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Official Review: The Guardians by B. L. Barger

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Official Review: The Guardians by B. L. Barger

Post Number:#1 by gali
» 11 Feb 2017, 13:38

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Guardians" by B. L. Barger.]

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3 out of 4 stars
Review by gali
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Apocalypse meets Star wars in this refreshing novel!

The Guardians by B. L. Barger is a post-apocalyptic road trip with an original twist. It's a mishmash of Sci-fi and fantasy that works surprisingly well.

The book opens with a bang, literally, with an alien invasion of Earth no less, then builds up to an explosive climax. The story follows Maxine, a forty-something woman living in the post-apocalyptic United States. Her profession isn't mentioned, which I found odd, though the author alluded to it at some point. Upon waking up from a nightmare, the heroine is plunged into a world in the midst of a worldwide attack from hostile aliens named the Hooda. Due to her quick thinking, she manages to stock up and soon after her parents and brother join her. Oh, and did I mention she has a cat and a dog? Her devotion to them was heartwarming. As a side note, it all takes place in 2012 which makes it harder to swallow since that date has long passed.

When things start to look desperate, other aliens, named the Guardians, arrive to save the day. Unfortunately, they were too late to prevent the attack altogether. Millions perish in the attack and those who survive are left to deal with the aftermath of the attack which plunged the world into the Dark Ages.

Maxine is accidentally exposed to Guardian technology after being injured and taken care off by Commanders Kavi and Raffa Qatar. Consequently, she is linked to the Guardians to the dismay of her family and some of the Guardians. She grows attached to the Qatar brothers, and love soon follows. I have to say that I liked Max right away and found her a realistic heroine. The two brothers, in contrast, were not fully realized and seemed undistinguished character wise.

The plot thickens as Maxine and the Qatar brothers find themselves in a desperate race to save a ruined Earth from another massive attack by the Hooda, battling enemies left and right. The plot then takes a surreal turn into the twilight zone. I won't say too much about it, but magic, parallel universe, time travel, occult societies, and Egypt and Greek mythologies are involved.

Let me start off by saying that I enjoyed the book. B. L. Barger combines three overused literary elements, aliens, magic, and the end of the world, and spins them into something entirely fresh and new in this exciting novel.

There are many plot threads running through the story and they all intersect. The tie in with a secret cult and magic was an interesting twist and added a nice complexity to what might otherwise have been just another run-of-the-mill tale. Nonetheless, major, major suspension of disbelief is required to survive some of the plot twists. Still, it's a fun ride.

The author has seamlessly woven themes of fallible human nature, duty, right and wrong, relationships, betrayal, the clash of civilizations, and love. One of the most interesting questions this book raises is how you would act in the same position.

The plot alternates between the first person singular to the third person omniscient. The writing style was fluid for the most part, but the scenes written in the third POV felt a little flat. There were a couple of grammatical and spelling errors, but nothing large enough to take away from the story itself. I also felt like the book could be trimmed down a little because there were some things that started to feel repetitive, and there were a few places where the momentum dragged a bit.

This is the first book in the series and its ending is maddeningly frustrating because there is none-- the story stops abruptly in the middle of a scene and leaves one hanging. Be forewarned that there are a couple of sex scenes and some cussing in the book, so it may not suit a certain audience.

Overall, I liked the story and do look forward to the next book, so I rate it 3 out of 4 stars. I recommend this book to anyone who likes alien and end-of-the-world stories and doesn't mind cliffhangers. Aliens may not be running rampant on our planet (yet), but the author sure has succeeded in making this event just as realistic as any other world disaster!

