Book Review: Guardian of Secrets by Brenda Drake

by - 9:49:00 AM

Title: Guardian of Secrets
Author: Brenda Drake
Pages: 400
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: 07 February 2017

From Goodreads: "Being a Sentinel isn’t all fairytales and secret gardens. Sure, jumping through books into the world’s most beautiful libraries to protect humans from mystical creatures is awesome. No one knows that better than Gia Kearns, but she could do without the part where people are always trying to kill her. Oh, and the fact that Pop and her had to move away from her friends and life as she knew it. And if that isn’t enough, her boyfriend, Arik, is acting strangely. Like, maybe she should be calling him “ex,” since he’s so into another girl. But she doesn’t have time to be mad or even jealous, because someone has to save the world from the upcoming apocalypse, and it looks like that’s going to be Gia. Maybe. If she survives."

Thank you to Entangled Teen for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for review!

I read Thief of Lies about a week and a half ago, and it left me feeling rather indifferent. I liked it, but I just couldn't get into it as much as I wanted to. However, I was excited to see where the story went and was excited at the chance to read the sequel, Guardian of Secrets! This book did not leave me with the same feeling as the first, but quite the opposite. I absolutely loved this book!

Gia Kearns is a Sentinel- a guardian that jumps into books to travel to different libraries around the world and protect humans from mystical creatures. It's not all its cracked up to be, though. People are always trying to kill her, and now she's had to go into hiding. With her Pop and twin "sister" in tow, they're now far away from Gia's old life. If that's not bad enough, her boyfriend Arik is acting strange and is clearly into some other girl. Unfortunately for Gia, she doesn't have time to be jealous or upset, because the end of the world is coming, and it falls on her shoulders to save everyone. 

Plot:
Guardian of Secrets picks up right where Thief of Lies left off. Gia, Nick, and the other Sentinels have gone into hiding in the human world and now attend public school. With public school comes some serious drama, and it definitely hit me right in the feels when it all unfolded so unexpectedly. On top of the drama, Gia and Nick are searching for the remaining Chiavi to prevent the raising of the Tetrad- an evil beast that can control all of the elements and will bring about the end of both worlds. I loved this story line and everything that happened within it. There was action, serious relationship drama, new characters, heartbreak, loss, secrets discovered, and so much more. I read about 78% of this book in one day because it was so fantastic that I just couldn't put it down! There was so much growth of the world that has already been established and I really enjoyed getting to dive deeper into this beautiful, magical story.

Characters:
I don't think I was able to connect to any of the characters when I read Thief of Lies. Not because they were written poorly or anything like that, but because I just didn't feel invested in them. Sure, I liked Gia, and I guess Arik was alright, but none of them really stood out or made a huge impact on me. Guardian of Secrets completely changed that. Gia has grown so much between books and I was blown away by how mature she was in this one! Having to balance her Chiavi hunt with being a Sentinel, going to school, and dealing with her wonky relationship with Arik, not to mention having to constantly help Nick with his newly unlocked Wizard powers seems like almost too much to handle at once. Gia somehow manages it all and is able to help save the world with time to spare. I just loved how much she grew as a character not only between books but also throughout Guardian of Secrets. She's so strong, and even in the midst of having her heart broken, she is able to pick up the pieces and move on thanks to the wonderful support system she has in the other Sentinels. Speaking of support, the girl power element was so wonderful to see in this book! Too often, we get girls that are catty and constantly fighting against each other or trying to bring other girls down. In this book, Gia is surrounded by strong, supportive females who work hard to build each other up instead of tear them down. Faith, Deidre, and Lei were always there for Gia no matter what she was going through. Even when Gia thinks that her and Deidre aren't getting along, Deidre surprises Gia by completely ending a friendship because she doesn't want to see Gia get hurt. I just really appreciated the supportive, strong females in this story and I hope to see more of it not only in future Library Jumpers books, but in other YA books as well. Another character that I really liked seeing grow up and evolve was Nick. It was hard seeing him struggle to get acclimated to his powers, and there were times that I just wanted to give him a hug, but I loved the relationship between him and Gia. They're such a great brother-sister (they're actually cousins but they're definitely more like brother and sister) pair and I just could not get enough of how dedicated to each other they were. No matter what Nick was going through, Gia refused to give up on him, despite people warning her to stay away from him because of who his father is. They were just so fantastic both as individual characters and a duo and I hope to see so much more of them in the next book! As far as the other characters, I thought they were well-written, but I wasn't all about them like I was when it came to Gia and Nick. Although I did love Faith so very much! All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the characters so much more in this book and I was so attached to them in their own little ways.

Writing:
Yes. Just all of my yes. I was sucked in to the writing of this book like a Sentinel jumping through a gateway book. Brenda Drake is a fantastic writer and I love the way that she creates and builds upon the worlds that she creates. With the world of Library Jumpers, she's created a really unique magic system that is still evolving and characters that you want to invest your time into following. I read one chapter and realized that I was going to love this book based off of only one chapter. It's so easy to fall into this world and get caught up with Gia and her relationship drama with Arik, or Nick and his growing Wizard powers, or even Faith and her cooking misadventures. Having a book that is so beautifully written that you're easily able to picture the numerous locations that the characters travel to makes reading that much more enjoyable, and Guardian of Secrets does just that. There's never a moment where you feel lost or out of place because there's just so much depth and dimension to the writing that you really feel like part of the story. Which is a fantastic feeling when you consider you're reading about a girl who can use a book to visit libraries all over the world!

Guardian of Secrets was a fantastic continuation to the Library Jumpers series. With new and unexpected characters, an action-packed story line, and vivid writing that is sure to draw you in until the very last page, this is one sequel you don't want to miss! Be sure to pick up Guardian of Secrets when it releases on 07 February 2017 and continue the addictive story of Gia and her library jumping friends!

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