Review Guardian by Jen Lawrence
This was my kind of book. What an epic love story! I often joke about how there are certain kinds of fantasy books that I call “gateway” books. If you have not heard me say that before, I mean fantasy books that anyone can read. Even if you are not a big fantasy fan, or if you just need a fantasy book for a reading challenge like Jae’s, this is the type of book I would recommend. If you are a romance fan and don’t mind lots of push-pull angst, chances are high you will at least enjoy this book. This is not a fantasy book that has a romance. Instead, this is a romance that takes place in a fantasy setting, and I loved most of it.
I’m always a bit blown away when a debut book is this good. It’s not perfect, there were a few bumps, but I would have easily guessed that Lawrence was a seasoned author already. I don’t know where Bella keeps finding all these great newbie authors, but it sure is impressive.
I heard from a couple of Goodreads friends that this was very romance-based, which doesn’t happen often for fantasy books, so I was really excited to see how that played out. I honestly didn’t expect it to go this well. While this is a soul-mate, bounded pair type of book, this is not what normally happens in spec-fic. Usually, soul-mate storylines, in these types of genres, are used for an author to get away with an insta-love relationship, so that they can then move on to the action-hero storyline without spending too much time on a romance. That is the opposite here because there is not a ton of action, but instead, the romance is what the whole story truly is about.
This book is about a magical being, riding on her Pegasus, waiting for her soul mate to appear. The problem is her soul mate doesn’t want to be bonded and would rather pretend to be a human, while happily being engaged to one. I think you can imagine the amount of drama and angst that is built into this premise alone. What was really shocking to me was how much all the push-pull angst got to me. I kept tearing up for most of the book. I was only a couple of chapters in and I was already heartbroken for the character of Luna, who just wants to be loved by her soul-mate. I think this is a real testament to Lawrence’s writing by how she had me hooked very early on to where I completely cared about Luna’s happiness. I haven’t connected so quickly to a character in a long time.
I did have a few issues with the book. Something big happens and I felt like no one ever really told Gia exactly what her actions led to. I kept waiting for someone to really explain everything to her but it was kind of weird when no one did. I also think the book really needed an epilogue. Lawrence is turning this into a series so I hope that’s the only reason why she didn’t. The next book has new main characters, but the characters in this book are important, so I hope we at least have time with them in book two. If not, I hope that a book three will bring characters from both books together or just comes back around to star these main characters again. It seems like their journey is just beginning so I hope we get more.
If I didn’t gush about this book enough, I want to clearly state that I would absolutely recommend this one. It’s shocking to say but I actually think I would recommend this more to romance fans than fantasy fans. There might be some fantasy fans that don’t think this has enough hard-hitting fantasy action, but for me, the world-building and magic system was done well enough for me to give this my fantasy love stamp of approval even though this was mostly a love story. This book was a pretty epic romance, with plenty of angst that got me running for the tissues. This was a very strong debut and I can’t wait to read Lawrence’s next book. 4.50 Stars
An ARC was given to me for a review.