Outskirts Press (2015)
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (12/15)
In “Ancient Guardians” by Kanani Hurley, we meet Kawehi, a young girl growing up on the idyllic island of Kaua’i. Kawehi’s life is suddenly thrown off kilter when a serious tragedy occurs that affects her whole family. As the family struggles to process what happened, they discover there is more to the situation than meets the eye. The entire family draws closer together to try to stop potential future events. As the family gathers, Kawehi learns much about the history of her people, and realizes that she will have to fight evil to save the future of her family.
As the adventure progresses, Kawehi discovers that she and her family members all have very special gifts. They must use these talents to defeat the people who are trying to destroy them. The author takes us back in time so that we can see how the drama began. Going forward in time, there are still people from the past that must be dealt with. For Kawehi, this experience helps her grow up very quickly and she soon finds herself becoming the heroine of the story.
I really enjoyed reading “Ancient Guardians.” Even though the heroine is young, the book is written at a level that both teens and adults will be able to enjoy. The subject matter is age appropriate for preteens and teens. This would be the perfect story to have on a summer reading list. The unique setting of being on a Hawaiian Island while trying to solve the mystery of an ancient legend makes the book magical. It quickly captivated me. I loved that the family members had such a tight connection with each other. This helped strengthen their gifts. It is also refreshing to find family members that like each other in a novel for youth.
“Ancient Guardians” by Kanani Hurley is highly recommended reading. This would make a great gift for a young avid reader.