01/11/2010. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts
pub: Gollancz. 336 page enlarged paperback. Price: GBP 12.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-0-575-08326-4.
check out websites: www.orionbooks.co.uk and www.jainfenn.com
Jaine Fenn’s ‘Guardians Of Paradise’ is set in the same reality as her two previous books ‘Principles Of Angels’ and ‘Consort Of Heaven’ although you would have to look twice as if this was written by the same author. It lacks the emotional content, intricacy and danger that made the earlier books stand out with events reported rather than felt along with the characters and there is little connection to the characters. It’s even more worrying when there is also a reliance on dialogue to propel the plot and a bigger need to wrap a story around the words as you invariably lose track of the objectives.
The plot revolves around two angel assassins, Nual and Taro, who after apparently being reported dead are travelling to seek out whether a dangerous extinct species, the Sidhe, is still alive. Information beyond that point might constitute spoiler territory, except I came away with not really caring one way or the other.
Every author is likely to have a book that doesn’t work and I hope, for Fenn’s sake, that this is hers because it’s certainly not as impressive as her earlier work. It almost makes me wonder if she had a tight deadline and just had to get on with it or just let loose an earlier story. The book industry is just that, an industry with deadlines and obligations to fulfil, but the authors would do better to have a bit more breathing space to ensure the work they produce equals earlier standards even if it means re-arranging the schedule a little.
Part of me hopes it was just how I was reading this book and if nothing else I hope Jaine Fenn learns what needs to be done next time to put some heart back into her stories because I know she’s far better than this book.
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