Imaginative and Fun | Review of ‘The Missing Guardian’ (The Descendants #1)

By Cynthia Ayala

The Missing Guardian by Melanie McFarlane
Snowy Wings Publishing
Image Credit: Goodreads

“Seth Reid didn’t mean to run away with a shapeshifter. When he lost his Dad one year ago, Seth’s world fell apart. On the verge of pushing the rest of his family away, he meets Belvedere, a quirky shapeshifter, who seeks help to eliminate a dark infection that threatens the Four Worlds of Life. But when the guardian of the world of air and wind goes missing, everything falls apart. Seth is pulled into the Void, where he meets a dark figure who’s determined to become one with Seth. On an adventure filled with dragons, elemental crystals, and an unknown prophecy lost over time, Seth questions his ability to help. And the more his doubts grow, the stronger the dark infection becomes. Will his bond with his siblings be enough to stop the infection? And if Seth succeeds, will he finally be able to move past his father’s death?” —Goodreads

Published October 10, 2017, by Snowy Wings Publishing The Missing Guardian by Melanie McFarlane is a fun young adult tale that takes three kids on a wild adventure.

The Missing Guardian was a very cute book to read. Now that is not intended to be dismissive at all to the writing and the story at all because both were well done. However, what is intended by that word is to showcase the vibrant imagination within the novel on the whole. There’s another dimension to the novel that brings the imagination to life as well as the voices of the characters.

The novel follows young Seth, the youngest of three children who has become lost after the death of his father, almost left out by the rest of the family that doesn’t take him seriously or includes him. They baby him, so that aspect of the novel adds depth to the story by exploring the family dynamics. The richness of the family dynamics is the underlining focus of the story that doesn’t get lost within all the imagination and fantasy of the novel. Throughout the trials that they face they become a strong unit, and Seth begins to find his voice within the familial unit, he becomes stronger and less lost within the unit. This focus of writing leads to a lot of character development within the story focusing on those family ties which also serves as the grounding aspect of the story. The characters here are rich, but they are also realistic leading to a smooth connection to the reader, especially young readers who feel as though their voices are not being heard. That is important in a novel for young readers, a connection to the character that resonates throughout the novel. Seth is a kid, often overlooked as most children feel, and yet as he embarks on this journey, he finds his voice. That is compelling writing, making a character so young and so believable at the same time throughout all the fantasy.

It is also a fun story. There are times where the story slows down and lags a bit, but those are the parts where the story decides to go deeper into the characters and their dynamics. Those scenes also are a tad jarring because it almost feels as though the fantasy of the story, the overlying aspect of the story is on pause. Moreover, it is not a subtle pause either. These are the moments when the writing stops being fluid because it goes from fast-paced action to put the brakes on.

Despite that, however, the story is still rich in character development and imagination. The world that has been created here is fun, and it is colorful. There are beings and creatures both unique and, again, fun to watch come to life within the pages. It is an excellent novel for young audiences, but the level of maturity within the family dynamics also makes it enjoyable for older audiences as well. (★★★☆☆ | B+)

Product Details:

Pub Date: Oct. 10, 2017

Page count: 220pp

Age Range: 8 & Over

ISBN: 978-1-9462-0242-0

Publisher: Snowy Wings Publishing

List Price:  $10.99

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