I received this book via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.
Series: The Immortal Dealers #2
Published by 47North on 2018-10-23
Length: 284 pages
Reviewing eARC from Netgalley
Reading Challenges: 2018 New Release Challenge
Life and death are a gamble for a girl fighting to save humanity in a world she’s only beginning to understand.
One minute, Ernestine “Ernie” Terwilliger was a fairly normal young woman with an almost normal life. Absent father. Peculiar mother. Family secrets. The next, she was hurled into a land where the Immortal Dealers are waging a battle between good and evil—and where the fate of the world is in the cards.
Having only started to master her own deck, the inexperienced Ernie places the wrong bet on the right guy at the worst time. That’s when she’s bounced into another realm and trapped there by a formidable and power-hungry rogue Dealer who knows more about Ernie’s fractured family than Ernie herself does.
Now, Ernie’s fight to free herself is only the beginning. As the secrets of Ernie’s father and his own relics of power start to surface, Ernie will need to tell friend from foe—a feat not as easy as it seems.
At least now she has a full deck…because to survive secrets, betrayals, and dangerous dimensions, she’ll need to deal the best hand.
When I received an early copy of The Guardian by Sarah Fine, I couldn’t wait to start it. In fact, I stopped reading what I was on so that I could immediately start this one. And y’all it did NOT disappoint! Picking up a few months after the events of The Serpent, we find Ernie trying to right a wrong before being swept away by another immortal dealer for a not so fun adventure.
I should note that if you have NOT read The Serpent, there may be minor spoilers to that story in this review. Read at your own risk.
Ernie’s Immortal and Lonely
Ernie is exactly how I remember her. She’s a fighter, has a strong moral code, and is still searching for her father. While she thought he’d left her as a child, she’s now learned that he was forced to and also became an immortal dealer in the process. Now that Ernie has inadvertently followed in his footsteps, she’s determined to find him. It beats the alternative….missing Gabe.
So one of things I found myself struggling with in this installment is that none of the characters I was excited to explore and see more of were present, particularly Gabe…you know the love interest. This made for a long read if you were expecting more romance, which I kind of was. However (without spoiling anything) the relationship between Gabe and Ernie becomes more relatable and realistic as the book progresses.
A Splinter Dimension
Yep, Fine went there. In this installment, Ernie learns that Earth is not the only place when she gets thrown into another dimension after an encounter with the Chicken dealer. It was an interesting twist, kind of like a pocket dimension with a Frankenstein-ish atmosphere. A majority of the book takes place here and a lot of backstory about the dealers is revealed when Ernie finds something she has desperately been looking for.
Overall, while I enjoyed The Guardian, I didn’t love it like I did The Serpent. Too much was missing until the very end. But that ending….it was explosive (no pun intended). I’ll definitely be watching for the next one and hope that Fine builds on what she introduced in the first two installments. If you enjoy urban fantasy with a taste (and I do mean just a little taste) of romance, I highly recommend it.