Monday, March 14, 2016

The Blood Guard by Carter Roy

The Blood Guard (The Blood Guard, #1)The Blood Guard by Carter Roy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Review copy provided by Netgalley

If I was looking for a new series to bring me back to the middle grade fantasy genre after polishing the latest Rick Riordan or Eoin Colfer book, this would be the perfect choice. It has all the characteristic unrelenting action and sarcastic banter that have come to be genre mainstays of late. This is the story of boy whose parents lead secret lives while he leads a life of preparing for a destiny that is secret to him. I could probably write that same sentence to describe the beginning of a dozen different series written in the past dozen or so years, but it strangely doesn't mean that this book was any less satisfying for it.

This series is bound to have a fairly massive audience, and the best news is that it will leave that audience fairly satisfied so long as what comes next is as good as this first book was. One concern I have is that there is a noticeable lack of variety in the encounters with the villains. Maybe it's the fact that most of the villains are soulless thugs that behave in a predictable manner, but when the heroes have escaped from the same group of brutes over and over again, the concern becomes whether the experience remains fresh. It wasn't much of a problem in this one, but I see how it could become redundant in future volumes.

All in all, this was a good start to a series that could the next big one in the genre. It maintains an unrelenting pace and the characters are all fairly relatable. The banter is fun, lightly sarcastic, humorously oddball, and consistently action-driven. It will leave you hanging in the end, wanting the next book so you don't have to pause in your ravenous consumption. Maybe you'd be better off not starting this one until the next book is out if you're the reader that I just described. Nothing worse than having to wait to find out what happens next.

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