"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.
Sentinel by Joshua Winning
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.
This is a fantastic start to what looks like an exciting trilogy! I loved it!
Nicholas Hallow is a fantastic character. I liked him very much; and felt extremely sorry for him, as he dealt with a tragedy that destroyed his world. When he is sent to live with his godmother, Nicholas has no idea what mystery and danger awaits him.
This is an exciting, danger-filled YA Fantasy novel set it Cambridge, England. I found myself completely hooked from the first page! The characters come alive as the tale unfolds. Samuel Wilkins is Nicholas's parents friend. I liked his spirit! At 71 years old, he's still got a lot of it! Nicholas's godmother seemed a bit flighty to me, but when I read the full story of how she became that way, I could understand why. She's a powerful witch, but emotionally damaged by an event in her past. Isabel is a unique character, and her snarky and sarcastic comments had me giggling! I liked her very much! It's amazing what havoc a misfired spell can do to your perspective! However, there is one character that sent chills down my back, and her name is Malika. She is a creepy and dangerous individual! Well, I suppose you would have to be, working for a demon!
I struggled to put this book down, and couldn't wait to get back to it when I had to! There are several twists and turns in this book that I didn't see coming, but they just added to a totally enthralling read! By the end of the book I still had some questions that needed to be answered, such as: Why were the Sentinels created/formed? Who or what is Esus? And, what will happen next? I am now looking forward to reading the next book in the trilogy as soon as I can!
Joshua Winning has written a debut novel that had me sitting on the edge of my seat! I loved his fast paced writing style, which made the story flow beautifully. This author is one to watch. If he's not careful, he'll be on my favourite authors list in no time at all!
As this book is a Young Adult fantasy, I highly recommend this book to young readers aged 12+, and adults who love YA stories filled with witches, demons, supernatural beings, danger and adventure! - Lynn Worton
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It completely changed the book. As I explored Cambridge through the eyes of my characters, I saw it as the perfect place for a horror-fantasy novel. The city is this odd, gorgeous mix of contemporary and really, really old, which is exactly the tone I wanted for Sentinel. It's set in modern times, but deals in powers that have their roots in the ancient world. Here are three of the Cambridge locations that are pivotal to Sentinel...
The Fitzwilliam Museum
When I first moved to Cambridge as a student, I was actually too scared to go into the Fitzwilliam Museum. It's this monstrous building right in the city centre and pretty imposing. The lion statues really do seem to be guarding the building, warding off anybody (or anyTHING) who might mean it harm.
As a writer, of course, something like the Fitzwilliam Museum is the perfect setting for nefarious supernatural activity – it lends itself perfectly to the fantasy-horror genre, and I had no trouble dreaming up a pivotal sequence that took place there. I won't spoil anything, but it's hopefully every bit as creepy as I imagined the museum to be before I finally went inside. And, naturally, I found a way to keep those magnificent lions in there...
Cambridge really is a city that has moods, and those moods usually coincide with the changing seasons. One place where this is never more apparent is Midsummer Common, which is where Sentinel's lead character, Nicholas Hallow, lives.
It's a green patch of land just outside of the city centre. In the winter, it looks miserable, grey and hugely uninviting. In the summer, it's packed full of revellers who come and soak up the sun while enjoying the fairground that opens there. Also, as I dug into the Common's history, I found out some fascinating – and occasionally horrific – things about what had taken place there. Those findings are also in Sentinel...
Cambridge Train Station
Boring, huh? Well, the train station offers us our first glimpse of Cambridge in the first chapter of Sentinel. I love train stations. They're great for paranoia, which is what I was going for in Sentinel's first chapter as Anita and Maxwell Hallow embark on a mysterious trip. Can you really trust your fellow passengers? What if they're not there because they want to catch a train? What if they're actually after you..?
Those are just a few of the locations I used as a backdrop for the fantastical events of Sentinel, but the city really does have so much to offer. Though the second book in the Sentinel Trilogy takes a detour to another town (I spy another blog down the line), I would love to explore Cambridge even further in book three. Wow, was that a spoiler? Well, I'll leave you with this thought – in Sentinel, and Cambridge, nothing is ever what it seems...