Monday, 22 June 2015

Sentinel By Joshua Winning

"What is a Sentinel? A guard. A detective. A killer..."

They are the world's best-kept secret - an underground society whose eternal cause is to protect the world against the dark creatures and evil forces that inhabit the night.

Now Sentinels are being targeted, murdered and turned as the fury of an ancient evil is unleashed once more. And when 15-year-old Nicholas Hallow's parents are killed in a train crash, the teenager is drawn into a desperate struggle against malevolent powers.

Sentinel is the first book in the Sentinel Trilogy - a world of unconventional heroes, monsters, murder and magic. (Goodreads)

Although the storyline of Sentinel follows the trope of having a teenage character discover he’s special and his parents have been lying to him, Sentinel makes it seem very individual, not overused.
Sentinel is essentially a battle between good and evil and Winning is very good at writing creepy scenes. You might not want to read Sentinel late at night, or you might end up sleeping with the light on.
The story is a little like The Mortal Instruments – The Sentinels are almost Shadowhunters, protecting mankind from the dark forces and one teenager finds out his parents had kept secrets from him his whole life and is thrown in at the deep end. But Sentinel is darker and scarier. If you like TMI I’d definitely give this book a go, and even though they sound similar, they read very differently.

I feel that any novel that isn’t contemporary suffers from having to set up its world to the audience throughout the first novel, which isn’t a fault to the author, and this can make the story drag. Sentinel manages this well, Winning builds its world slowly, and its slow release of information of the Sentinels and the ‘evil characters’ point of view keeps the reader eager to learn more, whilst avoiding an information dump onto the reader. The mix of plot and building throughout balances them, making it more enjoyable to read.
Sentinel is full of action, but I feel the mix of building and plot prevented the overall plot from moving forward very far, which isn’t a bad thing, it makes me hopeful that the next novel will pick up the pace and allow the reader to sink more fully into the story.

Even though Nicholas Hallow is the main protagonist, the mix and switching of different points of view didn’t allow the reader to connect very much with him. However each of the characters are very well written and interesting and individual in their own way. They’re each so likeable in their own individual way, Sam is so caring and strong, Nicholas has courage in the face of loss and Malika is evilly enticing.

Winning’s writing is enjoyable to read, and I feel that its only going to improve throughout the next novel.

The first novel ends with a lot of questions left unanswered and the reader eager to find out what happens next. I’m very excited to read Ruins!

I would give Sentinel 3.5 stars!!

Thanks to @SentinelTrilogy on twitter and Peridot Press for sending me Sentinel and Ruins!

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