Imagine if you were able to change history. By altering one tiny thing you could start a chain of catastrophic events. Ethan is one of the Named, fated to stop this ever happening, although the forces of chaos have other ideas and Ethan is finding it more and more difficult to stay one step ahead. He is also a normal schoolboy, whose life is rapidly becoming far too confusing. So when Isabel arrives on the scene she is only going to make matters worse or is she? This is history in the making – literally. (From Amazon.co.uk)
When this book first dropped through my letterbox, as well as adoring the cover, I thought it sounded pretty interesting. However, it’s so much more than what the brief synopsis on the back reveals. The Named is the first book in The Guardians Of Time Trilogy by Marianne Curley and has just been re-jacketed and re-released by Bloomsbury UK this month. In all honesty I’d never heard of the books prior to receiving this one for review. I’m so glad I did though and I’ll certainly be making sure I read the rest (The Dark, The Key)
Ethan lives a split life. He juggles being an everyday schoolboy with being a Guardian Of Time, a secret group of warriors fighting against The Order Of Chaos. Initiated as a very young child, his duties include time travelling into the past to stop The Order meddling with events and disrupting the future. When Ethan is given his first apprentice to train he is thrilled with the honour, until he realises his apprentice will be Isobel, sister of his sworn enemy in school. They don’t have long to prepare for their first dangerous mission, and things are becoming more and more and complex.
At first I was a bit confused. The reader is thrown pretty much in at the deep end and I didn’t have a clue what was going on, I felt like I’d missed some vital information. This is quickly remedied though and swiftly becomes a thrilling and completely engrossing story.
The book is told in a split narrative between Ethan and Isobel in alternating chapters and worked beautifully. I like this method generally when done well, and Marianne Curley certainly pulls it off here treating us to an insight from both the main characters as well as allowing us to be in different places with each one. Singularly, I liked both characters enough, but felt that it was the two together that really gave the book strength. There are other fascinating characters, who I’m really hoping to find out more about in the second books, and a terrifying villain who is literally the stuff of nightmares.
The plot is packed full of action and adventure, mythology and fantasy, and runs at a breathtaking speed. There’s also a little bit of romance, however this is a subtle undertone and doesn’t wholly consume the plot as you might think. It’s also unpredictable and took me by surprise!
I really enjoyed reading this book. I became completely absorbed in the story and couldn’t put it down, finishing in less than a day and left wanting more. I can’t wait to get my hands on the next instalment of this trilogy. This is a book I’d recommend to both males and females alike (perhaps one downside to the beautiful cover is that it may be passed over as more of a girls book?), although because it is quite scary and a little violent I’d be cautious about giving it to children under eleven years.
Thank you to the publishers for sending me a copy of this book for review.