Well, first off I can tell you that Michael Abayomi is a fellow blogger, and please do go and see him and have a peek at his writing and so on. And here's his blog link for you: HERE. Also, I got the first one through Amazon and read it on my Kindle, as it's currently a free e-book. So, to be honest, it's worth getting that one. (It still is a whole story although the adventure continues)
Now lets get down to business.
Guardians and the Lost Paradise series are a 6 part series of novella length books. They center around Daniel, a boy who has recently lost his brother and whose parents are sending him to summer camp. However, all does not exactly go to plan. Daniel wakes up in a strange place after their car crashes and finds himself in the midst of a journey and adventure the likes of which he's never known.
The first book, really, is more like an introduction to the whole series. It introduces everything about the character that we need to know for the rest of the series. But as well as this, it's a good story. He meets guardians and goes on an adventure with dragons and flying unicorns, with some clever references thrown in. What's not to like?
Especially if you're a child yourself. I would say that this series is more suited to children and young adults, but it's a good read for adults too. It had me pretty captivated, though it took me longer to get through it than I would have thought.
Some things that I absolutely loved in this series were the ideas and elements of myth, legend and religion all scattered throuhgout it. Yet it was made into one coherent piece of literature. It worked. I especially liked the Valley of the SHadow of Death. It sounds awesome, and it is.I loved all the ideas that ran though it. The heavenly structure, the mythological creatures, the wilderbeasts and djinn.
But I did find it a little wearing with the speech at times, though it suited the characters. I found this especially in the first book, because I didn't think one of the people should be talking like that. It was too old fashioned for them in my opinion. They are only children and teens after all, though some much older than others.
The themes were good. It dealt with a lot of things that children go through, albeit in different circumstances: Choices, love, death, friendship, brotherhood, good and evil, religion. It was interesting in that aspect, and the author dealt with them well.
Character-wise, the only one I really felt any affinity for was Daniel. I felt bad for some, respected some, but didn't feel too much for them.
There are a few bad points. I did find it predictable. But then again I find Dan Brown books predictable and it takes a lot for me to be surprised in a book or a film, so that's normal. I also thought that it didn't need as much romance as was put in. Some was there for comedy, which I didn't think was needed, and another was there for no reason I could think of. However, I did like one involving Daniel, and the love triangle it caused, as it can help children who could be going through a similar thing.
It ended well, and happily (apart from deaths and whatnot) so I was pleased. I can see similarities with this and other children's books, but none that i know of captures the afterlife in such a way as this. I did enjoy reading the books and encourage you to have a go too, because i guarantee that you'll learn something from them.
So I give these 3 1/2 stars, maybe verging on 4. Because i liked the ideas so much.
And this is where you can find the e-books:
The Journey - Michael Abayomi