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Sentinel: Book One of The Sentinel Trilogy (edition 2014)

by Joshua Winning

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Member:kgriffith
Title:Sentinel: Book One of The Sentinel Trilogy
Authors:Joshua Winning
Info:Peridot Press (2014), Kindle Edition, 268 pages
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Sentinel by Joshua Winning

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Nicholas lived a very ordinary life in Cambridge – until the fateful day his parents died.

After which Sam, his parents’ oldest friend, swoops in to try and get him out of Cambridge, to go stay with a godmother he’s never heard of in a large house in the countryside. What should be a simple trip is made harrowing by attacks and the revelation that his parents did not die by accident – they were killed by demons.

Which is what Sam, as a Sentinel, needs to battle and oppose. First and foremost that means getting Nicholas – who is special – to safety. But then he needs to help the besieged sentinels, including those who have been attacked and the increasing number who are dying


Unfortunately if I had to sum up this book in 2 words they would be “vague” and “slow”.

In this world we have evil dark demons of badness who are doing dark and nefarious things. They’re either coming to Earth or want to come to Earth or are on Earth and we wish they weren’t and they’re going to do bad stuff while here

What that bad stuff is, I don’t know. What these demons are, I don’t know. What these demons can do, I don’t know. They’re demons, they’re served by Harvesters (I don’t know what they are) and Familiars (I don’t know what they are). And they’re evil and want to do evil things.

Then there are the good guys called the sentinels. They fight the bad things, for reasons unknown but positively related to the bad guys being bad. I don’t know what the sentinels are, how they started, what their symbols are, what their resources are, what they do or how they do it. But they’re the good guys and they fight the bad guys. They also serve something called the Trinity – I have no idea what that is beyond the fact it probably isn’t the Christian Trinity. Esus is also involved as well – Gaulish Celtic god (not that the book tells me that, I just know the name. We just have Esus. He wields a mask. He’s important somehow).

Then we have Nicholas, the 15 year old. His parents were sentinels (tragic parent death) and he is special. How he is special I don’t know, but he was born special. I don’t know how. He may be able to do things. I don’t know what. But his specialness is such that the bad guys want to kill him and the good guys would rather that didn’t happen.

Did I mention this book is vague? Because it’s really really really vague. The generic nature of so much of this book and the complete lack of any attempt to develop or characterise the world its set in makes it incredibly frustrating to read. What is happening? Why? How am I supposed to get invested in this? Will someone please explain things?!

Then there’s the slow. The first half of this book is spent with Nicholas grieving for his dead parents (who die in the opening chapter so I have no idea what Nicholas is other than mopey and grief striken) and then wandering around while every doesn’t tell him anything. Sam, Liberty and other side characters occasionally wander off to be intimidated by murderous demons (who, because of the vagueness, could just as easily be murderous knife-wielding psychotics) and pretend to Nicholas that everything is fine. At one immensely frustrating moment, Nicholas actually finds a journal of past Sentinel activities and doesn’t read it to is. Whether he reads it to himself, I don’t know but the reader gets no enlightenment. This is frustrating.

At the half way point we get the big reveal from the spooky woman who is way older than she looks – DEMONS ARE REAL!


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  FangsfortheFantasy | Sep 20, 2013 |
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