Genre: Paranormal; Supernatural; Vampire; Horror
When a vampire seduces you, death is minutes away. When she hires you, you’ll soon wish you were dead.
It’s a truth known to every guardian who worked for Fiona, including Daniel. Aside from managing the day to day chores and keeping her protected, he manages an investment portfolio to buy stolen blood from hospital workers. The 250-year-old Fiona needs 10 pints of human blood every night. As a result of this, Daniel and Fiona are always on the lookout for police, but fail to notice their gradual encirclement by Mors Strigae, an ancient order of monks dedicated to the extermination of vampires. Gone for a century, the monks start a new war when they destroy Fiona’s sire. This time, her vampire family is pushed to the edge of extinction — and the humans who serve them are hunted and executed.
After 35 years, what keeps him loyal? And will he ever be allowed to leave?
While using a fairly traditional template for vampires (blood-sucking undead with super speed amongst other supernatural skills who are allergic to sun and silver and are hunted by a secret religious order), the story is approached with a novel balance of ideas regarding where those of both species/alignments stand and the evolution of their paths.
On one side, we see vampires needing to adapt to the modern world (this includes the presence of ‘guardians’ who are the humans in charge of supplying vampires with blood through stealing hospital supplies or humans and playing stocks and real estate to keep their employer financially and physically protected) and on the other, human believers pressing forward to outwit and outrank these creatures of the night.
It was interesting to see how both sides did this while still maintaining desires for their customs. One aspect of this was shared: the male dominant society that views females as weak and/or evil. This part of the story alone drives an eerily truthful message about the hopelessness of either ever really learning past their arguably primitive beliefs, haunting the audience with an almost assurance that humanity will never truly achieve progression due to being glued to ideals of the past.
Holding the human line of hunters next to the immortals felt like a perfect analogy of such preserved outdated beliefs. Though we can’t live for centuries like the vampires, the truth that placing traditional thinking over progressive thinking is shown clearly how we CAN become stuck in time as they are, holding onto old ways for the sake of doing so or out of ignorance.
The falsely logical reasoning the hunters give for their continued beliefs compared to the vampires’ blatantly blind, dismissive reasoning points toward a hope. Alongside the fact that these humans have evolved in their technology, it’s seen that humanity does score a chance at overcoming its enemies, including the threat of their own ways. Fiona’s struggle with knowing her intelligence and prowess outshines that of her complacent male peers along with proving it, she remains one voice against the majority. That was another relatable thing I saw in the story: the individual vs the many.
There’s plenty of philosophical aspects that could be conjectured on, including how those caught between sides or even on their own as a sub-part or completely different than the binary ruling both sides as well as the worlds, but I’m going to move onto the other attributes of this book. Each of the main characters had unique paths and personalities that made them all endearing in their own right. And although I did have a bit of trouble at times keeping up with the story line (due to switching 1st person POVs in addition to switching between 1st and 3rd person), the history of the order, the vampire ‘government,’ and the individual characters were well-built. I loved the author’s incorporation of exploring the views and feelings of all involved as well as the progression of each individual. Their inter-personal relationships were dramatic entertainment, yet realistic. In a world seemingly never-changing, the main characters constantly change, which once again stirs a sort of hope, yet also an ominous uncertainty.
End note: ‘Fiona’s Guardians’ is a great read for vampire lovers or anyone with a philosophical bone in their body. There was plenty of action and emotion in this fast-paced novel with a dose of suspense and a foreboding conclusion.
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~Sahreth ‘Baphy’ Bowden
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