Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Guardian: To Run With the Swift by Gerald Lund

From the bombed-out ruins of Munich, Germany, in the last days of World War II to a lavish present-day castle in Switzerland, this sequel to The Guardian (published in Fall 2013), weaves a vivid, heart-stopping tale of resilience, resolve, and revenge as Danni McAllister and her family discover the real reason they have been targeted by international terrorists. The astonishing secrets and unexpected powers of the pouch, dating back nearly two hundred years, take center stage in a plot filled with surprising twists and turns as Danni finds herself locked in an extraordinary battle of courage and fortitude that will determine the fate of her family and her role as the Keeper of the Pouch—or risk losing both forever.

I have seen this series sitting on the shelves at the bookstore but I haven't had a chance to read it until now.  This is the second book in this series and it is a big,thick book- 587 pages to be exact!  That's a lot of book, right?  The first book is just as big.  My thanks right up front to Deseret Book/Shadow Mountain for providing the books for this review.

If you have ever read anything by Gerald Lund, you know he knows his craft.  He's been writing for so many years, successfully.  His research is obvious and he can paint real vibrant mental pictures through his words.  This series is a bit different than anything he has ever done.  At least for me.

Lund takes his time weaving a story of intrigue and mystery with a bit of the magical.  This story moves slowly but allows you a chance to really get to know the characters and the history.  My favorite parts were the jumps back in time and history.  The back story, if you will.  

This book kind of reminded me of those old radio programs that used to come on in episodes each week.  (wait, I don't actually KNOW how those were but I've heard about them. haha)  This story would be exactly right for a family gathering around the radio on a Sunday night.  The author mentions how this started out as a bedtime story he used to tell his kids.  (lucky kids!)  I think it would be a fun book to read aloud as a family.

Danni is a fiesty girl.  She struggles with typical teenage insecurities and drama but generally comes off much older than she actually is.  Her family has been through a lot in this book (and the first book).  There are so many bad guys!    Danni is really quite resourceful and brave.  She is loyal to her family and friends.  She really wants to live up to expectations placed before her but she is human and young and she makes mistakes.  As a reader, I see real growth in Danni.  When she has those moments when she just gets it, I feel a sense of victory with her.

Overall this series has been a good one.  It's clean, family friendly reading.  It's not an action packed, in your face sort of read that propels you forward.  It's movement is more sedate- ebbing and flowing.  Still good, just a different style of good.

You can find The Guardian series at Amazon or Deseret Book.

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