Arivaca book review | Alexia's Books and Such: Arivaca book review

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Monday, May 25, 2015

Arivaca book review

Arivaca: Guardians of the Light | Alexia's Books and Such Title:  Arivaca: Guardians of the Light
Author:  John Poulsen
Release Date:  December 13, 2014
Publisher:  Folded Corners
Source:  ebook provided from the publisher via NetGalley

Jesse Ballard’s life is filled with misfortune. His parents are dead, he’s been convicted of a crime, and a dark secret torments his soul. But when he’s incarcerated on a ranch for troubled teens he discovers his troubles have just begun. A Supreme Power has literally hijacked his life, bringing him to the ranch to make him the guardian of a powerful relic that was hidden away 2600 years ago when Solomon’s Temple was destroyed.

Given superhuman powers, Jesse is suddenly thrust into a strange and perilous world of supernal treasures, killers and demons - battling the dark forces who desperately seek the sacred artifact. Thinking he’s on a one man mission, Jesse is shocked to learn that Cedar Lane, a girl who seriously despises him, may have spiritual gifts essential for keeping the relic safe. Without her help, he’s in jeopardy of losing not just the relic, but his life.

As Jesse unravels this secretive and dangerous world he learns the ups and downs of young love, and both the reward and peril of following his divine call. (Goodreads)

My Review:

Even after reading the synopsis, I was still surprised that the sacred artifact that Jesse was destined to protect was a Christian relic. For some reason, even the mention of Solomon's Temple didn't clue me in. 

This made me hesitate to continue reading as I've bad luck with religious stories in the past. The author usually starts preaching at the reader and that's a major turnoff for me. 

Fortunately, this story wasn't preachy at all and the Christian artifact could easily have been Mayan or alien or anything really. Crisis averted! Phew!


As for the main character Jesse, he isn't a bad guy but has had a tough life and some pretty bad breaks. Sentenced for a crime he didn't commit, he winds up at the Arivaca Ranch for troubled teens. That's where he finds out his destiny and meets the girl of his dreams.

And since the author introduced the Christian element, what happened to free will? Jesse and Cedar aren't given a choice about protecting the relics, but are "chosen". Shouldn't they have the option of refusal? I don't mean to be nit-picky, but this bothered me a little.

Not a bad story overall, but it seemed to be missing something. Can't really put my finger on what the story was lacking, but it wasn't a fulfilling read. Maybe it's geared for a younger audience, but it was too slow a read for my tastes and I doubt I'll be picking up the next book.


12 comments:

  1. Sounds good but, yeah, the no agency thing doesn't work for me.

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    1. I know! If you're going to introduce a well-known element like religion, then you need to consider the rules. Sort of like introducing vampires that sparkle in the daylight...*snicker*

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  2. I feel the same way about religious reads. I hate when they get all preachy. It may be my POV in life but I can't get into that at all.

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    1. I think I've just had too many bad experiences where the author was practically hitting me over the head with their religious POV. Once I realized that the relics in this story could have been anything, I calmed down a little and was able to keep reading,

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  3. Well, that does not sound interesting. I can't really deal with books with a religious agenda. Even though this one seems to not be overly preachy, I will pass just the same. I prefer my books to be secular in nature.

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  4. You're not the only one that avoids preachy books. Good to know the author stayed on the right side of the line :-)

    Anna from Elements of Writing

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    1. Aside from the free will question, I think the author did a decent job of staying on the right side of the line!

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  5. Loving the cover and what a great review - I'm so pleased that a crisis was averted.

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    1. Thanks Tracy! Have to admit that the cover was what caught my eye, as it's very cool!

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  6. I'm with you on the religious artifact stories. But this sounds like it was well done and just another artifact. :D Thanks!

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    1. I really think it could have been any artifact as the religious angle wasn't pushed on us at all, which made it an easier read for me. The more I think about it, the happier I am with how the author handled things!

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