3 out of 4 stars
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Guardian of Deceit by William H. Coles is a slice-of-life novel with Darwin as its main character. At the start of the book, Darwin is on his way to Pittsburgh following the passing of his guardianship from his aunt to his cousin Luther-a famous football player. Although he is reluctant to part with his aunt, he is also rife with enthusiasm at the prospect of living with a blood-related celebrity. The reality that awaits him, however, is not so pleasant.
Darwin manages to survive his cousin’s unique and slightly perverse notions of the right way to raise a child through a combination of skill, hard work, and goodwill from others, though that goodwill doesn’t always come completely free. However, will Darwin come out completely untouched and unaffected by his cousin’s world of illegal poker games and dark secrets? And how will he navigate the world and life after he graduates Luther’s guardianship?
What I like best about this book is the main character’s personality. Darwin is calm, determined and proactive about personal responsibility for his own life. I admired his certainty and the way he respected the choices and lifestyle of others. I also liked a number of the other characters. The characters often weren’t portrayed as ‘good or bad people’ but as humans. They could be both selfish and generous; sometimes at the same time.
My main dissatisfaction was with a couple of minor plot points that lacked complete resolution. I would have liked the author to write one or two more sentences on such points. Thus, more neatly tying things up. Though, I must admit that the ambiguity does fit the style of the novel.
The editing is good, and the font and formatting both promote the readability of the book. I also like the cover which echoes both the brighter and the darker aspects of the storyline. However, the illustrations are just okay, they neither enhance nor detract from the reading experience.
Although Guardian of Deceit lacks a central conflict or moments of great tension, the story is still interesting and makes for a charming read. The ending is also nice and pleasant though lacking in climax factor. Personally, I have acquired a taste for novels with steady paces. So even though I enjoyed the novel very much, I can’t be a hundred percent certain about its appeal to the general public. However, I would still like to recommend this as a great book for ages 15 and older; hence, I would give this book a rating of 3 out of 4 stars.
Guardian of Deceit
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