Sentinel by Joshua Winning

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(Remember, even though this book was sent to me as a review copy, it will not and has not affect(ed) what I say or think about the book in any way, full details over the site policy.)

A few weeks ago the guys at Peridot Press reached out to me and asked whether I’d like to get two free books from The Sentinel Trilogy to review for the blog. I unfortunately took a bit of time getting round to them, (and this is just the review of the first book they sent me, Sentinel, but the review of Ruins is on the way!) but I have a few things I’d like to say and so that’s what I’m going to do!

There’s an unknown force in the world, the world’s best kept secret: the Sentinels. Working to protect you from the underworld and dark forces who are out to get you, they’ve been largely successful. Kept a secret. Until now. The Sentinels are being attacked, an ancient evil determined to get their revenge once again, and they are being murdered one by one. Fifteen year old Nicholas’s parents have just been killed in a crash, and he’s taken to Cambridge to meet some long lost relatives, but godparents aren’t the only thing he’ll find out about himself in Cambridge.

Before I begin, I should say that I feel like this book was a dark, mysterious fantasy kind of novel, which isn’t what I usually read, though I have a friend who’s very into fantasy, so this might be a must-read for anyone who has read and enjoys fantasy.

That said, I actually really liked this book.

The typeface may be heavy, and in fact someone told me that it reminded them of reading a textbook which really put them off of reading it, and frankly, I can see how it could turn people away from this book. But I’ve been assured by the publishers that the typeface was made lighter for Ruins, which is next for me to read, so it’s been fixed!

The story is original, but I can sense a few traits of many other books involved in this, probably too many to list. Weirdly enough I found myself thinking of the Mortal Instruments series, Spiderwick (though I have no idea where that came from!) and several others as well. Fans of fantasy, like I said, should go read this!

The book had many different unique traits about it though as well. Sure, the idea of underworld forces and people protecting us against them is by no means new, but I don’t think I’ve heard of it just being ordinary people in ordinary places. If you have, please let me know. But it’s for that reason that I can’t recommend other books if you liked this.

I would’ve liked to see more development in the characters in this book though. Nicholas is 15, I know that, but books usually like to tell me their age and height, and that’s about it. Hopefully this will be built upon in Ruins, but that’s my other problem.

This book was written with it being part of a trilogy in mind. It can’t be read without you going to buy the next book. Books that do this wind me up, because it should be the case where the first book can be a standalone. For example, you can read Divergent by Veronica Roth but it’s not necessary for you to go and buy Insurgent and Allegiant. With Sentinel, if you like the story, you need to go and buy Ruins to further understand it and know what the first book didn’t tell you. If I can get a bit personal here, it may be a money-making technique. I’m not saying that it’s just this book, other books have done it too. It’s more of a personal musing: books that do this get a few brownie points knocked off by me.

I will be reading Ruins in a bit and the review should that be up in the next week or two. I’m looking forward to sharing my thoughts on that with you then!

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