When I began reading, I was thinking "Oh no... Not another BDB knock-off." There are a couple of features of this new series that closely follow Ward's world, but as I kept reading I noticed a lot of very unique qualities that make the "Guardians of Ascension" stand on their own two feet. The action and emotion often made the book hard to put down. All in all, a nearly 5- star book, with the potential for becoming a 5- star series.
The Guardians are group of winged vampires who are also known as "Warriors of the Blood". They fight together on different dimensions of the universe to keep man-kind from becoming overcome by death vampires. (Those who take blood to the point of the victim's death.) They are lead by Endelle, the female Supreme High Administrator of the Second dimension of Earth. The human world, which exists on the First dimension, does not know about vampires or other dimensions.
Alison, who has grown up as a human, has spent her life as an outsider. She doesn't understand where her strange powers come from. She can freeze and reverse time, read minds, and her strength is such that she has had to avoid physical contact to prevent causing unintended harm. Only her sister is aware of her powers.
The Commander of the death vampires wants to either control Alison or kill her. He knows her powers could mean his demise. Kerrick, a Warrior of the Blood, has been assigned as Guardian to Alison.
From the time he first encounters Alison, Kerrick knows there is a special connection between them. When the threats against Alison escalate, Kerrick must bring her to the Second dimension where he can guard her closely. For Alison, Second is a miracle. She has finally found a world where she can learn about her powers and be among people who share them. As it turns out, Alison's powers may even exceed those of her Guardian.
The war rages on and Alison is now knee- deep in it. She must learn to fight and defend herself. She and Kerrick must also decide if their feelings for one another are a gift or a threat to both their lives.
The story is terrific and fast-paced. A couple of things that knocked it down a star for me:
Constant repetitive descriptions of the characters' eyes, hair, bodies, favorite drink of choice, etc. We got it the first time, and the second, the third, by the forth time I had to read about Alison's "blue eyes that are rimmed in gold", I was getting fed up. Sometimes this description happened more than once on a single page. Where was the editor?
*SPOILERS HERE* Kerrick's lack of reaction when Alison was physically abused by Endelle: Slammed face down (that would also mean stomach down) while Alison was pregnant. No reaction from Kerrick at all???? And his lack of protest about Endelle forcing Alison into warrior training while she was pregnant. The whole "protective" idea went down the drain.
*SPOILERS HERE* With all of the centuries of rules about humans not being allowed to know about vampires, dimensions, etc., the very last line of the book is about how Alison is going to explain all of it to her sister. Ummm???? Consistency does count towards making a series credible in it's own "world".
I am looking forward to the next book in the series. I'm hoping for better editing to boost the quality of the reading experience. The storyline is very good.