I looked forward to reading GUARDIAN, because when I read FALLEN, the first book in the fallen angel trilogy, I was an instant fan of Delacroix's new urban fantasy series.
The author has created a gritty post-apocalyptic world set in the year 2100, where secret forces of good battle the evils of government corruption and the horrific treatment of the enslaved humans, called shades, who are victims of radiation-induced genetic defects. Fallen angels, as darkly appealing as any Byronic hero, work covertly to save humanity.
In GUARDIAN, Rafe is urged by unknown forces to attend the ceremony at the Citadel of the Daughters of the Light, where a new and false Oracle for the Republic is about to be selected. When twenty-three, a young woman and a shade at the Citadel, disrupts the proceedings with a prophetic vision, chaos erupts and Rafe feels compelled to protect the shade who shimmered with Angelfire, and whom he suddenly knows to be the true Oracle. With the help of an old woman and Ferris, a young shade, twenty-three is given a new identification bead and her true name, Delilah.
Born with the third eye of prophecy to Lilia Desjardins (the heroine from FALLEN), Delilah was harvested by The Society of Nuclear Darwinists as a child, but then rescued by those who have looked over her ever since - angels - while at the Citadel. Now, the only thing Delilah knows is that she's been kidnapped by a man whom she believes to be a shade hunter and that other hunters are trying to kill them. Unable to trust Rafe, who can't seem to tell her just who is he or whose orders he's following, Delilah follows her instincts. She sets out to contact the reverend, a woman who Delilah believes can help her realize her destiny, which is to be the true Oracle. Rafe follows Delilah, determined to protect her, while drawn to her both physically and spiritually.
Delilah and Rafe become prey, fleeing to the underground, encountering a fringe society of Wraiths, and turning to each other in passion, all while trying to escape the premier shade hunter. Their journey takes them from the Seattle to other side of the country where they confront the malevolent network behind the conspiracy to install a false Oracle for the Republic, one whom could be controlled. Lilia and Montgomery actively work to assist Delilah and Rafe, nicely tying the first two stories in the series together.
In GUARDIAN, the hero and heroine do the work of the angels, but need each other in ways that are entirely of this world. The reader will enjoy discovering if they are able to finish their quest without losing each other. Delacroix continues to deliver the goods with her masterful storytelling. The author gives us a fascinating, fast-paced story, unique and intriguing characters, and the enduring theme of love and hope found in all of the author's work (she also writes as Deborah Cooke and Claire Cross).