DiscoverDystopian

Lies The Guardians Tell

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Loved it! 😍

Full of action and suspense, Lies the Guardians Tell is a thrilling introduction to a new sci-fi series!


Full of action and suspense, Lies the Guardians Tell is a thrilling introduction to a new sci-fi series. Author Herman Steuernagel paints a creative picture of a dystopian America and fills this hostile landscape with unique characters and a page-turning plot. While science fiction is unusually a genre I tend to stray from as a reader, I found myself pleasantly surprised and hooked on this read. 


This novel follows the journey of Sierra Rular as the only world she knows crumbles at her feet. After planet earth was torn apart by war, radiation, and power-hungry nations, remaining humans have been trapped living inside of protective spheres. These enclosed landscapes are maintained and defended by intelligent bots called Guardians, designed and programmed to preserve the human race. While Sierra and all other humans living in the sphere have been told that the outside world is an uninhabitable wasteland, her insatiable curiosity soon implies otherwise. While taking an aptitude test that will determine her future role in the Sphere, Sierra has a vision of a foreign land. A land outside with a blue sky, breathable air, and away from the sphere she knows. When confiding in a close friend about what she’s seen, Sierra is presented with a mysterious warning instead. When this same friend is brutally murdered by the very bots that are supposed to protect her, Sierra is left with no other option except to flee into the supposedly toxic outside. 


In leaving everything she knows behind, Sierra discovers truths buried deep in the desert terrain of the world beyond the sphere. With the stakes of humanity’s survival reaching a breaking point, Sierra might be the very key to its salvation. Can Sierra put an end to the lies the Guardians tell and save what remains of her family? This first installment to the series begins to answer these very questions. 


The pacing of this novel and the presentation of the plot were two great strengths of this book. I was immediately hooked by the world depicted through Steuernagel’s initial chapters and felt that the depth of the story unfolded well. This story took the necessary time to include multiple character perspectives, backstories while maintaining the forward movement of the plot itself. I felt that the progression of Sierra’s journey happened in a way that kept my engaged, asking questions, and wondering what would befall characters next. The dystopian spin on this science fiction debut provides a hauntingly premonition-like window into the consequences artificial intelligence can have on their creators. I appreciated the well-rounded narrative approach in crafting this epic character journey, and the Steuernagel makes it clear that he’s only getting started. 


While I was captivated by the dystopian world development and happy with the pacing of the plot itself, character dialogue and development was an area in which I frequently struggled in this story. While the basic development of characters takes place, there are many missed opportunities to really explore each character on a deeper level. Creating these moments helps open windows for meaningful dialogue, as well as justify behavior and opinions to readers. Because some of this more in-depth development was missing, the dialogue fell flat in many conversations between characters, and certain character reactions felt erratic and unjustified. Providing more page space for characters to establish their personalities would have truly taken this book to another level for me. 


As a whole, this book was a fabulous first installment into a new science fiction series. With the well-paced storyline and thrilling action scenes, this story will keep readers on their toes. While I was left with many questions by the book’s end, I’m curious to see how Steuernagel will answer them in his next installment. I look forward to the release of the next book in the Lies of the Guardians series, Secrets of the Sphere when it releases!

Reviewed by

Hi! I'm Kayla, one of the co-founders of Queens of Coffee and Canon. I am a High School English teacher working in Chicago Illinois, and I'm a lover of all things books! I read anything and everything I can get my hands on, but personally enjoy Young Adult Fiction, Historical Fiction, and Fantasy!

Chapter One

About the author

Herman grew up with a love of story and of writing. Since the age of six, Herman dreamed of becoming a published author. He earned a BA (English Major) from the University of Calgary. Herman currently lives in British Columbia, Canada, where his full-time job is as a web developer. view profile

Published on December 01, 2020

Published by

120000 words

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Dystopian

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