*I received The Guardian by C.J. Gosling as a submission for the CLA Young Adult Book Award.
Book one of the Shadowlands Series started off with potential but gradually went down hill in terms of appeal factors.
- In the beginning the flowery, formal language seemed appropriate but I think Gosling was trying too hard too sound good because the result felt very forced.
- Tavin and Aria are great names and they each began with good stock character traits. He was the orphaned hero, discovering his magical inheritance and a cool new world. She was a strong-willed princesses defying gender boundaries by having power of her own. The fact that both of these characters have been done a million times wouldn’t matter if they developed beyond that, but I’m afraid they feel cardboard until the end.
- Tavin’s attitude towards battle and the lame things he says as he comes into power were reminiscent of Dragon Ball Z, and I was NOT a fan of that show.
- This felt like a first novel, and that’s fine because it is. The problem is that it is not up to the standards of a national book award.
If it was done right this novel would have filled a gap- paranormal books that appeal to male teens. Unfortunately I didn’t feel it succeeded.