Friday, November 30, 2018

Book Review: Guardian by A. J. Hartley

Author: A. J. Hartley
Series: Steeplejack (Book 3)
Publication: Tor Teen (June 12, 2018)

Description: This is what Ang knows:

A dear friend is accused of murdering the Prime Minister of Bar-Selehm.

A mysterious but fatal illness is infecting the poor.

A fanatical politician seizes power, unleashing a wave of violent repression over the city.

This is what Ang must do:

Protect her family.

Solve a murder.

RESIST, no matter what, before it’s too late.

My Thoughts: The conclusion of the Steeplejack trilogy finds Ang Sutonga deep in the politics of the city of Bar-Selehm. When her employer Josiah Willinghouse is accused of murdering the prime minister Benjamin Tavestock, Ang is nearly alone in trying to find evidence to clear his name.

It doesn't help that Tavestock's death left an opening for the Far Right in the person of Norton Richter to seize control of the government and initiate their extremely racist policies. Blacks and browns lose their jobs and homes. The police force loses power to Richter's citizen militia who all happen to be white bully boys.

Meanwhile, there is a new disease that is running through the Drowning which is the Lani part of the city that Ang comes from. It is striking down mostly young girls including Ang's nieces. It takes a while to find out what is causing the illness and the knowledge signals even more trouble for Bar-Selehm.

This story is filled will all kinds of wonderful characters from seventeen-year-old Ang to a charismatic black activist who is looking for a non-violent solution. Willinghouse's sister Dahria is also fascinating as she combines rich society girl with a cynical political eye. She is also Ang's friend - most of the time.

The story was filled with action as Ang investigates to try to clear Willinghouse's name and finds herself spying on any number of villains and facing danger on all sides. The worldbuilding was well done. I like the South African background. 

Favorite Quote:
I swallowed, wiped away my tears, turned my face into the hot sun, and got on with thins, because that was what you did. In this and this alone, the very poor were like the very rich. You did not indulge your feelings. You bit down hard, you strangled sentiment, you said nothing - absolutely nothing - and you continued.
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

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