Guardian of the Dead By: Karen Healey

     “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.

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Guardian of the Dead is about Eleanor Spencer, Ellie, who is a normal seventeen year old who gets wrapped in the work of New Zealand’s fey that are on the hunt for immortality.

Ellie was a good character because she already knew how to fight and already knew the myths of the New Zealand’s type of fey. Hew description was terrible but I’m pretty sure that that’s only how she sees herself because she has a hot guy as her best friend, a guy who thought she was sexy and wanted to be with her, she has an ex-boyfriend, and the hottest guy in school who technically is her boyfriend near the end of the book. Kevin was a sad character because of how he’s under Reka’s spell. But he’s a loyal friend and can be a funny person at times. Mark Nolan, is the typical handsome, mysterious, rugged, love interest that happens to bring Ellie into the world of the New Zealand fey. Reka was just a character that happened to be both, bad and good, neutral in some ways. Iris is both a really good friend to Kevin and Kevin’s love interest.

Most of this book was predictable. When you read that her best friend is being bombarded because of Reka, you just know something’s up and that she’s going to have to save him. Also, that the guy she likes is at the heart of the problem and that he’s going to both help her and fall in love with her. What I didn’t expect was the different type of fey that they show. They’re not the typical English fey but instead a different type of fey that’s from New Zealand. They don’t even refer to them as fey. I also didn’t expect Reka’s and Mark’s relationship. I thought maybe they were rivals or they didn’t know each other at all.

Even the ending was a bit of a shocker because I didn’t that that could happen. I thought at least the guy would come back as a human but instead he came back as something not human at all. Although, there was a little bit of foreshadowing in the middle when they show his grandfather, I just didn’t think the author would do that. That’s what I like in a book, when you think that the author will do one thing but does the opposite only in a good way. Good thing about it is that he can turn human on occasion.

The cover was what initially intrigued me to the book. I wondered what the mask was all about and what kind of guardian of the dead was this. I learned that the mask on the cover is magical item that she bought at a random store that can make anyone love you and obey you. What I disliked was the fact that there was no background information on the mask and why it was on a shelf at a store if it’s so powerful. They also show that it’s powerful enough to consume you. That’s why I thought that the rest of the book would be on the mystery of the mask. I disliked how it lead you on about the mask and didn’t talk about it further and considering the fact that it’s a stand-alone there will never be a story on this still mysterious mask.

Overall, I thought this book was great, not the best, but great. I have other books on my to-read pile that is of this author, Karen Healey, and I hope that those books are just as great but a bit better.

-Michelle

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