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Book Review and ARC Giveaway: Guardian by Alex London

In the new world led by the Rebooters, former Proxy Syd is the figurehead of the Revolution, beloved by some and hated by others. Liam, a seventeen-year-old Rebooter, is Syd’s bodyguard and must protect him with his life. But armed Machinists aren’t the only danger.

People are falling ill—their veins show through their skin, they find it hard to speak, and sores erupt all over their bodies. Guardians, the violent enforcers of the old system, are hit first, and the government does nothing to help. The old elites fall next, and in the face of an indifferent government, Syd decides it’s up to him to find a cure . . . and what he discovers leaves him stunned. All that he and Knox worked for hangs in the balance, and can he and his friends figure out how to help everyone- even though everyone is against them?

 The second in a duet, Guardian is the brilliant conclusion to Proxy, and tells the story of Syd and what happens after the Network fell. Knox sacrificed himself in the Network in order to take everything down and rebuild the world, and to give Syd a life. Now Syd is the messiah of the Revolution, yet no more than a prop. Give a speech here, give a speech there; nothing is what it is supposed to be. And now things are worse:  literally, everyone’s blood is turning against them because the datastream in everyone’s blood is turning corrupt and killing people from the inside out, starting from the Guardians who had the most access and working the way down. Meanwhile the Rebooters are turning more and more violent, and the Council heads seem to have their own agenda, none of which seems to be working with the stated goals of the Revolution. When things fall apart, Syd and Liam must run to the City and find allies in unlikely places in order to save the world once more- and possibly save each other as well.

As much an action adventure bromance as Proxy, Guardian delves deeper into more thinking issues and what happens when the sacrifices aren’t worth the promise. What can you do to fix things, how far will you go? How much will you deny yourself love and a future for the sake of atonement for the past? How far does debt go? Not one of the characters is exempt from the action and heartbreak, and that is a wonderful thing for readers. Still ever-present is the widely diverse cast, and the discussion of race, class, and now retribution among the Rebooters, including playing God with respect to whom to save and whom to let die, all extremely relevant topics today.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for those loving action/adventure and dystopias. Could definitely pair on a level with the Hunger Games and Divergent series, especially with the machinations and turns within the “governments” and “players.”

My feels when finishing the book:

My one problem with the book is that now I want Liam’s story, and Alex says that it’s a duet. *sigh* Maybe I can convince him to just tell me in secret….

KAREN is giving away her SIGNED ARC of Guardian (and an unsigned hardback copy of Proxy)! To win, put your email or twitter handle in the comments, along with your favorite dystopia author so far and why. Giveaway is open to U.S. residents. Leave a comment by Sunday, June 14th to be entered.