Rummanah Aasi
 I really liked Michelle Zink's Prophecy of the Sisters. I looked forward to reading the second book, Guardian of the Gate, and getting to know the interesting characters a bit better in the sequel. When the second book came in the public library, I reserved it right away. Unfortunately, I felt the second book was kinda flat in comparison to the first.

Description (from the inside cover of the book): The ultimate battle between sisters is nearing, and its outcome could have catastrophic consequences. As sixteen year-old Lia Milthorpe searches for a way to end the prophecy, her twin sister Alice hones the skills she'll need to defeat Lia. Alice will stop at nothing to reclaim her sister's role in the prophecy, and that's not the only thing she wants: There's also Lia's boyfriend James.
  Lia and Alice always knew the Prophecy would turn those closest to them against them. But they didn't know what betrayal could lead them to do. In the end, only one sister will be left standing.

Review: Guardian of the Gate is an enjoyable read, however, I didn't like it nearly as much as I liked the first book. Although its Gothic ambiance and the descriptive narrative kept me reading, I found a lot of holes in this book. For one thing, this book suffers from what I tend to call "middle book syndrome", where there is hardly any plot or character development. As if the book was written as a place holder in order to set up the third book in the series.
  Lia is once again our narrator and is now on a journey to find the missing "keys" and "pages" from the prophecy with the hopes of closing the Gates of Hell forever. Unlike the first book, Lia annoyed me in this sequel. She came off as whiny and very naive considering the enormity of the prophecy that she carries. Her relationships with her best friends aren't fully developed. So when a 'betrayal' occurs, it doesn't have much oomph for me as a reader to believe how hurt Lia feels and the betrayal is discovered.
   I had hoped we would get a closer glimpse at Alice, a very interesting yet aloof character, but she is hardly in the story at all and comes off as a secondary character. Although her presence is very short, she does make a big impact. I just wished the reader saw her power build and strengthen instead of being told so by many different characters.
  In the sequel there is a new love interest in the form of Dimitri for Lia. Dimitri is an interesting character. Although Lia seems to trust him implicitly, I still have some reservations about him. He just seems to good. Lia and her new flame seem to hit it off right away. I found Dimitri and Lia's relationship hard to accept because of the close bond Lia felt with James, her childhood best friend. I actually liked James and wanted to see what he was up to, but sadly he only appears a few pages in the beginning of the book. So, I'm not sure if we are set up for a love triangle considering James' limited appearance and the fact that and Lia hardly ever thinks about him. Despite these flaws, there are some beautiful descriptive passages and some suspenseful moments in the book such as when Alice suddenly appears in front of Liain. The ending intrigued me just enough to wait to read the third final book to see what really happens.

Rating: 3 stars

Words of Caution: Magic has a large role in the book. Lia's trip to the Altus is PG-13 scary and maybe a bit too much for elementary school readers. I would recommend the book to strong 6th graders and up. 

If you like this book try: The Gemma Doyle series by Libba Bray, The Mortal Instrument series by Cassandra Clare, or Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
3 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    Oh I'm looking forward to this one! I enjoyed the first one though the character of James threw me a bit because he didn't seem all that necessary to the plot. I can't wait to read about Dimitri, I'm glad there is another possible love interest for her even though I did like James.

  2. Huh, I liked James. He seemed sweet and devoted. Dimitri isn't bad, but I thought their relationship progressed too quickly for me. Can't wait to read your thoughts on the book.

  3. Nat Says:

    I really liked James too and was hoping their relationship would develop in book 2. I enjoyed the first book but not as much as the Gemma books, I'm on the third Gemma book right now and loving it! I really like how you give recommendations for similar books at the end of your reviews! I've found some great books from your recommendations---thank you!!

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