Monday, June 19, 2023

Today's read... The Guidal: Unearthing Secrets by Roxy Eloise

Today's read is the second in a series, which I highlighted last year, when the first book was released but didn't get around to reading until now. Not because I didn't want to, there there are so many good books and so little time!

Anyway, today I'm concentrating on book two but can say that book one did pull me in. If book two is even 90% as good, I'll be hooked. I could say more but am just going to head right in to the review.

The Guidal #2
by Roxy Eloise
Entrada Publishing
YA Science Fiction / Fantasy
434 pages

After discovering Puracordis, Aurora withholds something extraordinary. She begins to harness the overwhelming power she possesses and is conflicted whether to share her secret. Young Enforcers have a strict upbringing, conditioned to obey and uphold laws. Revealing her secret is a crime punishable by death and could result in her losing everything.
Aurora is still dealing with the rejection from her betrothed, and her emotions are running high when she has to compete in a survival-of-the-fittest game with him. But Aurora's interactions with an outsider have her distracted.
Whilst trying to navigate her complicated life, manage heartache, and figure out what being the Guidal means, Aurora is plagued with nightmares, tormenting her with the horrific death of a friend. She realises not everyone is who they seem, and her need to stay hidden has never been so crucial.
Friends, bullies, and a touch of something magical, Aurora carries a heavy load and could lose more than she envisaged.

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Trust is nearly impossible in a world, where martial tyranny rules, magic is a plague, and one girl finds herself in a dangerous weave of reality and lies.

This takes off right where book one ended and can't be read as a stand-alone. This is a series, which does need to be read in order.

Aurora is just beginning to touch the surface of the knot of lies and secrets surrounding her and those around her. While she's slowly accepting her ability to use magic, the need to hide it only grows. With all the drama and problems happening around her, though, keeping a secret isn't her only problem. Friendship and love interests have been her foundation in a tough world, and even these can no longer be trusted. 

While Aurora has grown since the beginning of book one, she's still just beginning to realize what her future expects. She's still a bit mouthy and has a quick temper, but she's beginning to mature and gain patience and caution. Like in book one, the author does a very good job at character development and not only with Aurora. Those around her have their own histories, goals, secrets, and intentions. And not all of them are easy to recognize. Especially the romance end, filters in more than a few highs and lows as the plot twists and turns.

The background and history of this world gain depth in this second novel, while the intrigue builds. It's carefully woven, which makes it easy to sink into the action and adventure. There are more than a few surprises, and just as many emotional moments. The mix of scifi with magic creates a vivid world, and with the constant threat of danger, it's a hard book to put down. It's just as grabbing as the first book and holds the promise of much more excitement to come.

Quick glimpse at book one:

As mentioned, the book above should not be read before completely the first one. These books end on huge cliff-hangers (like a break in a movie) and take off right where the other one left off. It's not my favorite type of ending, but I'm going to forgive that aspect, since I did enjoy the reads quite a bit.

This first book reminds a bit of Divergent in so far that there is a military school, where kids are raised to enforce their government's rules...but the basis for the society and these schools is very different than other dystopian reads. Plus, there's the edition of magic but ever-so-light in this first read. 

I did get lost in the pages right away and found myself reading this in one sitting. There is a bit of a love triangle, which wasn't quite my thing, but it does promise all sorts of unexpected twists for the rest of the series. 

There are action scenes, secrets, heart-filled moments, and romance. Dystopian fans who want a mix of tech and magic will enjoy this one.

1 comment:

Natalie Aguirre said...

I know what you mean about having too many books to read. Glad you enjoyed book 2 as much as book 1. It's good to know that we should start with the first book in the series.