Goodreads: The Blood Guard
Series: The Blood Guard #1
Ronan Truelove thought his biggest problem was trying to fit in at school (a tough feat when your first name is actually Evelyn), until the day his mother shows up and tells him they have to run for their lives. As it turns out, she is a member of a secret society called the Blood Guard dedicated to preventing the apocalypse, but now her cover has been blown. Suddenly Ronan finds himself alone and racing across the country trying to find the Guard, and all he can think is that he now understands why his mother made him take gymnastics.
The Blood Guard opens with a bang and from there the action never stops. Full of high-stakes chase scenes, intense fighting sequences, and unexplained magic, this story is the king that begs to be read in one sitting.
Carter Roy draws readers into the story by introducing them to his world at the same time he introduces his protagonist Ronan to it. Ronan has never heard of the Blood Guard, the order to which his mother belongs, and he has no one to explain the Guard to him. He is running from an enemy he knows nothing about for reasons he knows nothing about, all while attempting to find an order he knows nothing about. His confusion as he jumps into this whirlwind adventure mirrors the confusion of the readers, and both Ronan and his audience will find themselves racing ahead to attempt to find answers.
Readers, however, do possess knowledge Ronan cannot. Because they understand that he is in a story and that stories tend to follow certain rules, guessing the “twists” in the plot is never hard. I predicted the ending a couple chapters in. It is a testament to Roy’s skill that the story proves interesting regardless.
Though I found the mythology of the world a little strange (and more than a little hard to believe), I thought the rest of the elements quite inventive. Roy takes the rules of his world and pushes them to the limit, constantly asking “what if?” and pursuing the answer. Certainly the book contains no dull moments.
The Blood Guard is a solid contribution to the middle-grade fantasy adventure shelf. I look forward to the sequel.