception to this. Continuing on after quite some time after Proxy, Syd Carton is definitely changed from his experiences. Only a few people still call him by his orphan name, opting instead to refer to him as his birth name Yovel, something he very much resents. Along with the name is the symbol that the Rebooters have turned him into, an almost messianic figure in the eyes of the poor who emigrated to Old Detroit after the fall of Mountain City and the economic debt lifestyle of Patron and Proxy. Currency, technology, and many personal possessions have been outlawed under the ideal that thought of ownership and exchange creates oppression in an extremist Marxist setting.
Replacing the Rebooters are the Council and Purifiers, a governmental system built to ensure the cooperation of the denizens of Old Detroit and to cow what remains of the upper class of Mountain City. Our secondary protagonist, Liam, is a Purifier that was one of the original Rebooters. In a case of hero worship, Liam manages to become Syd's personal bodyguard after an encounter with the late Knox' father. What becomes idolization quickly turns to infatuation and love on Liam's part, even as Syd further spirals into grief and his inability to cope with what the world has become.
Meanwhile, with the system shutting down upon Reconciliation, the Guardians of the former Patron society become near-zombie like, now that they have zero bio data feeding into them. Not long after, the Guardians, now known as Nonoperative Entities or nopes, begin to exhibit a chilling disease. They become pale, their veins blacken as their very blood gains a negative reaction in their system before it feels like they're burning from the inside out. It isn't long until the general populace begins feeling these same symptoms.
Marie also makes a return to the series as another Purifier, the only former Patron to do so. While believing in the Cause, even after all this time, her mind begins to question her leaders as the infection spreads, even to her own parents. The Council refuses to acknowledge the problem, and as Syd, Liam, and Marie try to find answers, a great coup is staged, leaving the three alone to discover a cure for the disease and why none have tried to work to stop it.
While the action keeps coming in this book, there was plenty in the way of characterization in this book. Liam is a killer, but hates that he has to kill, and much of the book deals with his devotion to Syd while trying to become a better person. Syd struggles often with Survivor's Guilt, and much of his actions are colored by it. Gone is the kid who only looked after himself, replaced instead by one lost and alone, even as others place him on a pedestal he feels he should never have been on. Marie shows that even though she believes in her cause, that even things you believe in wholeheartedly can be twisted into something ugly and unrecognizable. Where Proxy was about coming of age and taking responsibility for what happens in life, Guardian is about the struggle to grow from your actions and learning to deal with the consequences.
There was very little I disliked about this book. It was a worthy successor to Proxy, and I hope it gains the success it deserves.
After Proxy´s ending, I needed to read its sequel immediately. And I really enjoyed Guardian.
The story begins six months later after Proxy and Syd is now known as Yovel and is the face of the revolution, his savior, a key part of the Reconciliation (formerly known as Rebooters) and while he is adored by many, he´s also hated by the Machinists, they want him dead (They were the rich people of Mountain City and await the return of technology), and for this last thing Syd needs a bodyguard all the time, which is Liam a young revolutionary that´s feared by many and he puts Syd's life before anyone and he doen´t doubt to kill anyone to protect him.
In the first part of the book we see Syd, with some responsibilities as their savior but he isn´t very happy about it since he was not their savior, nor the one that brought down the network and he never wanted to be part of it, so he isn´t doing rallies or performing in front of an audience, he spends his time withdrawn and not wanting to interact with others, because he keeps remembering the last words of one of his friends and has guilt for those who died because of him. And we also see Marie, Syd´s only friend, she´s a purifier that is not other that their enforcer, that make sure that everyone follows their new rules by any means necessary. And while Syd doesn´t agree with the new regime, Marie is a faithful follower ..... until something happens that makes her change her mind.
The plot focus heavily in the new regime and that change is not always good, and many of the ideals of the revolutionaries are not accepted by others; so after we see the revolution there are still the oppressors and the oppressed, but now the tables are turned, this time the one time poor people are the one in power and the one that used to be rich are sent to labor camps or executed.
But the main part of the plot is that the Guardians begin to develop a disease but nobody cares because they´re the only affected by it, but the disease is spreading and as those that used to be in power are next, but still nobody care or do anything about it, that´s why Syd decides to investigate and tries to learn what´s really happening and when he learns the truth .... he starts another cross-country chase to try to prevent the further spread, while others try to stop him.
Overall, I really enjoyed Guardian, it´s an even darker and more violent story than its predecessor, the plot is fast-paced, action-packed and I read it really fast, I loved the beginning of a romance and my favorite character this time was Liam. The ending was very abrupt for my taste so I hope there will be a sequel! I highly recommended it for fans of dystopian novels and those who like diversity in the characters.