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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
Sixteen-year-old Amber Noble’s dreams that invade her mind every night are getting intense. They aren't a muddle of images anymore, but short visions that she couldn't escape from. When her visions happen in reality, she turns to the mysterious Connor for help. His links to the supernatural world reveal a terrifying truth about her hometown and a pact that must be repaid with blood. Demons, witches and fairies are interwoven through S.L. Wilson’s Guardians of the Dead, the first installment of The Guardians series.
The characters are credibly drawn. Amber is a reluctant heroine who has to battle bigger problems other than her estranged father and stepmother. A gruesome murder involving two students from her school and witnessing a strange red-eyed man initiate her difficult quest. Putting aside her extraordinary ancestry, Amber is still your typical teenager, while Connor is your heroic friend/love interest with an interesting background. Although he seems too good to be true at times, Tom is probably the type of best friend that everyone wants. General Loso is a compelling villain and more complex rather than just stereotypically evil.
Although it’s a less appealing aspect to me, as in all YA fiction the romance element is expected and definitely will entice and delight younger readers. I’m more engrossed with the world-building of Phelan. The fighting scenes are great and descriptive. The Guardians, the faeries, and the magic systems are genuinely interesting, and some of the ways they function are quite fascinating and inventive. All in all, Wilson has written a solid debut for the series.