Pay It Forward

The Guardian’s Series – Blog Tour Part 2

This is the second post, for the Guardian’s Blog Tour, celebrating the amazing series written by Wendy Owens.

Guardian's Crown Banner

** I WAS GIVEN THESE BOOKS BY THE PUBLISHER, IN RETURN FOR AN HONEST REVIEW **

Book – The Lost Years: The Guardians Book 4

the lost years

Blurb:

Gabe’s world was forever altered by the people he came to know and love at Rampart Manor. Although, it wasn’t only his life that was changed when he made the choice to leave them all behind. During his five year absence, they each had a battle with personal demons. Dina is faced with a moral dilemma, the path of good leading to certain heartbreak, or evil, and a possibility of happiness. Uri meets a mysterious woman who seems to have a lot of the answers that he has been searching for, and she certainly has a place in his heart, if he can only hold onto her. Sophie is faced with choices she never knew would be so difficult. The question now is: will the personal demons of the remaining Guardians of Rampart be too much for them to overcome?

Buy Links:

Amazon USA – http://www.amazon.com/Lost-Years-Guardians-ebook/dp/B00CD7IFPA/ref=la_B006COBFKC_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1379941284&sr=1-5
Amazon UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Lost-Years-Guardians-ebook/dp/B00CD7IFPA/ref=sr_1_4?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1379941160&sr=1-4&keywords=wendy+owens
Barnes and Noble – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-lost-years-wendy-owens/1115125153?ean=2940045252508
Kobo – http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-lost-years-7

Author – Wendy Owens
Star rating – ★★★★
Would I read it again – Yes, definitely
Plot – well explored, well put together, very easy to follow
Characters – exciting, funny, intriguing, great characterization
Movie Potential – ★★★★
Ease of reading – Very easy.

As always, this was another great instalment of the series. I can’t wait for the last book to see how it all comes together. I’ve actually been highlighting my favourite quotes from the books as I read them, but with this one, there are so many WOW, spoiler moments that marking them as quotes would be unfair to people who haven’t read it yet. I want them to discover and be shocked by those moments as I was.
First off, I have one big niggle with this book. And it’s possibly considered a spoiler so you’ll have to close your eyes NOW if you don’t want to read it.

**Spoiler**
In this book, we’re shown how Dina gets the Oracle Calysta out of her prison cell in Rampart. And then (as in Book 3) we’re shown the conversation with Uri and Gabe, after they meet after 5 years. Uri tells Gabe that when Rampart was taken, the Oracle was taken prisoner and gave information to the enemy, during her captivity. The problem is, that Dina’s rescue of Calysta and Michael’s reaffirmation that she arrived safely back with the Clerics, means that that couldn’t possibly have happened. So, colour me confused.
**Spoiler**

Onto the good stuff – the rest of the book. I absolutely loved Dina’s part in the story. The whole thing with Raimie had me bawling my eyes out, literally. But I have to say I saw the whole ‘consequences’ thing coming. But that doesn’t lower the genius of the entire thing. I’m actually hoping to see Madame Laveau again. And I have to say that after books 3 and 4, I’m firmly in agreement with Calysta; Oracles might not play fair in the way they have to work, but they don’t deserve to be prisoners.
It was also quite nice to get a glimpse into the (cleaner) side of Gabe’s life in the Underworld. Every time Sophie tracked him down, I was afraid it was going to be one of those awkward moments where he was ‘with’ someone. I still don’t like Sophie any more than I did before. I love Dina and Haim and Uri even more, and Michael too. It was really important to the overall understanding of them, as characters, to get to see these moments and I’m so glad we did. I also really enjoyed the little bit at the end about Gabe and Rachel. I knew it, from Book 3’s visit to Mirada but it was nice to have that little bit of frivolous joy and romance at the end to finish it off and remind us of their next quest.
Fingers crossed that Uri gets reacquainted with Seraphine in Book 5. And I also really want to know what Raimie had to do with the Guardian’s Crown. I have a feeling it’s going to be interesting as always. And probably another tear-jerker. But seriously, I hope they find the Guardian’s Crown because if Gabe has to die to fulfil the prophecy, there will not be enough tissues in this world to cover the amount of crying I will be doing. I haven’t felt this emotional about a male lead character since Ethan in the Caster Chronicles. And Gabe is so much more important to me than he was. He cannot die!

Book 5 – The Guardian’s Crown is the newest edition to this series. It is the release of this book which we are all here to celebrate. As part of this blog tour, I was granted a very special ARC copy to read and review. So we’re going to broadcast it’s awesomeness with a massive applause for the stunningly beautiful cover.

Book – The Guardian’s Crown: The Guardians Book 5

guardian crown

Blurb:

Gabe is finally forced to answer the ultimate question, will he give his life to save the world? What about just to save the one he loves the most? The Guardians struggle to find another way–ideas that don’t involve Gabe’s death–to defeat Baal. Time is running out. What will Gabe choose? What price will he pay for that choice? 

Release Date: September 27th

Pre-Orders –

Kobo – http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-guardians-crown
Smashwords – http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/359383
Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Guardians-Crown-ebook/dp/B00FFM77OK/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1380201600&sr=1-3&keywords=The+Guardians+Crown

Author – Wendy Owens
Star rating – ★★★★
Would I read it again – Yes, definitely
Plot – well explored, nicely put together, easy to follow
Characters – exciting, funny, intriguing
Movie Potential – ★★★★
Ease of reading – Very easy.

