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Review: Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey

Saturday, September 10, 2011
5 Stars: Incredible
Paperback: 368 Pages
Publication: August 3, 2011 by Little, Brown Books for Young Reads

Seventeen-year-old Ellie Spencer is just like any other teenager at her boarding school, until a beautiful yet eerie woman enters Ellie's circle of friends and develops an unhealthy fascination with her best friend, Kevin. Ellie herself has an unhealthy fascination--a handsome boy named Mark who seems to have put a spell over her. As shocking revelations and lusts unfold, Ellie finds herself plunged into a haunting world of vengeful fairies, Maori mythology, romance, betrayal, and an epic battle for immortality.

Original. Alluring. Dark and mysterious. That’s The Guardian of the Dead. I love the mythology behind the story. From the beginning, Healey had me wondering who—what—Mark was, and she still surprised me. Now add in the mystery serial killer and a best friend with a unique characteristic. Just when I thought I had everyone figured out, the plot took another turn. I was never bored while absorbed with Ellie’s life. Especially with the gorgeous New Zealand setting.

The Guardian of the Dead starts off dark and creepy. I was honestly reluctant to read it at night, but I couldn’t put it down at the same time. Put it down, and I’d stay up wondering what would happen next and start imagining horrifying creatures lurking around my bed. Stay up, and Healey might end up scaring me anyhow. So I paced myself, reading three chapters a night until Healey had me so wrapped up in the plot that I had to finish the novel in one sitting.

Healey develops every single character as needed. Everything fell into place without being overly predictable. As I mentioned earlier, Healey continued to surprise me with every new plot development. Despite her past actions, I ended up really liking Mark’s mother, I fell in love with Mark, and I love Ellie. Mark's mother is strong and unforgiving--she stays true to herself. Mark is gorgeous and oh so sweet. Ellie isn’t a wimp, but she doesn’t seem too brash the times that she takes charge--two character traits that I've seen too much recently. I loved all the characters, even the ones that I'd love to kill myself given the opportunity and the guts to do so.

If you’re looking for a unique paranormal story, don’t miss The Guardian of the Dead. It starts out eerie, teasing at the plot, and builds up to an epic climax with… well, just the fate of the world at hand.

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An ARC was provided by the publisher for review purposes

1 comment on "Review: Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey"
  1. Great review. I havent heard of this book before but it sounds great. I love a book that has twists and turns and keeps you guessing. Another added to the TRL :)

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