Review of 'Sentinel' by Jamie Foley
This book was wonderfully diverse, a good read, and unusual. In fact, it was unusual enough that I had a hard time figuring out the setting at first. Not because the writing was bad, but because it started out with the main characters driving a car, but then turned out to be fantasy set in a fantasy world. It was hard for my head to merge the two genres into one, but I got it eventually, lol.
The main character is a teen, and generally acts about as mature as you would expect an adolescent male from a traumatized background to act. This was annoying at times, but also fit and was instrumental in moving the story forward. I should probably stop reading Young Adult if I'm going to keep complaining about immaturity every time, shouldn't I? Anyway, despite logic, the young man decides to save his sister and in the process causes all kinds of trouble. The story is complete with rivals, battles, surprises, discovery of magical powers, and near death experiences. And death experiences as well, but I won't say more about that for fear of spoiling.
There were some editing issues, but most of the reading was smooth. My main complaint is something I hit on earlier, and relates to the world building. Without taking the time to analyze it I couldn't say what the specific problem was, but I didn't feel like I was part of the world most of the time. This could totally be just me, but I wasn't absorbed into the book. Still, it was a worthwhile read, and I loved that the characters looked different and had defined ethnicities. My guess is that this story would be most appealing to young teen boys, who might find it more relatable.
Sexual Content: The main character struggles with controlling his thoughts about girls, one in particular, but it wasn't super explicit or anything. And it got him into trouble, which was fun.
Language: I honestly can't remember any bad language, only that the writer created 'obscenities' for his story. I always appreciate that. It adds to a feeling of otherworldliness and makes the book friendlier to those who can't stand bad language. I apologize if I missed anything. I really should take notes when I'm reading but I'm afraid that just isn't going to happen.
Violence: Yes, as previously mentioned, there is fighting, killing, and dying. I don't remember any long, graphic descriptions of entrails or anything, but violence is a big part of the story.
Overall Message/Plot: Other than a few bits where characters question the existence of a creator and whatnot, I'd say the story was straightforward and plot-centric. The plot was moved along by the characters, for sure, which I suppose makes it character-driven by definition, but because I didn't feel close to the characters, I experienced it more in terms of plot. There are mysteries, quests for survival and the rescue of others, and a mystical villain or two to keep things interesting. Overall, an enjoyable read.
Find it here.