The Guardian, A Sword & Stilettos (Review)

The Guardian, a Sword, & Stilettos 
By Kristin D. Van Risseghem
| 280 pages | May 20th 2015| Kasian Publishing |
Rating: 3/5

Zoe Jabril could be just another 17-year-old girl attending parties with her friends and checking out cute guys—except her best friend is a Guardian Angel, and the boy she crushes on is a Nephilim, half-angel, both sent to Earth to protect her. A high school classmate happens to be a trendsetting shopaholic fairy. And now there’s a new werewolf in town.

Zoe has to deal with her feelings toward Shay, who spreads a strange electrical current through her body every time he touches her. Now Zoe is under constant attack from demons, trying to kill and stop her from fulfilling the Prophecy: a girl will be born who will unite the Enlightens to battle evil. Then on top of that, between boring homework and drama with girls at school, she has to control new found talents if she’s to prevent the devil from escaping Hell.

In order to do so, Zoe must devise a kick-ass plan ASAP or watch everyone die, because she’s running out of time. She turns eighteen in two months—the date Armageddon kicks off.

This book was well written and a fun concept filled with all sorts of magical creatures hidden in plain sight. I love when a story incorporates fantasy into the real world, it gives it such a magical feeling. It started off with really good promise and I did find myself intrigued by the story, but then things got convoluted with an ‘instalove/soulmate’ plot. While everyone dreams of their love at first sight moment, let’s be real, it hardly ever happens.

I was a bit creeped out by the stalker half-angel. It would have been one thing if he had been watching her from afar, protecting her unknowingly and gradually something developed. Instead, he inserted himself into her life and basically tried to use this fact to his advantage to get together with her. #Creepy.  Most times I speed read through a book, addicted to the story and only dwell on these things afterward. This was one of those moments for me. While reading I was sucked into the story, but after I put it down I thought, actually that’s kind of weird.

I did like that there was a female friendship in this book, a real one that wasn’t entirely dominated by jealousy or competition (I’m looking at you Gossip Girl). It was a refreshing.

Here’s the thing. When I’m reading a book I really have to like the main character, or love to hate them. In this case, 17 year-old Zoe was not likable and not villainous enough to love to hate. The way she accepted her prophesized destiny  was reminiscent of the film Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior. She didn’t take anything seriously. She was far more concerned about her prom dress, the perfect shoes, and her angel boyfriends than what people thought of her than saving the world.  She constantly talks about training to protect herself from the would be Demon Assassins but we never actually see her get around to doing that. I don’t know if my priorities are just wrong, but that would probably be my first stop once all of this began to unravel.

I liked the secondary characters more than I liked the main characters. I would sooner have picked up a book about Sidelle than Zoe. I do want to see where this story will go, and hopefully more action. I also would love to see more of Kieran he was one of my favorites. It had a promising start and would definitely read the second book.

I’m not sure the cover was well suited for the YA genre in the sense that if I had seen it at the bookstore, I wouldn’t have been drawn in to pick it up, I would have suspected it had been misplaced. It looks like more of an adult fiction, a Debbie Macomber or Maeve Binchy style cover.

I want to thank the author for a free review copy of this book.

Kristin D. Van Risseghem grew up in a small river town along the Mississippi River with her parents and older sister. And after receiving a double Bachelor of Science degree from Winona State University in Paralegal and Corrections, she worked as a Paralegal for various law firms around the Twin Cities for 14 years. Then she left the legal field and is now a Senior Buyer for a technology company.

Currently, Kristin lives in Minnesota with her husband and two Calico cats. She also loves attending book clubs, going shopping, and hanging out with friends. She has come to realize that she absolutely has an addiction to purses and shoes. They are her weakness and probably has way too many of both.

In the summer months, Kristin can usually be found lounging on her boat, drinking an ice cold something. Being an avid reader of YA and Women's Literature stories, she still finds time to read a ton of books in-between writing. And in the winter months, her main goal is to stay warm from the Minnesota cold!

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