If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all. - Oscar Wilde
We shouldn't teach great books; we should teach a love of reading. - B. F. Skinner
No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting. - Mary Wortley Montagu

Monday, September 15, 2014

Review: Guarding Angel by S.L. Saboviec / @Saboviec



Series & Title: Fallen Redemption, Book 1: Guarding Angel
Author: S.L. Saboviec
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
Publisher: S.L. Saboviec
Release Date: May 19, 2014
Genre: Fantasy
ARC Received From & Reviewed For: S.L. Saboviec


Guardian angel Enael can’t seem to keep her human Wards in check. They’re the ones who choose their paths before reincarnating—she’s just there to help make sure they stay on track. But it’s not as easy as it might look.

When she meets and falls in love with charismatic Kaspen, a fellow Guardian, Enael’s feelings about Heaven, Hell, demons, and the life she’s known are turned upside down. Worse, angel-turned-demon Yasva, Kaspen’s former love, still holds him in her clutches. Even as Yasva works toward obtaining complete control of Earth, she taunts and haunts Kaspen’s and Enael’s lives.

Now Enael is forced to face her past (which is centuries long and bursting with secrets), her present (which is terribly unfulfilling and full of questions), and her future (which becomes more uncertain as time passes). Armed with a newfound love and fear of losing it all, she must figure out how to save the world—-and the angel she loves. Which side will win? Who will Kaspen choose? Will Heaven and Earth continue to exist, or will everything go to Hell?

Enael was more human than I expected her to be. Despite being a supernatural being charged with keeping her Wards on track, she suppresses any desire to connect with them. She was more a jailor than guardian in that she refused to really understand who her Wards were. It was plain to see they were more than just a human who chose a path and needed an unseeing guide to ensure they stayed on that path. They were souls reincarnated multiple times whose histories revealed their thought processes, their heart's desires, their needs and wants, their strengths and weaknesses. But Enael couldn't understand any of that until she met Kaspen.

Kaspen was an interesting angel. He wasn't afraid to delve into what his Wards were feeling. He embraced the madness that was human emotions, finding beauty in the outcome of those emotions being acted on. But he wasn't reckless. He was just more willing to connect with his Wards than Enael was with hers because he understood them. He got to know them through their life books. They were like diaries, tracking the reincarnated life of every soul on earth. They were a gold mine of information for the soul's current guardian. Reading them was just words on paper; laying a hand flat on a page transported the guardian into that person's body, giving the guardian first hand experience of what that person experienced. Kaspen used these to books to his advantage; Enael did not until he made her do it.

Kaspen and Enael's relationship was more than interesting. Who knew angels could fall in love with one of their own? Ms. Saboviec's angels do, and that aspect lends a few interesting twists to this story as it develops. Enael's loved before, but he hurt her badly. Kaspen also has loved before, but his love is jealous, alive, and fallen. She's a former muse wrecking havoc on earth as a demon bent on ruling the world. Kaspen and Enael had enough on their plate, individually and as a couple, when it became obvious they were brought together for a reason that was greater than being soul mates. They were predestined to stop Kaspen's ex's plans.

It broke my heart when they fell--Kaspen because he felt unworthy, Enael because she wanted her love back--and it was hard to accept that Heaven would so willingly let them go without a fight. I won't lie; I was angry that Ms. Saboviec created a Heaven where Archangels didn't seem to care about guardians, that those who fell were not worth saving, not worthy of redemption. I kept asking myself, "If their Wards' souls are worth saving, why aren't they?"

Enael's journey from distant to passionate as a guardian was heartbreaking, thought-provoking, and multi-faceted. I wondered at her ability to be a great guardian to her Wards, and questioned her resistance to becoming a better guardian. But I smiled when she fell in love again, and melted when she declared her feelings to Kaspen. My heart jumped out of my chest when he fell, effectively cutting himself off from her and what they had. And, like I said, I was angry at Heaven and the Archangels when Enael sought their help and they refused.

The best books I've read are the ones that make you feel, that demand a reaction to whatever the author has written. This isn't a fast-paced book. This isn't about fire and brimstone raining down on earth. This isn't a battle for one person's soul. This is a well-written, slow-paced story about an angel who wants to understand her true place in Heaven, who falls in love, and who discovers that there is more to her home and superiors than she could ever imagine. It's long, it's slightly wordy, but it was worth reading. The end hinted at another book. Will there be another, Ms. Saboviec? I hope so!




Samantha grew up in a small town in Iowa but now lives in the suburbs of Toronto with her Canadian husband and expatriate cat. In her spare time, she reads, writes, and thinks about reading and writing—along with playing the occasional video game or eight.

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