Book Title: Girard The Guardian – A True Vampire Novel, Book 1
Author: Ann Christy
Publication Date: August 25, 2019
Available on: Amazon as an eBook and as a paperback
Indie Athenaeum Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Girard is a Guardian vampire who is investigating a school that burned down. One of the missing bodies from that school has now been reanimated by a very dangerous and crafty vampire named Thalia. Hiding out in her mother’s estate, she looks innocent enough… at first.
However, her arrival heralds the reigniting of an ancient war between humans and vampires with a master plan to decimate the world. Girard and his compatriots, fighting to protect their kind and humanity as well, must gather the resources of their entire species to stop Thalia’s nefarious plans from coming to fruition!
This is a fantastic novel that blends in both a sensational plotline about two factions of vampires, one wanting to protect humanity and one trying to harm it. It then weaves them together masterfully that tells a full story brimming with thoughtful and delicious world-building as well as lush characterization. It’s a difficult balance to strike between the two and have them both be spectacular but one informs the other perfectly to make for a riveting read.
One of the authors greatest strengths is her characterization. Girard’s best friend Lila is a vampire historian, Borona is a whiz with technology and Marcus, who’s delightful and welcome comic relief as he experiences this modern world with old eyes. All of them are distinct individuals who are imbued with accumulated wisdom due to their extended lifespans.
In particular, Girard carries the weight of the world on his shoulders with a palpable weariness and experience that comes with being so long-lived. The science behind the vampire world, its history, and connections to important world events are just as engrossing. They’re a hidden culture behind the scenes as the world evolved around it.
These are not your typical blood-sucking vampires. Biologically, they’re very different than you might be used to, which is what makes them so interesting to me. Also, these vampires and their evolution over many centuries are fascinating to read, meticulously crafted and play a critical role in the main story of this novel.
Ultimately, the many mysteries it brings up along the way are addressed in delightful ways and informs how the entire novel unfurls. All of these ingredients together make for an impressive novel that kept my rapt attention right up to the emotionally powerful and completely unexpected ending.
Having read many of the author’s stories in the past, it’s clear to me how the author put her heart and soul into crafting this extraordinary novel, showcasing her best work. It’s also ably demonstrated by the sheer imagination and innovation evident here. I would welcome many more stories in this universe if the author were to chose to do so.
Please note I read this novel when it was originally published as part of the “Dominion Rising” collection in 2017.
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Previous Indie Athenaeum book reviews about stories by Ann Christy include “The Ways We End: Six Tales of Doom” and “Bridge Across the Stars – A Sci-Fi Bridge Original Anthology.”