The Eighth Guardian by Meredith McCardle

So far, I have learned one thing about myself from blogging book reviews: I tend to read similar books back to back. (See Exile for Dreamers and A Murder in Time) I’m not sure how this phenomenon occurs because I certainly don’t plan these things out. I just read based off of what mood I’m in. Well, I guess it does kind of make sense then, huh? But either way, right after finishing Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor I picked this book up. While the two stories are similar in that they involve time travelling, they actually travel in different parts of the world. Whereas the Dim was located in Scotland and the Viators travelled back in time to 12th century London, The Eighth Guardian takes place in the United States, specifically in Massachusetts (and they travel to multiple time periods).

The synopsis of this story is what really attracted me. Peel Academy is a place where the CIA, FBI, and other unknown and unnamed agencies obtain employees (think intelligence operatives) right after graduation. Peel Academy puts its students through the wringer. They have to take tests that are demanding physically and mentally. They have to take these tests not once, but twice. The first time as juniors, the second as seniors. But most students at Peel Academy are not selected for service until they are a senior. Amanda, our MC in this case, is the first junior to be selected in decades. She’s whisked away to a separate room where she has her first induction in to what is known as the Annum Guard, a company whose purpose is to complete time travel missions.

This was a different take on the time travel genre in that, where most characters avoid altering anything in the past, Meredith McCardle goes full speed ahead and creates an agency whose sole purpose is to go back in time and make minute adjustments to make the future a better place.

This book was pretty fast-paced and I was able to move through it rather quickly. There were quite a few story lines that were kind of sloppily done But really, I just kind of have one main plot-spoiling question?

For an agency filled with some of the brightest, most cunning young people on the planet, how did they not grasp the idea sooner that the head of Annum Guard was taking on missions that yielded him the most profit from paying clients? Especially considering the fact that one of Amanda’s first missions with Annum Guard was to prevent a Senator from making it to Capitol Hill on time to vote for a piece of legislation that would require a large amount of funding, that a Senator from the present had earmarked for other ventures, had it not been spent in the past? I have all the questions.                                    

Hint: If you really want to read my spoiler, just highlight between the two rams. 🙂  Thank you to CW over at Read, Think, Ponder for the idea. Brilliant.

All in all this was an engaging read with a different spin on the whole concept of time travel. As with Into the Dim, I don’t think I’ll be picking up the sequel to this one.

Overall score:

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Also, please feel free to drop any time travel reads that you love in to the comments. My TBR could always use a few more books on it. 😉

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