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on 10 February 2014
It is rapidly dawning on me that I have wasted a huge chunk of my life by refusing to read fantasy novels. And this book is just one example of why.

Eve is a normal seventeen year old girl on her way back from a school skiing holiday in France. Everything is seemingly average until the coach she is travelling on ends up dangling over the edge of a cliff. Two of her teachers rush to help Eve to safety but Eve is confused: why are they so focused on rescuing Eve and no one else on the bus? Things start to get even stranger as her teachers have the ability to hold the bus and stop it from falling and as Eve soon discovers, so does she.

Very quickly she becomes aware the two teachers are called Guardians and that they are there to protect her at all costs. When she returns home it soon becomes apparent that everyone around her is there to protect her. Even her dog, Quinn. Slowly she unravels the mystery and finds out the reason why she needs to be protected and why people are out to get her.

This book hooked me, from the second I started reading I couldn’t put it down. I even read it whilst I ate my breakfast this morning and I ended up trying to put a spoonful of cereal up my nose. I was dubious about starting this book at first because even though I’ve seemingly fallen massively in love with the fantasy genre, I was worried this book would confuse me and leave me back at square one. I needn’t have worried for this book was so engrossing and wrapped it’s large arms tightly around me. Everything was explained perfectly which meant I was able to follow the story extremely easily and do a lot of gasping and swearing when things started happening!

The plot moved at an alarming pace which kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. I was expecting it to unravel slowly but I loved the adrenalin filled plot that it turned out to be. My heart genuinely started to beat faster in certain parts; I was so immersed.

Without a doubt, this book contains some of the most intriguing and lovable characters I have ever read about. Eve is charming, kind, shockingly mature and beautifully sympathetic. Seth, her best friend is everything you could ever want in a best friend: loyal, kind and protective. The supporting cast of characters are just as fantastic and I found myself warming to Quinn and Eli especially quickly.

I loved Holly’s style of writing. It wasn’t overly laden with superfluous descriptions and scene filling; every sentence was crucial to the narrative and each one flowed seamlessly into the next. My favourite kind of story is one that can give you vivid descriptions of the settings but also keep the story moving. Holly nailed this.

There are going to be another three books in this series and I cannot tell you how desperate I am to read them! The Prophecies will be out in April and I for one cannot wait!

A fast paced, thrilling fantasy about saving the world, love, friendship and everything in between.
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on 30 December 2013
This book starts with a bang, literally and continues at the same pace. Eve is 17. Her world changes when the coach she is travelling on is involved in a horrific crash. As the coach teeters on the edge of a cliff she watches as her teachers seemingly do the impossible - they pull the coach to safety.

She soon finds out that she is The Sentinel, created to save the world and that all the people she has ever known are her Guardians, pledged to protect her from those who don't want her to fulfil her destiny.

This is the debut novel of Holly and she provided me with a copy of her novel in exchange for an honest review.

This book reminded me of Twilight, despite being nothing like it! For want of a better explanation it seems to have the same `atmosphere' as Stephanie Meyer's series. Yes it is a paranormal young adult romance but that is really where the similarity ends.

Eve is a strong character, accepting almost without question that she is different and that the world is full of beings and creatures that humans are unaware of. She is perhaps a little too accepting, there are very few occasions where she questions what she is being told.

She perhaps has little time to do anything other than accept without too many questions as many attempts are made on her life, interspersed with learning her new powers and responsibilities, and of course falling in love. The love story between Eve and Seth is a core part of the story and a lovely journey as a reader to take. Eve comes across as a genuinely kind girl, whose natural instinct to care for others soon has an effect on her Guardians, who aren't built for human emotions and she soon accepts that it is her destiny to save the world, even if it means dying in the process...

This is the first a series of books and as such sets the scene for the rest of the series but there's plenty of action, love and story development to make it an excellent opener. It is well written, drawing you in from the beginning and I soon found myself on the final few pages, knowing that there wouldn't be an ultimate denouement but eager to find out what would happen. I look forward to the next in the series and seeing what's in store for Eve and her friends.
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I'm been having trouble writing this review, it's really hard to find the words to describe how amazing this book is.
This is definitely the best debut I've read this year!

When Eve discovers that the world around her isn't what it seems, she finds herself faced with the task of saving the world,
But surely the girl she sees reflected in the mirror isn't up to the challenge or is she?
With the help of her guardians and other guides can Eve accept what they've bestowed on her!

Three words keep going through my mind, Wow, fantastic and amazing!

Wow sums up the gripping storyline, with its fast pace and action scenes, you find yourself wowing at the combat that's unfolding!
Fantastic is the way to describe the abilities of the characters, the descriptiveness of what they can do means that you can easily visualise their powers in use.
Amazing is the whole package, the storyline, characters and the fact that this is a series and we will be able to read more is truly amazing.

And that brings me to the characters, Holly has given me 4 new guys to dream about:
First we have Seth, the handsome, kind hearted and muscly best friend of Eve.
In my head I pictured Taylor Lautner and in my dreams I swooned!

Lucas the wonderful guardian who is in-tune with Eve and Seth and brings us some wonderfully funny lines.

Then there is the chocolate eyed hero who had me wishing to find him on my bed (notice I said on)
I shall leave it up to you to figure out who I'm talking about!

And finally Eli, oh Eli. The strong willed protective guardian the guy who leaps to the rescue and learns to feel.

