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(The Sentinels of Eden #1)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  153 ratings  ·  83 reviews
'We belong to the Earth, Lainie-Bug. We were sent here in human form for a reason. If you don’t know what to do, then just be human.'

Right. Like that was ever a simple thing to do.

In the heart of the Wimmera region of Victoria, an ancient gateway to Eden is kept hidden and safe by a creature so powerful that even the moon would obey her commands – at least it would if she
Paperback, 320 pages
Published August 20th 2016 by Odyssey Books (first published August 19th 2016)
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Carolyn Denman Hi Dee, the third book (Sympath) has just been released. The final book will be published early 2019.

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Feb 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Now this one was a very interesting read! It is young adult yet still very readable for an older age audience. It is a fantasy but not of the usual kind. This one is part Biblical, part Aboriginal and therefore quite original. I really liked it.
The author writes well and there are many beautiful descriptive passages . She also has a talent for characterisation and it is easy to like Noah and Bane and Lainey and to want good things to happen to them. I also enjoyed the humour in their interaction
Lainie and her best friend Noah were in their final year of school, studying for exams and cramming for good results. They both wanted to go away to uni, either Melbourne or Sydney, the following year. Noah and Lainie had been best friends since childhood with their farms bordering each other; since Lainie’s parents had died when she was very small, it was just Aunt Lily and herself, along with farmhand Harry, an Aboriginal elder, caring for their farm.

Bane (given name Ben) had been the bane of
Aug 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a most unusual YA fantasy set in a rural Australian setting, fusing biblical stories with stories from the Aboriginal dreamtime to create a very special place hidden away from the rest of the world. This first in a series of novels is about the sentinels who are given the task of protecting this hidden place and preventing it from being found by the rest of the world.

The characters include the older generation who have been looking after the hidden valley and a set of teenagers about to
Mel (Epic Reading)
Aug 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
When you pick-up a book with a subtitle about the Eden you (probably) expect a certain amount of religion. I prepared myself for this, as Christianity and I have a tumultuous relationship (to say the least; raised Christian but follow a very different religion today). I was pleasantly surprised that the use of Eden and religion in Songlines was extremely well done.

Religion and Eden
Yes the Garden of Eden, the Bible and God are all factors in Songlines. But unlike most books with these elements,
Apr 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: australiano
The Good:
This is a fun story full of cool ideas, a rural coming-of-age tale and paranormal romance with a uniquely Aussie twist. The setting is super authentic and the fantasy elements are portrayed with real vision. The ending escalates quickly.

The Bad:
It’s very YA, which doesn’t seem to be my genre at all—heaps (that’s Australian for ‘a lot’) of melodrama, heaps of angst, heaps of confused inner monologue. Of course these probably aren’t criticisms that would deter an avid reader of YA fiction
Mar 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ozzie-gems
I am no stranger when it comes to YA Fantasy so was curious to see what this story could bring to the table. While having some familiar tropes of the genres with plot and the whole goodies and baddies scenario, adds an Aussie bush setting with Biblical and Aboriginal folklore to create an engaging and unique read.

Lainey does not know it, but she is about to have her life put on a whole new course. Instead of finishing up High School and planning her further education Lainey will find out she is
Dec 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, aussie-ya
Firstly, I must confess that I know the author, but this did not affect my review. If I had not liked the book, I simply would not have reviewed it or rated it.

Initially, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to buy Songlines, let alone review it. I was worried that I was going to read yet another YA novel involving angels with the usual love triangle thrown in. (Please get me a bucket I’m going to be sick!).

