Samhain Publishing, $4.50, ISBN 978-1-60504-529-0
Fantasy Romance, 2009
RG Alexander returns to the lands of Weres, Truebloods (the natural born vampires), and Unborns (the vampires that were made), in Twilight Guardian, the third book in her Children of the Goddess series. You can try to read this one as a standalone story, but I won’t advise it since from the first page you will be bombarded with fancy made-up words that will mean nothing to you if you are new to the series as well as many characters with pre-established relationships and various references to events that took place in previous stories. It’s been a while since I read the previous story, so I’m quite lost myself. If you are new to the series, therefore, well… good luck to you.
Where we last see these spooks, times are changing. The Were packs are slowly but surely learning to coexist and the Truebloods are starting to treat the Unborns as equal spooks instead of lowborn pariahs. Sure, changes aren’t happening overnight, but they are taking place nonetheless. In this one, we have Kit the Sariel Guardian falling for Jesse, a photographer, while they are in a plot involving the discovery of Jesse’s actual bloodlines, Kit’s emo showcase, and an angry god.
One thing I know for sure about Twilight Guardian is that if I do not have to hear any hero call the heroine “angel” any time soon, I’d be grateful. The author really overdoes it with that term of endearment here.
On the bright side, this is an interesting story, although it takes much more effort than I’d have liked to recall details from previous books and piece them together. The author sometimes seems to forget that readers are not able to “see” the story that she has in her imagination, leaving readers like me to struggle to catch up with her. With so many details, recurring characters, and plot lines continued from previous stories here, it takes considerable time and energy to look up the previous two stories to remember who is who and to figure out what all those fancy names like “Sariel” mean. This would be a far more enjoyable read if the author has taken some time to fill in readers on some backstory or at least give some clues to allow readers to figure out what all those made-up words in this story mean.
I think I can like this story better if I didn’t have to sift through previous stories, pause at occasional moments to wonder whether I should remember who a particular character is or understand a reference to some events in the pass, and feel at the end of the day as if I’ve just finished a particularly tough research assignment given by a school teacher.