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June 2, 2013 / minusbar

Book Review: Sentinel, by Joshua Winning

Book Review: “Sentinel” by Joshua Winning

Who are the Sentinels?

 

They’re everywhere, but you’ve never seen them. The Sentinels are the world’s best-kept secret, but that secret’s about to come out… Are you ready for it?​

 

A dark fantasy series set in Cambridge, Sentinel is the first instalment in the thrilling Sentinel Trilogy, which takes place in a world that everybody knows, but few would recognise. Who are the Sentinels? Who is the mysterious godmother? And why does fifteen-year-old Nicholas Hallow seem to be able to sense things that others can’t? Filled with action and mystery, Sentinel takes the reader on a whirlwind adventure with unconventional heroes and a little bit of magic.

 

There were several things that I liked about Sentinel, written by Joshua Winning. Besides the whole book, that is.

The first is that, as a young adult book (YA), it wasn’t centered around a romance. No, there was no boy-meets-girl or girl-meets-vampire, or even teen-meets-alien. The main character, Nicholas, is a fifteen year old without attachments. I thoroughly enjoyed not having to gag through anything resembling young love. That isn’t to say that there is no affection in the book; the death of Nicholas’ parents affects him very much.

Speaking of the death of his parents, that is another thing that I was pleasantly surprised about. Since this IS a YA book about a young man discovering something previously unknown, I had braced myself for the long, boring introduction that gave me all of the information that I needed to understand the rest of the book. It wasn’t there. Instead, I find the first chapter taken up by a mysterious train wreck, and the following pages filled to the brim with excitement. There were, of course, moments where things were explained, and even a flashback or two. However, the action far outweighed these little interruptions.

Another unusual thing, at least for a YA book, is the point of view. Many books for teens are often told in the first person, usually to give the reader a better connection with the characters. Sentinel is not. Instead, it is more of an omniscient point of view. Although the book centers on Nicholas, it also frequently switches to other characters-up to and including one of the villains. Not to worry though! Winning makes a very smooth transition (sometimes so much so that it took me a moment to realize that it had switched).

The setting, Cambridge and the surrounding countryside, was nice. It was a bit confusing in parts though. The book is set in modern day, but between the flashbacks, language, older people, and old vehicles it really seemed to be in a period before ours. There were moments when I could see that it was indeed set in our own era, but these were sparsely scattered throughout the pages.

Ah, the pages. I regret to say that I was disappointed with the page count, but not in a bad way. At only 250 pages I was sad to reach the end all too quickly! I would have liked to have read more. Winning paces the story well though, and the ending is not rushed

Overall, the book was very good. I was able to tell exactly how much time and effort was put into the writing (which was fabulous) and the story itself. I think that I will definitely be looking forward to the next book in the trilogy.

This book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review and is available in e-format only at Amazon now.

Thanks,

Molly Chenault

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2 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. J.M. Martin (@martinjm70) / Jun 3 2013 12:57 pm

    Sounds cool. I’ll have to check it out. That is one crazy cover, though. Does it have some relevance to the story? Or does the designer just love wingdings?

  2. Molly / Jun 7 2013 4:05 pm

    It is a cool cover! There are elements of the book thrown in the cover, but I don’t want to reveal them before you read 🙂
    Molly

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