I'm always reading something, usually multiple books at a time.
Nicholas Hallow was, as far as he'd known, an ordinary 15-year-old boy
growing up in Cambridge with ordinary (if somewhat boring) parents.
However, when his parents die in a suspicious train accident, his life
changes course in ways that he never could have anticipated. Suddenly, he is being sent off to live with a godmother he never knew he had in a foreboding mansion. Suddenly he is aware of an ancient order known as the Sentinels, charged with protecting the world from unseen evil forces most people never suspect exist. And just as he is discovering his connection to this order, it seems that the dark forces are getting stronger and mounting an offensive against these guardians. And Nicholas is discovering that not only is he not ordinary, but that he might just be crucial to ensuring that the Sentinels survive and defeat the mounting threat.
The set-up for this story will seem familiar to most readers: ordinary teenager loses parents, discovers he has special abilities, and must train for his newly revealed destiny. However, the narrative did pull me in and keep my interest. This is the first installment in a trilogy, and we are left in a cliffhangerish place. I will say that I am intrigued enough that I want to read the rest of the series.
Certain things about Nicholas did bother me somewhat. For a while, I kept forgetting that he was fifteen and picturing much younger, perhaps eight or so. That could in part be a function of how adults were treating him in light of his loss, but I'm not entirely sure. Also, I wondered why his godmother didn't make a greater effort to keep him from wandering about in the neighboring village, with the stakes so high, but I guess the plot demanded that he make certain decisions that led to the defining confrontations.
I would recommend this to readers who enjoy a fantasy narrative where a teen protagonist learns to be a badass and kick some evil forces back into the realms where they belong.
(I received this book as a free ARC from the author, in exchange for an honest review.)