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Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey

Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Pages: Young Adult

Ages: 352

Publishers Summary: “You’re Ellie Spencer.” I opened my mouth, just as he added, “And your eyes are opening.” Seventeen-year-old Ellie Spencer is just like any other teenager at her boarding school. She hangs out with her best friend Kevin, she obsesses over Mark, a cute and mysterious bad boy, and her biggest worry is her paper deadline. But then everything changes. The news headlines are all abuzz about a local string of serial killings that all share the same morbid trademark: the victims were discovered with their eyes missing. Then a beautiful yet eerie woman enters Ellie’s circle of friends and develops an unhealthy fascination with Kevin, and a crazed old man grabs Ellie in a public square and shoves a tattered Bible into her hands, exclaiming, “You need it. It will save your soul.” Soon, Ellie finds herself plunged into a haunting world of vengeful fairies, Maori mythology, romance, betrayal, and an epic battle for immortality.

“A girl, Ellie Spencer, seemingly normal, one great friend, one love interest and a typical obsession with her body image. Suddenly though Ellie is placed in adverse circumstances, learning about the truths of an ancient past that turn her life upside-down. She finds herself in the middle of a battle, that ultimately, could end in her losing all that she truly loves.

Guardian of the Dead is a fantastic adventure with many surprises to be discovered. One of the highlights of the book for me was the history involved. I loved how Healy incorporated a little of the history of the New Zeland people into the story line for the book. Ancient stories passed down through the ages were interwoven throughout the plot and it added so much to the journey Ellie was on.

“Unfortunately though, the history wasn’t enough to carry me throughout this book. There was a point about mid-way through when the action started to pick up and the plot quickened a bit and it was just in the nick of time. From that point on the book was non-stop action until the very last few pages. The relationship the mask and Ellie had was also a bit too much like how the ring, in The Lord of the Rings, was to Frodo and I almost couldn’t get past that.

“Overall, it was a good read. I’m not upset I read it by any means and I think fans of fantasy & folklore will definitely enjoy Guardian of the Dead. The characters were great, especially Ellie, I could connect with her so well and the relationships she had with her friends were very well written. In the end though it was the progression of the story line, the points I made above and a large problem I had with the ending that struck a low note with me unfortunately.”

The1stdaughter Recommends: Ages 14 and up. Due to mild violence. Fans of Fantasy novels will love this read.

For the Comments: Which cover do you like better? The one of the left is being published currently.
(Me, the first, especially after reading the book…it just seems to fit better.)

This book was provided for review by Traveling ARC Tours. Thank you!
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5 Responses to Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey

  1. Mardel says:

    I have this book in my waiting pile of books to be read. I’m looking forward to it. I also prefer the first cover. I don’t know if it’s the size of the picture, or just me, but I can’t really even tell what’s on the second cover pic. It looks like the back of a head and two hands holding a glowing green chicken carcass. Weird – yeah, I know.
    .-= Mardel´s last blog ..Rally Fever – review =-.

  2. I like the first cover better as well. Thanks for this, as we are low on supply for new books for my Not-So-Bebe Girl to read!

  3. Awesome review 🙂
    .-= Juju at Tales of Whimsy…´s last blog ..Scones and Sensibility | Book Review and Blog Tour =-.

  4. NotNessie says:

    Great review!

    I’m really not a fan of either cover…
    .-= NotNessie´s last blog ..Tuesday Top Five – Page =-.

  5. Gina says:

    Enjoyed the review, though I’m not certain this is a book for my TBR list, sad to say (no wait, it’s long enough right now…). Cover wise…definitely the first…I can’t quite get a handle on what’s going on in the second picture there. Thanks for sharing!
    .-= Gina´s last blog ..Tangled by Carolyn Mackler =-.

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