Saturday, September 25, 2010

Guardian of the Gate

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven't read Prophecy of the Sisters, READ NO FURTHER!

Title: Guardian of the Gate

Author: Michelle Zink

Pages: 335

Rating: ****

Summary (from Goodreads): The ultimate battle between sisters is nearing, and its outcome could have catastrophic consequences. As sixteen year-old Lia Milthorpe searches for a way to end the prophecy, her twin sister Alice hones the skills she'll need to defeat Lia. Alice will stop at nothing to reclaim her sister's role in the prophecy, and that's not the only thing she wants: There's also Lia's boyfriend James.

Lia and Alice always knew the Prophecy would turn those closest to them against them. But they didn't know what betrayal could lead them to do. In the end, only one sister will be left standing

Review: This book was a great sequel to The Prophecy of the Sisters. It took me about halfway through the book to get into it; before then, I just felt like it had no drive. There was nothing that made me want to sit down and read more.
Then it changed.
The second half of the book is amazing. Lia must make several choices, and betrayal is her biggest threat. The betrayal she faces shocked me, though of course I knew it would be to easy to have it be the person they suspect (is that giving too much away?)
Another reason it picks up is *swoon* Dimitri. TO be completely honest, I read The Prophecy of the Sisters too long ago to remember how I felt about James, but I adore Dimitri. He is sexy, charming, chivalrous, and powerful. An excellent fit with Lia.
One thing that bothers me is how inferior Lia comes off as to her sister. WE are told Alice is a huge power, the Souls answer to her now. And Lia...well, she's learning. How on earth is she going to win this battle? And the twist at the end--I can't tell for certain if I was expecting it (hindsight bias, and all that jazz).
I'm a bit confused on the title. Initially, I heard it was The Guardian and the Gate, but somewhere along the line it was switched to Guardian of the Gate, and I couldn't really fit that with the plotline, since Lia is the Gate.
Also, the covers--I know many people are really excited about the new design, but I honestly liked the original cover to The Prophecy of the Sisters more (with the stone statues). These new covers don't really grab you like the statue cover grabbed me. It seems like it could be the cover of any book.
It was an excellent story, though. Michelle Zink is a great writer who I'm sure we can expect more from in the future.

Recommended for: Supernatural fans; historical fiction junkies

Also a note: if you haven't heard anything about Speak Loudly movement, be sure to check it out. It's all about fighting for banned books and authors' freedom of speech. Sarah Ockler talks a lot about it here, since her book Twenty Boy Summer (review here) is being targeted in Missouri.

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