Tuesday, October 23

Pre-Release Discussion: Guardian Demon by Meljean Brook

Very Important Note: this post is filled with very significant spoilers for the Guardian series by Meljean Brook. If you haven’t read the books, don’t read it (it won’t make sense if you’re unfamiliar with it, so you’re not missing much).

Nath: If you’ve been around blogland in the past weeks, you’re probably aware that Meljean Brook finally unveiled the cover for her last book in her Guardian series, Guardian Demon. But the cover wasn’t alone, we also got a blurb. Brie from Romance Around the Corner, being a huge fan of the series, was so excited that she shot me an email wanting to discuss and do some guesswork about what might be happening in this final installment. She also had the bright idea to share this discussion with fellow fans and have you join us! So feel free to add your two cents on the comments!!

For those who have not yet seen the cover or read the blurb, here it is:

In this thrilling conclusion to the Guardian series, New York Times bestselling author Meljean Brook delivers another stunning page-turner, in which the fate of humanity depends upon a tortured warrior winning the trust—and heart—of the woman he wounded…

After a terrifying encounter in Hell destroys her trust in Michael, the Guardian’s powerful leader, former detective Andromeda Taylor is ready to call it quits as one of the angelic warriors and resume her human life again. But when demonic forces threaten her closest friends and she uncovers a terrifying plot devised by Lucifer, Taylor is thrown straight into Michael’s path again…

To defeat Lucifer, Michael needs every Guardian by his side—and he needs Taylor more than any other. The detective is the key to keeping his own demonic side at bay, and Michael will do anything to protect her and keep her close. And when Taylor manifests a deadly power, her Gift might tip the scales in the endless war between Heaven and Hell…or it might destroy them both with a single touch.
Nath: First thing first, the cover! What are your thoughts, Brie?

Brie: The first thing I thought was that the “u” in Guardian is smaller than the rest of the letters. I like that it matches the series and that it’s monochromatic. Love the colors and the wings and that the models look like the characters. I don’t like the guy they chose for Michael, though, he’s kind of thin and has Elvis hair. But overall I like it. I don’t really pay much attention to covers and I don’t care if they are not perfect, so I’m fine with it.

Nath: Interesting that the first thing you noticed was the “u.” Although you’re absolutely right... the fact that it’s smaller makes it really weird ^_^; I too like the cover. I like that it matches the last few covers in terms of feel and colors and I also think it’s pretty. I actually quite like the pose the two models are in. As for their physical appearances, while they don’t match what I had in mind -- for the longest time, I thought Michael was black... but turns out it’s his wings and his obsidian eyes, oops LOL -- they do look good. What I would have liked is for Michael to be in a toga, though, and for his sword to be more prominent as it is kind of hidden behind the author’s name.

Brie: Funny you should mention Michael’s small sword, because I also thought it should have been bigger... Let’s stop talking about it, though, it’s starting to sound dirty. I’m sure Michael’s sword is big and powerful and awesome.

Nath: Sure... it sounds so much proper now LOL.

Brie: Let’s talk about the blurb!

The first part says that
“the fate of humanity depends upon a tortured warrior winning the trust—and heart—of the woman he wounded…”

Do you think this refers something that happens in this book? Or maybe to the fact that he tricked her into becoming the new Doyen and all that happened in the past few books?

Nath: Well, I think it’s confession time... While I’m a big fan of the series, I kind of had a mental blockage when it came to Demon Forged. As a result, I didn’t really read it and I’m not totally sure what transpired between Michael and Taylor, Michael bounding himself to her ^_^; However, I would say that the wounding part is the fact that he tricked her and everything that has happened since. What’s your take?

Brie: What? You are a bad fangirl, bad!

Nath: I know, I know!! I really tried reading Demon Forged and I was so excited about its release! But I don’t know, there’s just something about Irena... Sigh.

Brie: Well, I say he tricked her because when he made her into a Guardian he failed to mention that he was also creating a bond between them that would allow her to be the new Doyen.

I don’t think the blurb refers to this, though. I think something happens between them in the new book. Because next it says:
“After a terrifying encounter in Hell destroys her trust in Michael, the Guardian’s powerful leader, former detective Andromeda Taylor is ready to call it quits as one of the angelic warriors and resume her human life again”. What do you think that terrifying encounter is? Last time we saw him he was a dragon, maybe he attacks her? He’s also half demon so maybe she sees that part of him?

Also, I can’t believe you don’t like Irena. She’s so cool, and slightly scary!

Nath: It’s not that I don’t like Irena per se... But there’s just something about her and Alejandro. I can’t pinpoint it, but when it comes to their book. Sigh ^_^; 

By the way, you’re really taking apart this blurb! LOL. First, did she know that Michael was part demon? Because it could be a similar reaction as Irena’s. Discovering that the one you look up to is not only a demon, but can also transform into a dragon!? (Brie: I think the dragon part was because of the torture and not an actual power or secret) We’re running out of villains. Who’s left? If I remember correctly, Michael’s sister is out, so that means Lucifer and Belial. I can’t see either of them being so terrifying... but a dragon?. I just think that as a Doyen, Taylor has seen a lot... and for her to want to turn her back on Michael and go back to her “human” life, it’s more than just a terrifying encounter. It must have to do with trust.

Brie: Guardian Demon’s villain has to be Belial --I think--. Although the blurb mentions Lucifer, but we know that blurbs are not to be trusted. Michael's sister is trapped in Chaos, right? I assume she's going to play a role in this book, but I’m not sure. What I do know is that whatever happens at the end, they won’t defeat evil. They can’t kill Lucifer, that would be bad for business! 

