Review: Songlines by Carolyn Denman

#TheSentinelsOfEden #BooksOnTour #BlogTour #Day2

Just Write For Kids and Books On Tour are excited to reveal some secrets from the mystifying YA fantasy series, The Sentinels of Eden. Today we will be reviewing the first book, Songlines, just to give you a taste of what’s to come. We hope you enjoy this thrilling adventure! 😯 🌳 🍎


Synopsis:

We belong to the Earth, Lainie-Bug. We were sent here in human form for a reason. If you don’t know what to do, then just be human.

Right. Like that was ever a simple thing to do.

In the heart of the Wimmera region of Victoria, an ancient gateway to Eden is kept hidden and safe by a creature so powerful that even the moon would obey her commands – at least it would if she had any idea that she wasn’t just a normal girl about to finish high school.

When a mining company begins exploratory sampling near Lainie’s sheep farm, a family secret is revealed that makes her regret not having learnt more about her Indigenous heritage.

What she’s told by their farmhand, Harry – an Aboriginal Elder – can’t possibly be true, but then the most irritating guy in class, Bane, begins to act even more insanely toward her than ever, until she can no longer deny that something very unusual is going on.

When Harry doesn’t return from his quest to seek help to protect the area from the miners, Lainie sets out to discover the truth of her heritage, and of the secret she’s been born to protect.

Review:

Songlines: The Sentinels of Eden Book One, Carolyn Denman (author), Odyssey Books, 2016.

In Denman’s breathtaking debut, a teenage girl is torn between humanity and freedom, and love and responsibility. First in this exciting fantasy series, Songlines provides its young adult readers with evocative and soul-stirring concepts on truth, loss, identity, adolescence and the meaning of life.

Lainie, a lanky, fun-loving yet mature teen living with her over-protective Aunt on a regional sheep property, soon discovers her real identity as a higher being; a younger generation Cherub in a line of Cherubim sent to Earth as human to protect the sacred Garden of Eden. Her understanding of her Indigenous heritage, her newfound Sentinel powers, and the truth of the disappearance of her mother unravels slowly on account of a mining threat to their land, and Lainie is then forced to navigate her way through complex feelings of adjustment, acceptance and responsibility.

There is a definite appeal in this rich and dramatic fictional plot. From the unearthly supernatural powers that Lainie inheritingly possesses, to the dichotomy between the rural Australian farmland and the lustrous, ethereal land hidden within – however both worlds steeped in sacred history and promised to protect. The meaning of ‘Songlines’ weaves neatly into Denman’s tale, combining the Aboriginal tradition of a song or story recording a journey through the landscape, with the biblical roots of her Edenite river of song and the ancient pathway that leads there.

Denman also cleverly and tastefully poses thought-provoking questions around obligation versus free will, of the differences between being human and being an Edenite, and whether the tranquility of Paradise is in fact free from life’s tainted intricacies. The story is cast with a set of strong, fascinating characters, whom are all drawn to one another, both in their bid to save and protect the land from intruders, and because it is their natural compulsion to be bound by the force that is Eden. Much of the journey is built with tension surrounding the relationships between Lainie and her best friend, Noah (another Cherub), and the surly and aloof Bane (ultimately her Guardian soul mate). Lainie and Bane’s relationship is an intriguing part of the journey, leading an integral sub-plot of twists, excitement, and a series of heavily mixed emotions surrounding lust, belonging and the freedom of choice.

This blend of Australian heart and spiritual soul easily captures a reader’s interest with wonder and illumination. Its major plot twist at the end certainly causes a sense of breathlessness, and even a tinge of sadness that leaves us hanging on tenterhooks to continue the journey in books two and three.

Songlines is an intricately intense and well-crafted fantasy allegory with relatable themes of trust, courage, sacrifice, friendship and family, as well as much world- and character-building appeal that begs its readers to complete the whole Sentinels of Eden series. (YA Fantasy, 13 – adult)

Review by Romi Sharp.


Be enchanted by Book Two: Sanguine, and the latest in the series, Book Three: Sympath…

Sanguine Synopsis: 

Lainie Gracewood has turned her back on the world she used to call home. But who can blame her? After all, the sweet bliss of paradise is hard to resist. But there’s a restlessness inside her that yearns to be set free.

When a native Edenite discovers the boundary between Earth and Eden, Lainie promises herself a return will be short and sweet. As always, Earth is more complicated than that. When a Guardian is abducted, the urge to protect the sacred knowledge will see her faced with the ultimate choice: life, death or paradise?

Sympath Synopsis:

Annie has grown up knowing she is destined to meet her soul mate. He will always remain close to her. He will always know exactly where she is, and how she’s feeling. He’ll guard and protect her. At least, until she produces the next heir to her Cherubim line.
There has to be a way to avoid this supernatural stalker.
Determined to find her own identity before becoming bonded to her Guardian, Annie does everything she can to keep him at a distance – until her partner Cherub, Harry, dredges up the mystery of his parents’ deaths and triggers unwanted attention from an organised crime syndicate. Now all three of them need to do whatever it takes to save Harry’s farm, solve the mystery of the missing ruby necklace, and keep anyone from finding the hidden Paradise it came from.

Connect with Carolyn at her website, Twitter and Facebook pages.

Songlines is available for purchase at Amazon here and Boomerang Books here.

Sanguine is available for purchase at Amazon here.

Sympath is at Goodreads here. And via Booko here.


The Sentinels of Eden: Sympath Book Launch will be held on Tuesday April 10th at Readings Hawthorn Vic @ 6.30pm.

More details about the launch can be found here.

#fantasyfiction #urbanya #magic #mystery


Grab a Piece of Paradise – It’s Giveaway Time!

Simply tell us who you would love this set, and you’ll be in the running to win the set of three spellbinding books in The Sentinels of Eden series by Carolyn Denman!

For more details click here.


The Sentinels of Eden Blog Tour Schedule

April 8 – April 14

www.justkidslit.com/blog

PLUS!

Sunday April 8

Brydie Wright – www.brydiewright.com

Monday April 9

Susan Day – www.astrosadventuresbookclub.com

Wednesday April 11

Boomerang Books – http://blog.boomerangbooks.com.au

Thursday April 12

Megan Higginson – www.meganhigginson.com/blog

Friday April 13

Share Your Story – www.sharingyourstory.com.au


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