The Eighth Guardian (Annum Guard #1) - Meredith McCardle
ISBN - 9781477847664
Publisher - Skyscape
Release date - May 6 2014
Amanda Obermann. Code name Iris.
It’s Testing Day. The day that comes without warning, the day when all juniors and seniors at The Peel Academy undergo a series of intense physical and psychological tests to see if they’re ready to graduate and become government operatives. Amanda and her boyfriend Abe are top students, and they’ve just endured thirty-six hours of testing. But they’re juniors and don’t expect to graduate. That’ll happen next year, when they plan to join the CIA—together.
But when the graduates are announced, the results are shocking. Amanda has been chosen—the first junior in decades. And she receives the opportunity of a lifetime: to join a secret government organization called the Annum Guard and travel through time to change the course of history. But in order to become the Eighth Guardian in this exclusive group, Amanda must say good-bye to everything—her name, her family, and even Abe—forever.
Who is really behind the Annum Guard? And can she trust them with her life?
Well, if a book ever lived up to my 'five clock' rating it's this one!The story opens with Amanda and her boyfriend, Abe, waiting to find out the results of their Testing, a rigorous process that everyone undergoes at The Peel Academy. If you're lucky to graduate you are more than likely to be signed up by the CIA and so this is Amanda & Abe's plan - work hard, graduate, join the CIA and live happily ever after!
Things never quite got plan though, as we all know, and the unthinkable happens. Amanda graduates, the first Junior to do so in a long time but it's not a problem until she finds out where she's going. Instead of being recruited by the CIA and heading to Washington to wait for Abe for a year she's been chosen by an organization called the Annum Guard. Ripped away from everyone and everything she knows, given a new name and not knowing what's coming next leave Amanda, or Iris as she's to be known in the Guard, feeling unsettled and resentful towards her fellow Guardians, Yellow and Violet especially.
What follows is a fast paced journey through history, from the 1700's to the swinging 60's, and Iris learning a lot, both about herself and her fellow guardians. The Annum Guard travel through time subtly altering previous events or preventing key people from dying and while the majority of the Guardians do this for the good of humanity it turns out that there are a corrupt few within the Guard, using time travel for their own purposes and benefit. Going against everything she's ever been taught, Iris is determined to make the most of her new life and discovering that she might actually be a proper Guardian by birth rather than the outsider they all think of her as, she's insistent on becoming the best and to find out who doesn't want her to succeed.
Well written characters, a strong storyline and a fantastic way of weaving history and time travel together make for a great read. I liked Amanda/Iris but I think my favorite character may have to be Yellow who, despite being treated very badly by Iris, was the only one to step up when Iris goes against the rules of the Annum guard and goes rogue. I loved that Iris had a boyfriend at the start of the book but was worried that because of their separation we could end up with the ubiquitous love triangle. Thankfully we don't and without being more spoiler-ish than I already have been graduation is not the last we see of Abe or his family.
If you like time travel and history with a dash of mystery then check out The Eighth Guardian, I somehow managed to read it in one sitting and finally put it down after turning the last page just after 4am in the morning! I can't wait to check out the sequel, Blackout, and see what/where happens next!
Many thanks to Skyscape for providing me with a copy of The Eighth Guardian!