Books Review

Review: The Guardian by C.J. Gosling

December 20, 2010

The Guardian is book one in the “Shadowlands Series” by new author, C.J. Gosling and is slated to be released this February.

A hidden world, known as the Shadowlands, threatens ours with darkness and magical violence. To protect both worlds, boundary lines were drawn. No one can cross from one to the other without risking open war.


After the fire that killed Tavin’s mother, his grief-stricken father disappeared, abandoning him and his sister Moreanna. Tavin and Moreanna share a secret psychic connection. Sometimes, her presence is the only thing that keeps Tavin sane. When a mysterious sickness threatens Moreanna’s life, Tavin`s connection to his sister begins to fade. With the discovery of a magical universe through a hidden door in his grandfather`s attic, Tavin desperately hopes a cure may be within his grasp.

“No trespassing” becomes an easy rule to break. 

C.J. Gosling’s writing is pretty descriptive and I think her best descriptions are those surrounding natural things, like the sky, the elements, and the weather. At times they’re a little too vivid, but they enabled me to imagine exactly what she was describing. The dialogue seemed a little off, in my opinion. Most of the time it read smoothly, but it was awkward at parts and almost too formal. Also, some of Tavin’s dialogue didn’t come across as very teen-like.

The story is told in the third person, which made it easy to get to know several of the characters and experience everything through various “eyes”. I really liked being able to do that and felt like I received a pretty well-rounded view of the story. The focus is almost always on Tavin, but it shifts to Aria a few times and I found the shifts a little jarring.

The plot is really interesting, though, and the story moves at a nice pace. Not too fast and not too slow. Tavin returns to the human world a couple of times between action scenes and those changes in setting provided a nice breather from all the action.

I LOVE the cover, too! It’s bright, flashy, and quite epic looking. There’s a gorgeous red filigree pattern at the top that swirls down and the image of Tavin is exactly how I pictured him to look. The beautiful artwork doesn’t stop there, however. Inside the book above each chapter heading is an illustration done by Angela Souza. They add an extra dash of enchantment to the book and I loved trying to guess how the pictures related to the events in the chapter.

Before I end this review, I would also like to mention the publisher, Brighter Books. They have been nothing but nice and when they sent me a copy of The Guardian to review, they also included an informational packet about their company and it was extremely well put together. I know they’re working on hard on new titles, so I can’t wait to see what’s coming up next!

Overall, I liked The Guardian. I didn’t love it, but I certainly didn’t hate it. Sometimes it was confusing and I didn’t know what just happened, but I think this was my fault as I wanted to keep reading, resulting in reading too quickly. I hope to see more of Moreanna in the sequel and I can’t wait to see what Ms. Gosling has in store for Tavin!

For more information on the book and C.J. Gosling’s writing, please visit:

C.J. Gosling Facebook Page
Author Blog 

And to find out more about the publisher, Brighter Books, you can visit their WEBSITE.

(synopsis and cover image taken from Ms. Gosling’s blog)

  • Reply
    December 20, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    Nice Review! I will have to check it out!

  • Reply
    December 20, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    Great review DJ! I like your review, very balanced. I haven’t heard of this before but I’m looking it up right now.

  • Reply
    December 20, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    Great review! Love the cover also…:)

  • Reply
    Alex Bennett
    December 20, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    This one looks good!

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