Oh. My. God! I knew this book was going to be the best by far because it wrapped everything up, but seriously? There are so many things about this that are amazingly good that I don’t even know where to start.
I suppose the best place would be our fight sight of Damon. Really! And Sophie? Gosh, that girl can’t keep a crush long enough to tell people about it before she’s moving onto someone new. But the whole storyline with Sophie, is by far her best storyline so far. It was shocking but a devastating little twist.
The storyline with the Guardian’s Crown was something that I had an incline about. The way that it was mentioned in the previous book did give me an idea about what the Guardian’s Crown really was. But the way they found out was especially well done, particularly when it led to the revelation that it did. As usual with this series, I don’t want to reveal spoilers so there isn’t much I can say without revealing half the story or all the good points. It’s also hard to give good quotes without exposing the story, so I also won’t be marking any on the series until this book is released.
The strange thing I find about this book, unlike the others, is that although a lot happens, it does sort of feel with this one that it’s a bit more jumpy than usual during the first half. And there’s also some stagnant parts that are good but seem to slow the story down a little compared to the other books, again in the first half. But I guess that’s how the story is supposed to go and it did feel that way, it just made it a little bit…different…to read than the others. That does not, however take away any of the magnificence of this book and the series as a whole.
There are, however, quite a few issues I have with my ARC copy. There are quite a few spelling/punctuation mistakes and near the middle it suddenly switches quite regularly from present tense (has, asks, says) to past tense, like the other books (had, asked, said). It made it a bit confusing to read. In the other books the only present tense were thoughts from the characters, now it’s hard to tell what are thoughts and what is the story.
These niggles had me pondering, during the first half of the book, whether to give this one a 3 or 4 star rating, because of the confusion it created. But yet again, the story and plot and characters rose to the top, above all of it, and made it a top notch, made-me-cry, can’t-put-down, not even to eat, sleep or drink kind of 5 star book. Because despite everything that niggled at me, this book grabbed my by the collar, took my heart out and didn’t give it back until the last page had been turned. And I just can’t give any book that does that, no matter its fault, anything less than 5 stars.
Wendy Owens did it again with this one. I can’t tell how many times I cried through reading this series but believe me, it was a lot. The last 30% of this book really had my heartstrings in a lock down and there was no letting go until the end. These are definitely books to keep and love and read over and over again in the future. Books that warm the heart and touch the soul and reaffirm a belief in something. Whether you read his series and come out feeling more confident of yourself, or your work or your gut feelings, whether you come out feeling closer to God and more confident in your Faith, whatever happens, you will come out of reading these books a changed person. The difference with these books to others I’ve read, is that even though there is a happy ending, not everything is tied up in a big red bow, working out for the best. The book ends with the knowledge that there is a struggle ahead, but now they have hope. And if hope is all you have, you’re already half way there.

Excerpt from The Guardian’s Crown:

Releasing one last big breath, pushing all the air from his lungs, Michael emerged into the room. He opened his eyes, wide, and prepared to greet his brethren. The room shrank inward, all around him, as his eyes took in a sight he had not expected. He had accepted the idea this was a trick, that perhaps he had offended the council one too many times with his unorthodox methods. He had accepted they might, in fact, be luring him there to imprison him for his insubordination. What he saw now though, was not what he had expected.
A half circle of handmade bamboo tables was sprawled out before him. At each table, a small stool perched behind it with an elder seated in it. None of them looked up at him, their heads lying on the table tops, the blood from their slit throats draining, and spilling onto the dirt floor. All of them, they were all dead.
Michael’s head began to spin. He fell to his knees, purging himself of all of his stomach contents. A tear ran down his cheek, as he wiped away a string of vomit with the back of his hand, from the corner of his mouth. “No,” he gasped, shaking his head, as if trying to make the reality before him disappear.
“I knew you’d come!” a voice called out behind him.
Michael staggered to his feet and turned to face his worst nightmare. Baal stood before him, a smirk on his face. He wore his signature grey, pinstripe, three-piece suit, and casually twisted his pinky ring on his long and slender well-manicured finger. As it rotated Michael caught a glimpse of the rubies in the skull’s eye sockets. His black hair was slicked back, the sight of his false appearance made Michael sick to his stomach.
A slight panic rushed over him as he thought, you need to get the hell out of here. But he knew transporting would be pointless. If he fled back to Iron Gate, Baal would most certainly pick up the tracer and follow him. He would bring the same fate of the council down on everyone he cared about. There was only one option. He would stand and fight, even if it meant perishing like the council.

Oh, and one last thing – I CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S OVER!! IT’S SO UNFAIR! There, I said it. Now go buy these books! Not one, not two, buy the whole set! I demand it. You have to feel how this feels right now. I am raw from literally just finishing Book 5 as I write this…you must know how this feels! Go buy them.

Wendy Owens

wendy owens

Author Bio:

Wendy Owens was raised in the small college town of Oxford, Ohio. After attending Miami University, Wendy went on to a career in the visual arts. After several years of creating and selling her own artwork, she gave her first love, writing, a try.

Since 2011, she has published a young adult paranormal series, The Guardians, which will contain five books total, as well as a novella.

Wendy now happily spends her days writing—her loving dachshund, Piper, curled up at her feet. When she’s not writing, she can be found spending time with her tech geek husband and their three amazing kids, exploring the city she loves to call home: Cincinnati, OH.

Author Links:

Website: http://wendy-owens.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/WendyLOwens

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wendy-L-Owens/191731754221996?fref=ts
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5038955.Wendy_Owens

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