Last month, I read Guardians & The Lost Paradise: The Journey, by Michael Abayomi. Here is my review:
Danny is a young boy who has recently
moved to Canada with his parents after the death of his older
brother, Kevin. His parents are trying to move on from the death of
their older son, but it still haunts the family. One day they are all
in a terrible car accident, and when Danny awakes he finds himself in
the Eden - the Lost Paradise; a world between worlds, where the dead
go before moving on to the next stage of the Afterlife. Dragons, evil
Reapers, and flying unicorns populate this world.
Danny is introduced to the Guardians, a
group of people tasked with escorting lost souls through Eden into
whatever world awaits them, and - surprise - Danny’s older brother
is one of them. Together they set off on a journey across the Lost
Paradise that sends them through forests full of lost souls, a valley
of shadows and halls of haunted mirrors.
The Lost Paradise is the first in a
five part series. It is a novella length story and suffers for it.
Abayomi creates a vivid world full of possibilities, and each new
obstacle in Danny’s journey has so much potential, but everything
happens so quickly that I was left wishing for more. The only part that I felt any sort of tension was during their trek through the valley of shadows, and if the rest of the story was written like that it would have been great. The author is
obviously a good writer, but perhaps because his protaganist is a
child, and the series seems to be geared towards a YA audience he
didn’t think he needed to (or should) create much suspense or round
out his characters. When the story starts out, he describes how the
death of Kevin has affected Danny and his parents, and you get a
sense of the sadness that hovers over this family, but once Danny is
reunited with Kevin there is very little that attracts you to the
character. The world - yes; the people in it - not so much. There is a
hint of potential for character growth in the last chapter, so
perhaps that comes later in the series.
Final verdict: I give it three out of
five pineapples. It could easily have been a four even a four and a
half if the story and characters were more rounded out.
I haven’t decided what I’m going to
review for next month, so I guess it will be a surprise for all of