2 out of 4 stars
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The story is centered around Darwin Hastings, a young man who has lost both of his parents early in life, and fate has designated that he find residence with his famous, professional football player cousin, Luther Pinnelli. Darwin is leaving a stable situation with a beloved relative to find himself thrust into a tumultuous environment, with a less than pleasant and selfish man, and very few resources to live a life reflective of his immediate and future goals.
From the beginning, the author, William H. Coles, pulls the reader into a space of wanting to defend Darwin, as he interacts with the other characters that evolve within the story. The author keeps the reader engaged and invested in Darwin's success. Darwin clearly has a plan and is determined to follow through and achieve his goals, despite the obstacles that arise. The story has several components moving at one time which gives the reader a glimpse into each character's psyche and motivational forces. The story moves at a steady pace, because of the layers that each character's individual story line incorporates to the whole. The character development, however, never seems to reach a level outside that of cliche personalities- a privileged, promiscuous girl in constant search of love is portrayed in contrast to her straight-laced, status-driven sister; or the rich, womanizing and ignorant professional athlete versus the efficient and emotionally worn staff he employs.
Toward the middle of the story, the different components to the story line felt muddled and seem to be forcibly intertwined; as if there are multiple short stories being combined and the pieces never quite fit together to form one cohesive story and outcome. This "disjointed" element seemed apparent in a scene where the author had described that Darwin is drinking from a glass of water, but in the next paragraph, discards his empty can. This could be an editing mistake. Later in the book, there is also an instance of a robbery, which seems to serve no other purpose than to highlight racial, social and economical stereotypes.
Overall, I would rate this book 2 out of 4 stars. I was an easy read and kept the reader engaged, if for no other reason than waiting for the moment where all the story lines come together. Upon finishing the book, I felt that there a lot of loose ends and that it left the reader kind of lost in the subplots and wondering what to take away from the experience.
I would recommend this book to anyone who would like an easy read, without extremely heavy content. Anyone who enjoys open ended plots will also enjoy the aspect that not every detail is spelled out for the reader. Guardian of Deceit is definitely a story that will keep you intrigued, however, will not stay on your mind after its conclusion.
Guardian of Deceit
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