Syd was never meant to survive the virus he carried in his blood, the virus that brought down the all powerful Network. With the collapse of the Network all debt was erased and everyone became equal no matter what their past, and the ones who once held power are dead, gone, or being rehabilitated. In this new post-Jubilee world Syd has become a figurehead for the new regime, the mighty Yovel who saved them all and brought an end to the world of debt and Proxies, but Syd is uncomfortable with his status, after all it was Know who gave his life to the machine - not Syd. But to keep the peace for the new regime he is Yovel in public, and that makes him a target for his enemies from the past, and the new enemies who believe that killing Yovel will restart the Machine and bring the Networks back. Syd's lifeline is a bodyguard who follows him everywhere, a task that is more challenging than Liam expected.
Increasingly disillusioned with the world he is living in, Syd starts to ask questions - but he is asking the wrong questions. In this brave new world a disease has appeared that leaves the skin almost transparent, the veins showing black through the skin as the blood burns. At first the disease strikes the former Guardians, the people who kept the peace and enforced the law - they are now pathetic creatures that can not speak, and seem lost to the disease. When it starts to spread to normal people Syd realises that he has to do something to stop the disease, especially when he realises that he is part of the cause. But it is not safe to speak out against the establishment, especially when you are Yovel and the saviour of the people. especially when your words could be seen as treason. With his life at stake, Syd is willing to risk it all to help prevent the disease from taking any more lives, but there are those determined to silence him at any cost.
Guardian is a worthy sequel for Proxy, a story that winds around itself with conspiracies and betrayal at the centre, and friendships and loyalty winding through the twists and turns in the plot. The story begins and ends with a bang, with plenty of moments of action and drama in between - a roller coaster ride of discoveries and threats that keep you guessing about what is going to happen next. The end of Proxy was vaguely hopeful, the system was brought down and there was hope, and you begin with that feeling but it quickly twists to become a system as corrupt as the one before it. Syd is caught in the centre of a conspiracy that would rather see him dead than turn against him, and it will take all of his stubborn strength and hard earned street smarts to get him to the other side.
Guardian feels like it is targeted at a slightly older audience than Proxy, including more graphic descriptions of fights and death, which for me pushes into more of a true teen category than for 'tweens as well. Some 'tweens may cope with the increase in violence but not all, and the descriptions of the disease were a little stomach churning too (I made the mistake of reading some of them when I was trying to eat morning tea) though I have read worse. The writing seemed a little smoother this time around too, with a little more polish and while some parts of the story stretched my ability to believe completely in the story, they were appropriate for the story and I just had to "get over it". A thoroughly enjoyable read and there is the possibility of more books in the series, or at least in the world, but that may just be a feeling.
If you like this book then try:
- Proxy by Alex London
- The here and now by Ann Brashares
- Eve by Anna Carey
- The testing by Joelle Charbonneau
- The hunger games by Suzanne Collins
- Breathe by Sarah Crossan
- The hunt by Andrew Fukuda
- When we wake by Karen Healey
- XVI by Julia Karr
- The limit by Kristin Landon
- Legend by Marie Lu
- The Declaration by Gemma Malley
- Arrival by Chris Morphew
- ACID by Emma Pass
- Divergent by Veronica Roth
- Article 5 by Kristin Simmons
- Inside out by Maria V. Snyder
- Renegade by J.A. Souders
- Slated by Teri Terry
- Numbers by Rachel Ward
- Variant by Robison Wells
- What's left of me by Kat Zhang
Reviewed by Brilla