For Your Consideration: Days of the Guardian Trilogy

Subject: Days of the Guardian trilogy
Author: D. Marie Prokop
Website: https://daysoftheguardian.wordpress.com/

D. Marie Prokop was in the "Oh, I didn't know you wrote!" category that authors briefly fall into at the moment they reveal their proclivities to you--like it's a secret identity or something. We met her and her husband when we attended the same church group some years ago. As things go sometimes, they moved to a different city, and if it weren't for Nanowrimo and Facebook, that probably would have been the last we heard of each other. But those wonderful/terrible things do exist, and we reconnected. As it turns out, she was working on a trilogy of dystopian sci-fi novels: Days of the Guardian.

I seriously love reading stuff my friends have written, so when I discovered that she'd published a novel, I Amazoned (that can be a verb, right?) that thing. The Red String is the first book in the trilogy. Set in a future where economic "necessity" has allowed the shroud of dystopia to descend. The oppressive regime manifests in the form of the Economic Crisis Containment Office (ECCO)--one of those government agencies that never manages to give up its emergency powers when the crisis that birthed it is over.

The two teenage main characters, Ainsling and Li are shoved together early on, but it's clear that they're both deeply flawed (as are we all), and that their relationship isn't going to be all kisses, hugs, and rainbows. The path to happiness and healing isn't an easy one for them, but it is one worth reading about.

Without going into plot-spoiling details on the story itself, let me just say that there's a lot packed into The Red String. It does its share of world building (as required for the first book in a trilogy) while delving into some of my favorite topics: sacrifice, free will, and the cost of power. Easy to read, you can finish this one in just a few hours on your favorite beach this summer.

After burning through The Red String, I discovered she was still working on the next book (The Red Cloak). I seized my opportunity, and offered (demanded?) that I be allowed to help out in any way I could. She foolishlywisely agreed to let me give her some feedback before it was published. But seriously, since editing is like 90% of writing, I jump at every chance I can to edit other authors' work. Editing is almost always painful, yes, but it's 100% necessary, and I need to get better at it. So this, was good practice, being able to look at a novel as a whole, as well as its place within the middle of a trilogy. One of the biggest challenges for me while editing was to suppress my own style when offering suggestions. (No, Ethan, your way isn't always the best--some people use different words than you.)

She published The Red Cloak last year, and is working on the final book in the trilogy: The Red Knot.

The Days of the Guardian series is targeted at young adults, and feels right at home on the bookshelf next to other YA trilogies like The Hunger Games or the Divergent series.

So, with full disclosure that I know the author and helped out with the 2nd novel in the series, I present the Days of the Guardian books for your consideration. I think you will enjoy the story she's telling, and you'll be supporting an independent author! If you're like me, you'll be looking forward to her finishing up that third book! Descriptions are from Amazon. Skip them if you like to go into stories completely blind.

The Red String (Days of the Guardian Book 1)
It is the year 2053. Ainsling Reid is a spirited and happy 16-year-old. Though she suffers from debilitating seizures, she has hope in the one doctor who has promised to cure her.

Li Griffin wishes his father would let him live his own life. He is angry and resentful that he has been forced to work at his Clinic. His feelings are harsher for the mother who abandoned him many years ago.

Despite their differences, these two teens form an unexpected bond when their lives cross paths.

In "The Red String," Ainsling and Li will find themselves in need of a rescue.

It's a good thing that's what the Guardian does best...

The Red Cloak (Days of the Guardian Book 2)
The voyage continues…

Led by the mysterious Guardian, Li Griffin and his girlfriend Ainsling Reid, along with the other passengers aboard The New Remnant, remain united in their efforts to rescue and rehabilitate the oppressed citizens of Sector One. The malevolent forces of the Economic Crisis Containment Office remain undeterred.

As Li struggles to cope with the shadow of his past and the weight of discovering the Guardian’s true identity, he must also work to uncover a new threat—one that lurks onboard The New Remnant itself.

Ainsling has her own demons to face. Stricken with epileptic seizures, she was implanted with a device that cured her…and granted her a unique power. But using her power to help others comes at a great personal cost. As Ainsling wrestles with finding her role on The New Remnant, can she find a way to fulfill the Guardian’s impossible mission without surrendering to rage, depression, and fear?

In The Red Cloak, the Guardian makes an unbelievable request. The red string of fate between Li and Ainsling is strong, but it twists and tangles as the pain of the past refuses to stay buried.

Just because you’ve been rescued…doesn’t mean you’re safe.