Yet, when I heard the author’s tagline for the book I was intrigued: “Cherubim, the Garden of Ed
Sep 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Songlines is a fresh and unusual YA urban fantasy, with a unique supernatural twist: situating Paradise in a remote corner of the Victorian countryside. Songlines begins with Lainie Gracewood finishing off her last weeks of school, unaware that her university plans are about to be derailed. Her mission to protect her aunt’s farm from unscrupulous mining prospectors becomes an exploration of the land’s profound ties to humanity – and the role a close-knit network of farmers plays in safeguarding ...more
Oct 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Songlines is the first book in The Sentinels of Eden series written by Carolyn Denman. High school senior, Lainie Gracewood, has a daydream vision of a bulldozer coming straight for her, effortlessly tearing her tree roots from the ground below her. Startled awake by the coach’s whistle, Lainie finds herself back at soccer practice, watching her best friend, Noah Ashbree, trying to break up an altercation between two players. Lainie’s vision had come after Aunt Lily had chained herself to a bull ...more
Mar 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
Songlines is the first book in the Sentinels of Eden series by Carolyn Denman. It was one of the most unique YA fantasy books I’ve read in a while!! It is set in the beautiful Australian countryside, and it’s full of bright, original characters that I just couldn’t get enough of! I must admit that I was skeptical after reading the synopsis, but I was pleasantly surprised, and I ended up rating this book 4.25/5 stars!!

Songlines was written by an Australian author and takes place in Australia itse
Judith Kruiskamp
Mar 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved it. It ticked all the boxes for me fantasy and romance. It doesn't matter what age you are it's suitable for all, which is a plus being a teacher. My husband enjoyed it as well, we are really hanging out for book number two.
Jenna O'connell
Sep 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Songlines is an enchanting mix of the mythological and the real, in a fantastic contribution to Australian Young Adult fiction. Carolyn Denman refuses to pander to a young target audience, and instead provides them with a rich and developed story that can easily be enjoyed by those of all ages.

The novel centers on teen Lainie Greenwood, who’s just about to finish her VCE and take off to the big city. Her plans are interrupted when she has a vision of her aunt facing off against a powerful minin
Romi Sharp
Apr 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sonya Bates
Jan 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Songlines by Carolyn Denman is a YA urban fantasy set on a sheep station in a fictional town in Victoria, Australia. Drawing on the beliefs of a number of religions, including Judeo-Christian and Indigenous traditions, the story revolves around the idea of an Eden that was transported to Australia for protection.

The novel starts out as Lainie Gracewood and her best friend Noah Ashbree are about to finish high school. When a mining company starts exploring near Lainie’s aunt’s sheep station, the
Nathan Phillips
Oct 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
When Lainie discovers her family’s secret biblical heritage shortly before graduation, she is understandably shocked. The implications for her country Victorian farm, her friends, and her aunt are many and complex. Yet when she finds herself standing between a mining company and her late parents’ farm, the acceptance of her heritage becomes paramount, despite to consequences to her family, friends, and the unwanted bond with a Guardian.

Songlines is ultimately a story of change, mirroring the mo
Sep 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
so far I have read 3 lines and it is a very gripping tale
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: blog-tour-books
More Reviews by Merv
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If you’re imagining things like Garden of Eden, Tree of Life, Adam and Eve, Cherub and the like, you’re up for Songlines! The book (and the whole series) fall under Clean YA and even without all the swearing, drugs, violence, etc. I loved it! This book proved that YA does not need stuff like those in order to be a great YA read. I’ve studied for years in a Catholic school so the book’s context (kinda religious and historical) were pretty easy t
Mawson Bear
Mar 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
‘I got four angry strides away before Harry changed the course of my life with six easy words.
“Can you hear the river crying?” Lainie, Ch. 8’

Lainie’s days are filled with study for exams, repairing fences,  ‘pulling stubborn lambs out of angry ewes’, and contemplating a future beyond this one-grain-silo town.

‘Your mother’s grave is a lie.’ Harry to Lainie.