******
The Guardians
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Re: Official Review: The Guardians by B. L. Barger

Post Number:#2 by hsimone
» 12 Feb 2017, 04:35

Another great and detailed review, gali! I love post-apocalyptic stories, especially those when a twist is added. Too bad about some of the repetitive parts, but I'm glad that you were able to still enjoy the read!
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Re: Official Review: The Guardians by B. L. Barger

Post Number:#3 by kimmyschemy06
» 12 Feb 2017, 05:42

I wonder how a story with overused elements can have an original twist. I am so intrigued that I think I like the book already :) You make Max sound like a very interesting character. Great job on the review.
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Re: Official Review: The Guardians by B. L. Barger

Post Number:#4 by gali
» 12 Feb 2017, 05:44

hsimone wrote:Another great and detailed review, gali! I love post-apocalyptic stories, especially those when a twist is added. Too bad about some of the repetitive parts, but I'm glad that you were able to still enjoy the read!


Thank you. I enjoyed the book immensely. :)
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Re: Official Review: The Guardians by B. L. Barger

Post Number:#5 by bookowlie
» 12 Feb 2017, 08:31

Great review! The plot seems interesting, but I don't like cliffhanger endings. I know what you mean about the third person writing feeling flat. I have read books like that, where the writing is better in the first person parts vs. third person.
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Re: Official Review: The Guardians by B. L. Barger

Post Number:#6 by gali
» 12 Feb 2017, 08:54

bookowlie wrote:Great review! The plot seems interesting, but I don't like cliffhanger endings. I know what you mean about the third person writing feeling flat. I have read books like that, where the writing is better in the first person parts vs. third person.


Thank you. :)
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Re: Official Review: The Guardians by B. L. Barger

Post Number:#7 by Katelyn Scott
» 12 Feb 2017, 16:35

Sounds interesting.
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Re: Official Review: The Guardians by B. L. Barger

Post Number:#8 by gali
» 12 Feb 2017, 23:30

Katelyn Scott wrote:Sounds interesting.


It is! :tiphat:
In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)
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Re: Official Review: The Guardians by B. L. Barger

Post Number:#9 by Wasif Ahmed
» 23 Feb 2017, 02:55

This definitely seems like a book i might enjoy. 😀
Great review!
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Re: Official Review: The Guardians by B. L. Barger

Post Number:#10 by gali
» 23 Feb 2017, 06:27

Wasif Ahmed wrote:This definitely seems like a book i might enjoy. 😀
Great review!


Thank you. :)
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Re: Official Review: The Guardians by B. L. Barger

Post Number:#11 by rssllue
» 24 Feb 2017, 01:58

Once again, you gave us an extremely creative and detailed review, gali! You just rock it! It seems like an interesting story to say the least with all that apparently is going on throughout its unfolding events. The abrupt ending is a bit of a turn off though. Great job on the review!
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Re: Official Review: The Guardians by B. L. Barger

Post Number:#12 by gali
» 24 Feb 2017, 03:50

rssllue wrote:Once again, you gave us an extremely creative and detailed review, gali! You just rock it! It seems like an interesting story to say the least with all that apparently is going on throughout its unfolding events. The abrupt ending is a bit of a turn off though. Great job on the review!


Thank you. :)
In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)
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Re: Official Review: The Guardians by B. L. Barger

Post Number:#13 by rssllue
» 24 Feb 2017, 03:53

You are most welcome! :D
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Re: Official Review: The Guardians by B. L. Barger

Post Number:#14 by greenstripedgiraffe
» 01 Mar 2017, 08:36

wow - great review! I'm not big into surviving-after-aliens-end-of-the-world plots, but this sounds pretty exciting! Too bad about the extreme cliff-hanger and the sex scenes. I do wish authors would figure out how to suggest rather than be explicit :)
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Re: Official Review: The Guardians by B. L. Barger

Post Number:#15 by gali
» 01 Mar 2017, 09:14

greenstripedgiraffe wrote:wow - great review! I'm not big into surviving-after-aliens-end-of-the-world plots, but this sounds pretty exciting! Too bad about the extreme cliff-hanger and the sex scenes. I do wish authors would figure out how to suggest rather than be explicit :)


Thank you. The sex scenes were tactfully done and didn't really bother me. :)
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