4 out of 4 stars
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The loss of a loved one, let alone two, is absolutely devastating. Transitioning into a life without those you love is already hard enough, but when you also have to move in with a distant relative, it can become even more difficult. In William H. Coles’ Guardian of Deceit, he depicts just how difficult navigating the world of the rich can be. The story follows a young man as he moves in with a famous relative who ends up being not-so-welcoming to new, poor house-guests. This book was an intense emotional rollercoaster as it manages to depict loss, coping, love, as well as messy the realities of being extremely wealthy.
The book begins with our main character Darwin Hastings as he boards a plane that will not only take him to his new home in New York, but that marks the beginning of a new life. A life without his parents. As he makes the journey to famous quarterback Luther Pinnelli’s mansion, he looks on the bright side of joining his family with more money and power. More financial support meant that he could pursue a more competitive higher education. But to Darwin’s dismay, he soon discovers that Luther is in fact not a loving relative, but a cold, abusive, money-hungry man who only cares about himself. The story follows Darwin’s journey of navigating the world of rich and greedy people. Backstabbing, attempted murder, gambling, drugs, abuse. This book has it all. So is the world of the rich and famous truly glamorous, or is it much worse than it seems?
The Guardian of Deceit was an excellent read. From start to finish, I was completely captivated, frantically flipping the pages to see what would come next. One of my favorite parts about this book was how Coles managed to allude to certain things rather than just saying them upfront. So instead of saying a particular thing happened, he would hint at it so that you as the reader could come to discover more along with Darwin. It makes the book much more immersive and made it much more enjoyable and mysterious. Not only did he allude to certain ideas, but he also left some aspects open-ended for the reader to imagine what would come next. I enjoyed that aspect, especially at the end of the book when you are left to wonder and fantasize over the details.
Another thing I really loved about this book was the character development. We get to see our main character grow up. We are there for him in high school, throughout college, and as he pursues his career. We see him struggle, triumph, love, and hurt. It was very well done in that I felt like I knew Darwin and could both sympathize and empathize with him. It also really helped to show how the people you surround you can change and shape your personality, for better or for worse. By developing a strong character-reader bond at the beginning of the story, it helps to allow you as the reader to question his actions with love rather than with hate.
Perhaps the most important aspect of this book was how it viewed the corruption and deceit that many of the extremely wealthy are accompanied by. This book tackled some serious topics such as drugs, physical abuse, and sexual abuse. It managed to show how having money can be important, but money should not be more valuable than ones own morals. We shouldn’t choose money over people, and we shouldn’t be greedy. Coles really emphasized how living to please yourself and become wealthy may seem ideal, but in reality, it can lead to a callused heart and a lack of sympathy for the rest of the world. I would rate Guardian of Deceit 4 out of 4 stars due to its impeccable editing, it’s perfect pacing, and its thought-provoking message. This book did contain profane language as well as implicit depictions of sex, sexual abuse, and drug usage, so I would not recommend it to a young audience or anyone who might find those topics triggering. Other than that, I would recommend this book to anyone who loves books that are thought-provoking and captivating.
Guardian of Deceit
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