The Blood Guard by Carter Roy is the first book in an action-packed middle-grade series.
Truelove thought he had a pretty normal life. Sure, his mom kept his
schedule packed with extracurriculars like fencing and taekwondo, but he
figures she just wants him to be well-rounded so he can get into a good
college. And yeah, there was that weird fire at his house a year or so
ago, the one the authorities ended up calling a freak accident, but that
sort of thing could have happened to anyone. But on the day his mom
pulls him out of school and drives off, tailed by a couple of aggressive
SUVs, everything Ronan thinks he knows about his life starts to change.
In the course of that high-speed car chase, Ronan finds out that his
mother is a member of an ancient fighting force known as the Blood
Guard, who exist to protect 36 pure souls whose existence balances the
levels of good and evil in the universe. And Ronan is being trained to
follow in her footsteps. As the two evade the mysterious bad guys who
are chasing them, Ronan's mom tells him that his father has disappeared,
their house is no longer safe, and he must get on a train bound for
Washington D.C., where another member of the Blood Guard would meet up
with him and keep him safe. Unfortunately, things don't go exactly as
planned. Ronan will soon be on the adventure of his life, accompanied by
a cheeky teenage pickpocket named Jack, and Greta, a scrappy
acquaintance from a previous school. Pursued by strangers who mean them
harm, can they get to safety? Is safety even an option for Ronan any
more, now that he knows about the Blood Guard?
I found this a
great, fast-paced read. In tone, it's very similar to the Percy Jackson
series -- the same wry humor in the face of fantastical danger. There
were a couple of places where the writing faltered (I had a hard time
keeping track of where characters were in the big running-and-fighting
scene near the end of the book), but all in all, this was a satisfying,
exciting read, and I'll probably read more books in the series when they
are available. I'll definitely be recommending this to Percy Jackson
fans looking for read-alikes.
(Reviewed from a copy borrowed through my library system.)