Nath: I’m still unsure who’s worst, Belial or Lucifer. One thing is sure though, Hell needs a master, so of course, you can’t get rid of both... and facing the evil you know is always better, so I’d get rid of Belial and keep Lucifer.

The next sentence is:
“But when demonic forces threaten her closest friends and she uncovers a terrifying plot devised by Lucifer, Taylor is thrown straight into Michael’s path again…” So I can’t see Taylor being terrified by either Lucifer or Belial. By the way, Taylor has met Lucifer in Demon Angel right? Also, for Taylor to go back to her “human” life, this means Michael is not longer stuck in Hell right? Sigh, my memory is so fuzzy, I really need to re-read the series before Guardian Demon comes out.

Brie: Taylor does know that Michael is half demon, that cat’s been out of the bag for a while now. But I don’t think Taylor and Lucifer have met. She’s been in Hell, though. I assume that Michael gets out of Hell and goes back to his regular body early on in the book, because a romance between Taylor and Dragon-Michael would be weird. I don’t mind kinky, but dragon sex is too much. That part about Taylor going back to her “human” self means that she wants to fall, like Hugh did in the first book. Remember that Guardians have that option.

Nath: I thought perhaps Taylor had met Lucifer in the first book, you know at the end when they wanted to sacrifice Hugh to get access to the portals with his blood. Lucifer chopped off Sir Pup’s heads and Taylor and Preston rescued those... It was quite chaotic, but I think Lucifer was there and Taylor at the same time. So they haven’t met formally, but Taylor has seen him.

And you think Taylor would fall? I guess it makes sense... If she goes back to being human, she can still re-integrate to her old life since not much time has gone by. Also, being a Guardian at the moment isn’t a very attractive prospect, especially given everything she went through.

Oh, by the way, thanks for the dragon-sex image ^_^; I’m pretty sure yes, he goes back to his human form, because I doubt many would follow him otherwise. Plus, how would he get out of Hell?

Brie: Now let’s talk about the most intriguing part of the blurb: "And when Taylor manifests a deadly power, her Gift might tip the scales in the endless war between Heaven and Hell…or it might destroy them both with a single touch."

What do you think it’s her power? I bet it has something to do with the symbols. Although the first thing I thought when I read that part was Sienna from Nalini Singh’s Psy/Changeling books. The “destroy them with a single touch” sounds like she has one of those superpowers of mass destruction.

Nath: My reaction was the same as yours, Brie! For some reasons, I thought about fire... If not, it’d be something like turning stuff into ashes or dust, but I think that’s taking it a bit too literal. So I think that you’re onto something about her power having to do with symbols.

Brie: We could speculate all day, but I’m sure the book will surprise us, or at least I hope so. This is one of those series where I can’t see the twists and revelations coming, and I hope Ms. Brook was saving the best for last. I really can’t wait to read it.

Nath: I’m sure Ms Brook is going to surprise us. And I hope this book concludes the series well. I’m kind of sad it’s ending, though.. I’m happy for Ms. Brook’s success with The Iron Seas series... but the selfish voice in me can’t help but lament over the premature end to the Guardians series :(

Brie: I’m sad the series is ending and I can already hear tiny violins of despair playing behind me. These books are special and I’ve yet to read something that comes close to them. However, I disagree with you regarding the premature ending. Part of what makes the series so good is that it’s planned. This is the land of the never ending book series, and I’m glad this one didn’t follow that path. She’s ending it with a bang and on a high note, instead of stretching it until the original spirit of the books is almost unrecognizable.

Nath: I agree with you that Ms Brook is ending it with a bang, which is always preferable. However, I do feel there were still more stories to be told before Michael’s book. Not that it matters now... All that matters is that May and Guardian Demon get here very soon!!


What do you guys think? Are you excited about the book? Do you have any theories or thoughts? Let us know in the comments!


Hilcia said...

Nath, I can't believe you still haven't read Demon Forged! That's one of THE best books of this series... (shaking my head).

I can't wait for this book... I'm a huge fan of the series and happen to adore Michael's duality. I can't wait to see what Brook does with this character, Taylor and how she wraps up this awesome series.

Unfortunately, I can't even begin to speculate as to how she'll go about it at this point.

I had SO many questions at the end of Demon Marked about where exactly the Guardians were going. The compromises they keep making in their beliefs and principals and how manipulative they have become to get where they need to be... I really want to see how Mealjean Brook reconciles all the gray areas she has introduced into this series. Michael is the perfect character to do just that.

As far as the cover is concerned, it fits with the others and it's just fine with me! LOL on the sword. *g*

I have high expectations for this book and the end of the series, obviously.

Brie said...

Hi, Hilcia!

I think the grey areas were always there. Just the fact that Michael never came clean about his past was the biggest manipulation of all. But I think that’s the recurrent theme of the series -- just how far are you willing to go in the name of good and to fight evil, and if the end really justifies the means.

Let's take a look at Rosalia: she was a good woman whose machinations were borderline evil and everyone was a victim of her plans, including Deacon. But he was the one who had to redeem himself, even though he was a victim his whole life starting from the moment he met Rosalia as a human, and all the way until he betrayed the Guardians. I really, really like this series because, just to quote them, appearances are deceiving. So far, the only character that’s been honest and easy to take at face value is Irena, and maybe Taylor, but we’ll have to wait until her book.

nath said...

I know, I know, Hils! I've tried! I've skimmed! LOL. And perhaps once I re-read the whole series.

I've got to agree with Brie that the grey areas were always there, but not as obvious. I think also bringing on Hugh and Lilith made it more obvious. The thing is, the Guardians before were a bit too sanctimonious. And obviously, that way didn't work because well hello, they were/are losing ^_^;