Friday, June 4, 2010

Guardian of the Gate (Prophecy of the Sisters II)

by Michelle Zink

Overall: YYYY4
Action: aaaa
Drama: aaa

Comedy: aa
Romance: aaaa
Suspense/Mystery: aaaa

Explanation of rating

***Guardian of the Gate will be released in August 2010***
Guardian of the Gate is now in stores!

[edit] Michelle Zink likes this review!
Aside from Twitter, she has mentioned it on her official website! [/edit]

Summary: The storyline picks up nearly eight months after Prophecy of the Sisters ended . Though a lot of time has passed, Zink very easily catches the reader up on the details by subtly slipping explanations into the characters' conversations (something that doesn't waste or take time out of the present setting). While Luisa is stuck at school in New York, Lia and Sonia have spent their time training and preparing their powers for when they will be needed - especially Lia, since she is, afterall, the Gate. It is understood (through Zink's aforementioned subtle-explanations) that the two girls in London have been attending casual gatherings of the magical sort at the Society - this is a slight introduction to the less-than-normal world Lia is entering with her place in the Prophecy.

Not far into the book, Aunt Virginia, Luisa, and Edmund (the long-time family driver, friend, and confidant) arrive in London only to begin another journey to the ever-important Altus, the home of the Sisters and Grigori (the law-enforcers of the Otherworld), to see Aunt Abigail, whom Lia hopes holds more information about the missing page of the Prophecy. [How's that for a run-on sentence...]

The adventure to Altus is full of fast-paced action. Luisa has been segregated from Sonia and Lia's friendship, so the drama and tension begin right away. The Souls and Samael, even Alice, are still after Lia, causing chases and fights that test all of those affected by the Prophecy. One of these scenes, though, brings in a new manly character [I won't say his name just because when he first appears, he isn't what he seems]. After the lack of James, he's an unexpected occurance in Lia's life but one that also keeps her sane while her friendships with Sonia and Luisa are measured.

Actually being in Altus is a whole new test for Lia and what she wants in her new life. There are more people supporting her just as much as more people are against her. The suspense continues after Lia is able to speak with her Aunt Abigail who can only give a vague answer of help (frustrating the reader as much as it does Lia).

Just when the young girls are just getting used to Altus, Lia must leave again to continue her search for the missing page of the Prophecy. More chasing, more fighting, and more omgomgomg moments ensue - finally ending with one of Zink's favored one-liners-of-shock-and-awe.

Overall, there is deception within the people that Lia thought she could trust; there is a love-interest that definitely was not expected; and there is shock after shock that proved Lia might not know her parents as well as she thought she did. Anything that might have been left out of Prophecy is more than made-up for in Guardian.


Opinion: I received this ARC from the Teen Author Carnival on May 24, 2010. Michelle Zink was there, spoke and answered questions in a panel of other authors, and stayed around to sign books. Afterward, since I'm all buddy-buddy with one of the people in charge of TAC, I was waiting around outside the building and had the pleasure of really talking to Zink. Turns out she's pretty fantastic (even her kids are awesome - though I'm a teacher, so I'm biased). To all you authors out there, this just goes to show: Be nice to people who read! They will like your books even more! Of all the books I recieved and bought at TAC, Guardian of the Gate was the first on my list to read mainly because of the author herself.

As for my opinion of the book itself, it is everything a sequel should be, but what many authors somehow slack on with the middle book. When reading a series, it is usually the second book that lags because it can't have too much information (as it was all introduced in the first book), but it can't be too awesome (or else it spoils the predictably amazing third book).

I admit that with Prophecy of the Sisters I was able to take my time with it - I even set it aside for nearly a day (rare in my case) and continued reading later. With Guardian, I didn't. Want. To stop. Where Prophecy was focused on the discussion of the mysteries and the Otherworld, Guardian is full of action - the characters becoming active in their roles whether they will it or not. Almost like clockwork, every 50 pages [yes, I noticed something like that] had something shocking that would throw in a new twist or breath-taking chase. The unexpected occurs, and the expected is constantly held at the end of a fishing rod - dangling in front of our faces, just barely out of reach.

The only issue with having an ARC is that now I have to wait even longer than the average reader to get my hands on the third and final installement of this series... Unless, of course, Ms. Zink would like to grace me with an advancement on that too ;)

p.s. I'm Team James.


For School? (Hey, I'm a teacher, I think of this stuff!) Probably not what would be approved by an English department to be formally studied, but it is definitely a book young-adult readers would enjoy. The aspects of suspense are consistant, as it was in Prophecy, and the easy-flowing transition of time is something that many beginning writers should take example from.


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