A copy of this book was provided by Kaye Publicity in exchange for an honest review.
Amanda Obermann. Code name Iris.
It’s Testing Day. The day that comes without warning, the day when all juniors and seniors at The Peel Academy undergo a series of intense physical and psychological tests to see if they’re ready to graduate and become government operatives. Amanda and her boyfriend Abe are top students, and they’ve just endured thirty-six hours of testing. But they’re juniors and don’t expect to graduate. That’ll happen next year, when they plan to join the CIA—together.
But when the graduates are announced, the results are shocking. Amanda has been chosen—the first junior in decades. And she receives the opportunity of a lifetime: to join a secret government organization called the Annum Guard and travel through time to change the course of history. But in order to become the Eighth Guardian in this exclusive group, Amanda must say good-bye to everything—her name, her family, and even Abe—forever.
Who is really behind the Annum Guard? And can she trust them with her life?
When I was offered a copy Blackout I couldn’t resist saying yes to it and the first book, The Eighth Guardian–the covers are beautiful and they are about a secret government agency focused on time travel.
I was easily drawn into this book because of the fast pacing and ease of which time travel was approached. We are introduced to the main character, Amanda, on her testing day. Testing Day puts the students in hard-core situations for an undetermined length of time to test their physical prowess as well as mental fortitude. I found it to be remarkably easy to disband disbelief to imagine an elite school training teens for specialized work. A tad like X-Men minus the super powers.
The story progressed seamlessly from Amanda’s life at Peel Academy to her life in the Annum Guard. I loved McCardle’s approach to time travel and the mechanics of how it worked. It wasn’t overly sci-fi heavy…this book focused more on the action and mystery of what the Annum Guard’s role is.
There was a touch of romance between Amanda and her long time boyfriend Abe. It was sweet though I never was able to fully get behind them together. I wanted to, but since we’re dropped into them being a couple already I didn’t have that attachment that I get when I read about how a couple begins. The story also doesn’t have all that many scenes between the two so it’s easy to not feel much for Abe. There wasn’t a love triangle in this but I could see one developing later on (I tend to be able to see the possibility in most series). I couldn’t say if anything will develop or not.
The secondary cast of characters mostly focused on the other members of the Annum Guard. There was never a lot of backstory or time spend on any one character though the author did give a nice taste to some of their backgrounds. I think we’ll see more development in future books.
I found The Eighth Guardian to be a successful action book with time travel thrown in. The characters are fun, pacing fast and generally a great read. The side characters were slightly ignored and I never could get fully invested in the romantic aspect but neither detracted from my overall enjoyment.