Title: Sacred Bloodlines
Series: The Guardians (Book 1)
Author: Wendy Owens
Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy
For as long as Gabe can remember, his life had been plagued by haunting images and tragic events. It seemed like everyone he knew or loved was doomed for a life of misery or death. He was starting to come to the same conclusion everyone else had–he must be cursed. Until one day, in a subway tunnel, everything suddenly changed. A horrific disaster led him to a strange new person named Uri.
Uri introduced Gabe to an exciting new world filled with angels, demons, magic, and best of all, a beautiful girl named Sophie. This chance at a new life had everything Gabe always longed for: a family, friends, and possibly even love. He soon discovered, though, that this life came at a steep price. One he feared might cost him his life.
Gabe closed his eyes and leaned his head back against the cool subway tiles. The pungent smell of urine and burnt electrical wires filled his nostrils as the loud roar of a passing train erupted in his ears. His social worker’s words replayed again and again in his head, “difficulties with home placement,” “a past filled with tragic incidents,” “more time needed to find the right parental candidates.” Gabe knew what that meant, after years of being shipped from one foster family to the next, it was clear what people thought of him. He was cursed. “And why wouldn’t they,” he thought. It was even obvious to himself.
The bustle of the station increased as the train squealed to a halt. Gabe grabbed his ragged black backpack and headed to the nearest set of open doors. He twisted and turned, trying to make his way through the thick crowd. A chill came over him, one that was all too familiar and Gabe found himself filled with dread. Coming to a sudden stop he looked around at the sea of people. Just steps from the train doors he was unable to move. He was staring and searching, his breath now shallow. The voices around him were instantly silenced as a pulsing white noise consumed his mind.
Gabe’s hands were clammy and he felt his legs weaken. “Are you getting on or what?” the man behind him shouted. The man was wearing a plain, tan trench coat and carried a briefcase. Gabe looked back at him, not able to hear what he was saying for a moment, still distracted by the deafening white noise in his head.
“Come on, some of us have places to be,” the man grumbled as he rudely pushed past Gabe and boarded the subway car. Stumbling to a nearby column, Gabe steadied himself, attempting to regain his composure.
As sounds came flooding back, he heard the buzzer warning that the doors would soon be closing. Gabe looked up and prepared to make a dash for the opening. Before he could make his move, he caught sight of a young woman standing in front of the subway doors. She was wearing a long, black leather coat that was cinched at her waist. There was an odd grey color that surrounded her, creating a halo effect around her entire body. He had seen this before, actually more times than he cared to recall. He even saw the same grey aura the night his parents died.
Gabe stared intensely at her back as she stepped into the subway car. She slowly turned around, her black hair was short, cut just above the chin, which she wore slicked back, tucked behind her petite ears. Gabe thought she looked as though she were trying to remove the femininity from her small frame in any way she could. Her skin was pale; the color reminded Gabe of milk.
He watched, frozen, as the girl lifted her head and looked directly into his eyes. She flashed him a small, wicked smile as the doors closed. He saw her eyes flicker a hint of red. A moment later, the train pulled away. Gabe slid to the cold floor as the crushing weight of impending doom filled him.
Gabe had been plagued by these feelings and visions his entire life. He could remember being sent to at least a dozen different therapists all over the city. Their diagnoses were all the same; however, ‘hallucinations brought on by depression caused by the tragic loss of his parents.’ Some had him writing his feelings in journals, but most of them found it easier to load him up on medication and send him on his way. He had learned a long time ago that the easiest thing to do was to lie about the visions.
Gabe wondered if the therapists were all right. Perhaps he was just crazy with grief. His parents had died when he was only five years old. He found it hard to believe such grief could plague a person for eleven years, but what did he know, he was no …
A loud explosion suddenly interrupted Gabe’s thoughts. He reached out his hands to try and steady himself as the ground under him shook violently. He threw up his arms to cover his head, plaster crumbling and falling like rain from the high ceilings.
I have enjoyed the book. The book is well written. The characters are very likable. You can get an instant connection with Gabe the way the book is written. I really like the way the scenes are described. It’s in a 3rd person point of view, like someone is telling a story rather than the character telling the story. I have a preference for books to be in a character’s point of view, but this one is done well. This book kept my interest throughout.
Most of the books I have read are in a POV of the character(s). The few books I have read written in 3rd person, have always just told the story. One thing I like about this one is that it not only tells the story, but it also tells what Gabe is thinking. I think knowing what Gabe is thinking makes it much better than it would have been without giving that information.
I was satisfied with how the book ended. I would read more from this series.
I started this book pretty much blind. Not to say that everything was fuzzy and I couldn’t read the pages, but my wife had finished it a short while ago and enjoyed it when I was given the opportunity to review the entire series I said “sure why not!” without even reading the excerpt. After all if she thought I’d like it, then I probably would, she kinda gets me like that.
**I’m not going to give away anything vitally important to the plot but if you’re squeamish of any hint of a spoiler just go get the book now and read it (At this time it’s free on amazon, so you really have nothing to lose and a lot to gain!)**
Before I started reading I thought this was going to be a fantasy novel, but to my surprise it’s a modern day setting. I really enjoyed the historical and religious tie-ins to the story and background that really added detail to the world of The Guardians.
I’m a sucker for the Chosen one trope and Sacred Bloodlines doesn’t disappoint. Our hero Gabe is whisked away to follow his destiny as a Guardian to defend the world against the demons that threaten to destroy everything, and thus begins the bulk of the book and my personal favorite part of these stories as we’re introduced to his peers, guided through their world, and get to relish in Gabe learning the basics of magic and combat.
There were a lot of characters involved and I feel like two of them in particular didn’t get the page time they really needed to have the emotional impact that I think they were supposed to. If Anthony and Michael were more involved with Gabes training and had more interaction with him then I think the drama surrounding them would have been more intense.
So while I wasn’t as emotionally invested in the outcome of the dramatic final parts of the book, it was an enjoyable story that set a solid foundation for the series to come. I look forward to seeing how Gabe and everyone grows through the course of it!
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 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.