Guest Review: Guardians of Stone

Guardians of Stone
The Relic Seekers, Book 1

Author: Anita Clenney
Pages: 311
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Publication Date: December 4, 2012
Source: Publisher sent unsolicited copies for review

Description from Goodreads:
Kendall Morgan is a human bloodhound. Spending her childhood hunting relics with her ambitious archeologist father, she knew the two of them shared a sixth sense for the history and location of objects—sometimes even people. What she didn’t know was that their paranormal gift could ultimately be their undoing.

After the tragic plane crash that killed her father as well as her childhood best friend, Kendall dedicated her life to finding and protecting relics. When mysterious, sexy billionaire Nathan Larraby hires her for his latest expedition—the search for four powerful relics —she’s thrown into a world of high-octane danger. He sends brooding mercenary Jake Stone to watch Kendall’s back, but he may have created danger of a different kind.

As the team chases down clues, a man called the Reaper makes a play for the artifacts and will stop at nothing to put them to his own sinister use. What’s worse is that Nathan hasn’t told the whole story, and the dark secrets he’s keeping could cost them the mission…and their lives. 
First Sentence: “‘Why can’t I go with you?’ Kendall asked.”

The following review was kindly supplied by my mother, who raised me to be the bookish creature I am today:

The publisher sent this unsolicited book, Guardians of Stone, to my daughter for extra publicity on her blog. It was billed by the company as a ‘paranormal romance’, and as that genre is more in my normal reading sphere than hers, she asked me to tell her whether she should read it. I took the book, and said that I would write a review for her. Whether she uses it on the blog, before or after editing the review is entirely up to her. Also whether she chooses to read the book and use her own review, is obviously for her to decide.

The cover of this book by Anita Clenney gives the title as Guardians of Stone but this is followed by the information that it is “A Relic Seekers Novel”. About the first 100 pages of the book follow a romance format of boy-meets-girl. In this case the girl is an archeologist, Kendall, who was hired away from the Smithsonian by a rich man, Nathan, who has a private collection to curate and who remains on the lookout for additions to be procured; the boy, Jake, has been hired or coerced by this millionaire to accompany Kendall on a dangerous hunt in Italy. Jake uses sexual come-ons to keep this independent career woman at arm’s length, although they have some attraction to each other. Unfortunately, in my opinion, this part of the book rates only about two stars; I kept feeling that there was information missing about the characters that would probably be known had I read other books in this series; and having finished the book I think that only part of those were foreshadowing of revelations to come in this book.

While reading this section I spoke with the blogger, and she told me that she had the impression this was not the continuation of a series, so those places where I felt somewhat ‘at a loss’ would be so for other readers. I investigated the back of the book and found “Indiana Jones meets Stephanie Plum in best-selling author Anita Clenney’s new series about a gutsy treasure hunter with a rare gift, and the two men vying for her heart.” Having now finished the book, I clearly see the connection to Indian Jones – after you get into the final 200 pages. About the only connections I see to the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich are that there are two men competing for the heroine’s attentions and that the book ‘transcends’ the limitations of the romance genre, including that there is not a boy-gets-girl phase; however, the Kendall is much more competent than Stephanie, and there is much more action than humor. If I were asked to make a better comparison than Stephanie Plum, it would be Stephanie Meyer’s The Host since that novel also involves a strong heroine and a long set-up phase for the great read that follows, and it also has more of the paranormal abilities feeling.

I don’t want to say too much about the latter two-thirds of the book, since I do not want to spoil the fun for the readers. I will say that the three main characters combine to make up the ‘Indiana Jones’ protagonist. Obviously Kendall, is the closest but Nathan is much more capable than Indiana’s professorial colleague who does not deal well in the hunt in the field, while Jake hates bones rather than snakes. And like in the Indiana Jones movies, our protagonists are not the only force actively hunting for a relic of power. My favorite quote comes after an opposing hunter has pushed Kendal into a coffin in the catacombs and Jake and Nathan have rescued her before the opponent gets what he wants.

“First you might want to return this corpse’s finger.” Jake pointed to the bone stuck in her belt.

Any other girl would have screamed. He would have if he’d been a girl. Kendall just looked startled, and then restored the bone to its owner. They walked to the spot where the old monk lay. When they stepped over the fallen stone that had just missed crushing them Jake saw Nathan’s lips thin.”

While I would rate just the final 200 pages higher, overall I can only give the book as it is three stars and wish that some more time had been spent pre-publication.

Rating: 3/5

11 responses to “Guest Review: Guardians of Stone”

  1. Anya says:

    *le sigh* finally, a break from homework!

    It is so awesome that your mom wrote a review!!!! (Yes, four exclamation points.) This doesn’t sound extremely appealing to me, although I’m not opposed to the archaeological part–it’s been a weekend of Dan Brown for me, including a DaVinci code reread.

    Happy reading/reviewing/blogging 🙂

  2. Aw I love that your mom wrote a review! She has a way with words just like you, Christina! This doesn’t sound like one that I would enjoy. I hate feeling like the author thinks that I should just know stuff that I clearly have no way of knowing.

  3. Your mom wrote a review!? She’s the coolest! I see where you get it from 🙂

  4. Awesome review Christina’s Mom!!I have this book for review and am very excited. Despite the confusing parts in the beginning I am excited about the second half- I love action, suspense and quest type books with a side of romance. I love the quote about the finger and was drooling when you mentioned a coffin in the catacombs.
    You should be a regular on the blog!

    • Christina says:

      I’m probably a little too controlling to give over too much of my blog, but I think mom will be making some guest appearances, and I’m trying to talk my parents into doing an occasional feature on the YA lit I’ve been pushing on them.

      Hope you enjoy the book!

  5. Beth D. says:

    This is a truly great review on this one. I have to agree with a large amount said!

    Beth ^_^

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