FeaturedYoung Adult



Loved it! 😍

Body-snatchers, shadow organizations protecting the world, and an enemies-to-more through line make this LGBTQ+ story a very enjoyable read.

High school is already bad enough without adding in body-snatching aliens, a job as a defender of a whole planet, and partner at said job that's the "it" girl you love to hate. A very solid young adult fantasy, Guardians hits many of the tropes of the genre with enough unique elements to keep things interesting. If nothing else, the world building alone helps elevate this novel above many I've read in the same field. And the organization whose name is shared with the title goes a long way toward helping that.

The main character's voice and personality from the very first pages drew me to read this title in the first place. The banter, both with others and within her own head, were some of the highest points of the novel. That humor and the familial relationships many of the characters share help keep the darker elements and plot in a great balance. Once I started reading, it was hard to put down because the author did a great job of making me care about the fictional people in his novel. Despite the fantastical, they felt real with distinct personalities and motivations. Even the enemy is fleshed out despite not actually having flesh of their own.

Only one thing really held me back from giving this a "must read." Plots often remind me of a line of dominoes. Multiple, criss-crossing lines. You have the catalyst that starts off the chain reaction, one tile falling after another. Sometimes though, it feels like there's a hidden hand that mysteriously blocks one or skips a domino to strike another down later on. Maybe even a gust of wind to help bridge the gap between one line and the next. Those mysterious benefactors make it hard to suspend disbelief when they show up in a story. Like narrowing the scope to the power of just one limb after showing us the body. There were just a few instances where plot points felt too convenient to me to be realistic.

If you enjoy LGBTQ+ fantasy with a strong cast of characters and a dash of humor to light up the dark, I highly recommend taking Guardians for a read.

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About the author

T.J. Baer is a queer, trans author of novels and short fiction. Born in Western Pennsylvania, he currently resides in his adopted hometown of Chicago with two cats and a well-stocked cupboard of tea. view profile

Published on July 18, 2023

Published by NineStar Press

60000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Young Adult

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