When the two important adults in her life, Aunt Lily and Harry, try to tell her that the mother she never knew is actually alive in some ‘Eden
Kayti Raet
Nov 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Reviewed for readers favorite

Songlines by Carolyn Denman is the first book in the Sentinels of Eden, a young adult paranormal series set in Australia. Lainie views herself just like any normal teenager as she finishes high-school with her best friend, Noah, and helps her aunt at the sheep farm.
But when a mining company begins to creep into her family's property tainting the family's water supply, her aunt reveals a family secret she's been holding since the death of Lainie's mother. Lainie is no
Jo Bailey
Nov 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Songlines written by Carolyn Denman starts with a bang, the reader won’t be certain if this imagery is real, a dream or a fantasy, so just expect the unexpected. The tale is set in a fictional town in the harsh Australian outback, peppered with the usual teenage angst.
Lainie and her best friend, Noah, are about to graduate from high school, trying to decide what they will do with their future, not realising their paths may have already being chosen for them. Young adults will love Lainie, she is
Nov 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
What if the entrance to the Garden of Eden were moved to an Australian sheep farm for safekeeping?

Carolyn Denman draws on an intriguing mix of Biblical and Aboriginal mythology as she explores this original premise in Songlines, the first novel in the Sentinels of Eden series. At first, the main characters seem like ordinary small town teens, but it soon becomes apparent that they have some extraordinary quirks and qualities – and I’m not just talking about the superpowers!
This book is certainly
Oct 31, 2016 rated it liked it
What a great read with a different types of supernatural twist. I loved the characters especially Lainie, she was no wimp. When her life is turned upside down by secrets revealed about her family her and her friends go on a quest to find Eden. There is so much more than meets the eye going on. I loved this story and the characters were so believable. Great YA will be purchasing one for the teens in my life.
Paul Juricskay
Aug 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a great start for this writer. The scene setting, character introduction and character development were clear and concise. After Lanie learns of her unique talents the pace picks up to a suspenseful and unpredictable finale. It is obviously written for younger teens in mind, but i enjoyed the tale in any case.
Isaac James
Feb 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Just a quick review... Yes, this sounds biased because I know Caroline personally, but no, I honestly could not put Songlines down once I had started. Now I don't normally cry at books, but man, when i got to the end of this one... JUST LEMME READ NUMBER TWO ALREADY!!! XD
Elizabeth Fitzgerald
This book is an entry in the Aurealis Awards for 2016, for which I am a judge. Any review will be withheld until the results of the awards are announced.
I bought this book because I fell in love with the cover art - yes, on kindle.

The story is aimed at young teens and is very predictable.
Kathryn Gossow
Jun 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is based on the original premise that Eden is somewhere in the Australian bush. Lainie has inherited the obligation to protect the gateway from interference. There is a nice dry sense of humour to the writing. I particularly like "The sun was as bright as a tradie's wardrobe..." I also like the relationship between Lainie and Bane and the way they are drawn to each other. I was cheering for their relationship from the beginning. The book ends...well I can't say can is a satisfyi ...more
May 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Songlines is a fantastic weave of a common Bible story and a fantasy imagination. Bordering on the paranormal, this introduction to a unique YA adventure does more than bring the reader into its world, it takes everything we know in our world and adds “what-if?” to develop a beautiful, never-before-seen, scenario.

Though Songlines is very much based on the Bible’s Garden of Eden, I would not consider it wholly a “Christian book” necessarily. There is some mild cursing included in the dialogue and
Gerdien Scott
Mar 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Can't wait for the next book!
Apr 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Find a more in-depth review of this and other books at Lost in Literature

The concept of this book is rather unique and is the main reason I picked this up, the blend of western fantasy with aboriginal stories sounded fascinating and I desperately needed to read this.

It was a slow burn of a novel which isn't always what I am after and in this case, took me a while to get into, but overall I really enjoyed the way the characters are portrayed as smart fully formed humans with skills and capabili
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Carolyn lives on a farm on the outskirts of Melbourne. She has a science degree, far too many pets and a fear of the ocean that makes her Mauritian mother roll her eyes. She enjoys writing spec fiction novels, playing games with her horse and frightening hairdressers with the concept of the forthcoming Singularity. Carolyn has written short stories for 'Aurealis' and 'Andromeda Spaceways' magazine ...more

Other books in the series

The Sentinels of Eden (4 books)
  • Sanguine (The Sentinels of Eden #2)
  • Sympath (The Sentinels of Eden #3)
  • Shamar (Sentinels of Eden #4)

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