May 31, 2015

ARC Review: The Guardians (Gargoyles Den #1) by Lisa Barry

The Guardians (Book One Gargoyles Den)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

*I received a digital ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.*

Get a copy here!

This book was definitely beyond my expectation! I read the blurb feeling intrigued by the character’s ability to see color and read mood of everyone. What I didn’t expect was this book would contain such complex story with a lot of strange creatures involved. The Guardians filled with so many mysteries and secrets that were slowly unraveled along the way. I enjoyed discovering each of these revelations so much! I loved the feeling of had to ‘think’ while reading and pulled on the red threads among certain scenes to get the answer of questions I had in my mind.

Contrary to people’s wish to be able to read everyone’s true intentions, Sloane Jacobs thought it was the most stupid wish she’d ever heard of. Not because she thought those people were being ridiculous for wishing that. It was more because she knew exactly what it felt like. Sloane read aura like some ads on billboard: clear and real. Not aura like what witch did, but she could actually see hue of color surrounding them that reflected all their true intentions and just what mood they were on. It was not at all cool or awesome. If any, it totally drove her crazy for years. She felt like she knew too much, especially when one’s intention was a bad one. Sloane wished she was born just normal but she wasn’t and the only way she knew to deal with it was to be a loner and introvert all her life.

Liam McDougall was a Guardian. No, not the one who stood protecting a palace. The Guardian protected particular family line and worked together with another special creature including Aspies. When Sloane met Liam, she felt something on him pulling her close. One of them was him being one of the Grays. The type she couldn’t read the color meaning and the mood but strangely gave her the feeling of comfort and being safe. The better part was he was able to put something on the blank space Sloane couldn’t fill in ever since she was a kid. She was not crazy. She was someone. Someone special who’s apparently was not the only one in the world. Sloane was an Aspie. 

After the revelation, everything moved so fast. Sloane soon found herself to be the one who could help Liam and the guardianship to find the suddenly-missing guardians. Along the way, she discovered a lot of surprising facts including revelations from her childhood life, secrets from her present life, that world of fantasy did exist around her, and also that Sloane might not have to be without company all her life after all.

I had to say that I was a bit disappointed when I found the story was told in third person’s perspective. Well, I was not really a fan of this kind of POV. But the more I read the more I realized the reason Ms. Barry wrote it this way. The story had a wide scope and contained different setting which hold the same level of importance. Third person POV made it possible to cover it all without losing the connection between each chapter.
I’d love to say that this book had a rich plot. It was also built very well structurally. It followed particular progression and had a smooth transition between from one scene to the next ones. The Guardians also presented a lot of twists which made its readers wanted to rush to turn the pages to find out what’d happen next. Also this book contained so many mysteries on it. Some was answered along the way or near the end. But some was left unanswered making me a bit of frustrated (ranging from about what actually started Doctor J’s obsessive intention to make people ‘normal’, continuation of the missing Guardians, what ‘rogue’ exactly meant, to Sloane’s childhood experience…I could make a longer list but it would just make me more frustrated in the end). Hell, I wish I could find the missing puzzles on the sequel.
I loved every protagonist character on the book. The Guardians were described very capable. Liam might be a bit like ‘player’ but I loved it whenever he was near Sloane. He might just deny his own feeling as much as he liked but he couldn’t lie to his instinctive move to always protect Sloane. I liked Sloane. She was one confused girl with an insecure feeling covering her soul but she was also strong and dealt her issue very well in her own way. I really really wish to see them having a really good end. The cliffhanger seriously got me pulling on my hair in frustration…
I almost had no complaints regarding the story except that I wish all my left-hanging questions would be answered on the next book. I loved the message that Ms. Barry slipped about the negative side of psychiatry on the story. I read a lot of book that involved psychiatric scene, how the main character despised the pill usually given to them when they came to the shrink in hope to get someone to talk to instead. But this might be the first time I read a book that actually pay more attention at the negative act of easily giving away drug instead of actually doing personal approach to fix the client’s issue. The message in the end of the book made me see this issue in a whole different angle.
My only problem of the book laid on the editing part, though. I found so many sentences lacked of punctuation marks making it sometimes difficult to absorb the information in one reading. I had to reread the said sentences to finally get it. It might be a small issue but it was seriously annoying when happened repeatedly.
I’ll settle with 4 stars for now. Hopefully the next book would be free of punctuation error and also we could see the HEA soon!

Love, read, and review,
Cynthia D.


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