Outskirts Press (2012)
Reviewed by Amy Lignor for Reader Views (08/2021)
Ahh…vampires. Now, before you think about rolling your eyes, you need to know that this has nothing to do with an “Edward” loving a whiny human and how she needs to be dead in order for them to live an eternal life together. (Thank the gods, that is over). Yes, as a reader, I know we went through a time where vampires were one of the most annoying subjects on the face of the planet. However, when you take a look at “Guardians,” by Brad Anderson, you will breathe a sigh of relief. The author puts a fresh plotline together but does not take away from the ‘coolness’ of the vampire; he reminds us, in fact, why we like those creatures in the first place.
And not only are the bad or otherworldly guys fun, but even the man put into the hero role is, as well. The guy is no ‘slayer,’ he’s simply an uncle who must now save his niece and nephew. It just so happens he was minding his own business as a DEA agent working undercover for a drug overlord on the East Coast when he was exposed. The agent’s name is Robert Mackie and his mission is to find out who, exactly, put him in the spotlight.
His mission veers off path, however, when his particular goal puts his family in danger; they are not placed in the center of a mob family; instead, they find themselves thrown into the center of a huge vampire clan who happen to reside in the Guadalupe Mountains of West Texas.
Readers are introduced to the Guardians of Peace—an organization that has been responsible for enforcing a truce, albeit it a wary truce, between humans and vampires. And when the fanged ones end up killing two humans on the Rio Grande, let’s just say that truce falls into ruin and everything changes. As the violence grows, Carlos Santiago, the eldest of the Guardians, searches adamantly, trying to find the help he needs to get things in order again. But this is not exactly the time where you can believe anyone is telling the truth, so finding that help is almost impossible.
You’ve got Robert Mackie working his butt off to save those he loves, teaming up with an elder vampire who is trying to recover the children while also attempt to get his crew and the humans on the other side of things back in line and stop the violence, and you even get amazingly cool scenes where the kids give the vampires a run for their money, so to speak.
Not only does this book appeal to thriller and suspense lovers because of the fast-pace and memorable characters, but it’s also a truly intelligent novel that excites the brain as much as it does the nerve-endings. Both the human and vampire culture is written well, and having the backdrop of the Lone Star State was the perfect choice. If you’ve deeply missed your vampires, pick up “Guardians” by Brad Anderson ASAP!