Published: November 7th 2013 by The Writer's Coffee Shop
Format: eARC, 255 pages
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It’s not every day a girl discovers she’s not entirely human and unlocks hidden powers strong enough to make even the First Race take notice. Then again, Ava Michaels is no ordinary girl.
Now, the Race’s Ruling Council wants her under their control, and that’s just the beginning of her problems. Her boyfriend, Caleb Foster, has disappeared—accused of betraying the Race—and Ava herself is implicated in a crime she didn’t commit.
Clearing their names will mean uncovering a web of deceit and intrigue with Ava woven right in the center. To unravel the strands, she joins forces with some unlikely allies; a Protector who once haunted her nightmares, a young girl with secrets as unexpected as Ava’s, and a group of rebel Guardians who have their own fight against the Council.
Together they stand in a battle to find the truth, bring Caleb home, and secure Ava’s freedom—not to mention save her life.
Having enjoyed MORE a lot, I was eager to get into The Guardians and continue Ava and Caleb’s adventure. I’m happy to report that I wasn’t disappointed. The Guardians takes up shortly after MORE, with Ava training to control her newly discovered powers and hiding from the Rogues who are after her.
This story felt darker than the previous one, but I don’t think it actually is – it’s just a feeling because this time, it’s Caleb who’s in trouble, not Ava directly. Franklin writes Ava’s tension and worry with skill, and again, I never felt that Ava acted out of anything but genuine concern. One of my favourite things about Ava is her ability to think her actions through and thus prevent herself from getting into entirely avoidable situations, a trait Franklin has kept in this book. I also enjoyed that the plot took us into a Guardian colony and we got a glimpse into how they survive, and found out a few secrets Caleb had kept from Ava as well.
Since I’d liked the romance between Ava and Caleb in MORE, I was looking forward to more of it here, but they duo spend most of the book apart or hurt or fighting Rogues, and there are precious little romantic moments between them. Coupled with the nature of the bond that’s developing between them, which can become all-consuming and prevent them from being able to be apart at all, it’s understandable they’re favouring distance over romance. But the romantic in me just wants to see them happy!
I was surprised at how important Tiernan became to the plot – he helps Ava track Caleb down when he goes missing, and we finally get to know Tiernan, and through him, Katherine, a lot better. They’ve both developed into well-rounded characters, although I’d still like to get to know Katherine like I now know Tiernan. I was afraid that Tiernan would become a love interest, and we’d get a dreaded love triangle, but it doesn’t seem to be the way the plot is going. It could still happen, but I really hope it doesn’t – I’d like to see Ava and Caleb work on their relationship and their bond, without the added mess of a love triangle.
The Guardians is everything I wanted from a sequel to MORE, and I am so glad I picked up this series to read. It’s perfect for those who are looking for something different from their paranormal YA/NA – the series refuses to conform to the stereotypes that I find so infuriating in other books. It seems like there will be at least one more book to the series, so I’ll be looking forward to that as well.