Oh wow, (see I said it again) the guys, the story, it has it all.

Eve is a feisty heroine, she's not quite ready to give up and let people fight for her.
I love the way that Eve discovers so much about herself and in doing so she helps others to learn about themselves too!

I just love this book, I want you all to read this book, in fact you all need to read this book!
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on 3 January 2015
OMG WHAT A BOOK!!!!!

So I was in need of an epic fantasy novel and I had hear so much chatter about this book on twitter and Jo (@cometbabe) had been telling me to read this book for a while so I had high hopes for this book. I am VERY glad to say that it did not disappoint. I hope this review can do it justice but I very much doubt that.

This book begins with Eve on the way back from a skiing trip in France and she selflessly and heroically helps to save the whole class from dying. She always thought she was an average girl with a great best friend. She then discovers that most of the people she knows, are not people but guardians, pledged to protect her and keep her alive at all costs.

Eve is selfless and brave. Eve being Eve can’t face the thought of them dying to protect her (tbh nor can I). While her guardians are trying to keep her alive she is fighting to keep them alive. Eve is an easy character to like and associate with.

Eve’s best friend is Seth. Oh how much I love Seth. Holly put me through some trying times in this book. There were times when I couldn’t read for fear of what would happen to Seth or any of the guardians.

Eli is the head of Eve’s personal guard. He is a bad boy with a hidden soft centre. He tirelessly fights with over the fact that her guard is there to protect her no matter what, even is it means risking their own lives. Lucas and Quinn are two of my favourite characters in this book.

It shows such skill as a writer for Holly to be able to switch from the swoonworthy 100 proposals to the epic fantasy of The Sentinel. Holly makes every word count in this book. There isn’t a sentence that is just there for the sake of it. Every character is well described you can imagine their facial expressions, their stance, the exact location they are in without it being overbearing.

I absolutely loved this book and I am dying to read the second book (The Prophecies) so I will be bumping it up my TBR.
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on 26 December 2013
This is unlike anything I have ever read before.

Firstly, thank you to Holly for sending me a copy of her book The Sentinel to review. I was having a bit of a slump with reading and I ended up putting the book I was reading down, and looking for something else. I had a scroll down my kindle library and when I saw this again I thought I would start it and see if I could get my reading mojo back.

The Sentinel is about main character Eve. Eve lives in our world; she is just a normal girl. Except she isn't and although she lives in our world, it's not planet Earth as we know it. Eve has secretly been in training all her life, although she didn't know it at the time. Eve is living in a world where everyone around her has a secret identity and a binding promise that ties them to her. They are her guardians, her super human guardians who surround her to protect her from those who seek to destroy her.

I don't even know where to begin to write this review to ensure that I do it the justice that it deserves. The story starts with Eve getting a first glimpse into the world that she truly belongs. She possess a strength which marks her out as superhuman but the first talk of guardians alert her to the fact that she is not along in this strength. She is confused by the whole accident and what it could potentially mean for her. You get to go on this mad journey with her as she finds out everyone around her is someone else, with the help of her best friend Seth (Liam Hemsworth plays him in my head) she gets to grip with her new powers and starts to see a new purpose for her life.

Holly has given each character their own remarkable abilities, but Eve is like a hybrid of these abilities. The interwoven traits in her genetic make-up are so fantastically thought out that even reading this in a world without super powers you can visualise Eve and you feel like you're experiencing the story with her, as her. Which is completely different to just reading a story.

The story is filled with action as the young adults, wise beyond their years, teach Eve to use her abilities and try to protect her. It allows you to completely escape to a new reality, Eve's. On top of the fact it's bursting with action it's also filled with love. A love for family, but also love between Eve and Seth which is so deep seated that it really does feel like they were made for each other. I've chosen to schedule this review for Christmas day as there is a significance with the story, which you will either know or find out about - exciting!

Holly is planning to release the 2nd novel in the series in April 2014 but has included a sneak peak at the end of the story, which is the epitome of all teasers.

The imagination employed in the writing and creation of this story is extraordinary.
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The fantasy genre is quite new to me, so when Holly offered me the chance to review her novel I was extremely excited. And I am so glad that I did because The Sentinel captured me entirely. Holly has produced an absolute masterpiece and I am still finding it hard to believe that this is her debut novel. It has left me with an insane book hangover, but the brilliant news is that there is more... hurry Book 2! I NEED YOU!!

The Sentinel opens with a dramatic scene where Eve's life is hanging in the balance, and her life is saved by two of her teaches as they stop the school coach from falling off a cliff...by holding the bumper! To add to the madness, everyone denies the events to Eve and suggests she is just suffering from the trauma of the accident. Eve remains suspicious, but even she begins to question herself. The story takes another turn when a fire breaks out in Eve's home, and thus unravelling a roller coaster of events which reveal to the reader, and to Eve, the mystery of the guardians and Eve's importance in the world.

We go on to see Eve struggle to come to terms with what is going on and who she can trust. It is at this point where we first see the strength of the bond between Eve and Seth, her best-friend. *swoon*. Seth is the ultimate in book boyfriends and is the one who reveals the truth to Eve about who she really is. I loved Seth's openness and honesty with Eve despite knowing that he will get in trouble. Seth puts his friendship with Eve first, before his duty as a guardian.

I really admire Eve's strength as a character. She has her moments where it all becomes too much and she has a bit of a tantrum, but she always pulls through fighting - and really, can you blame her? She is 17 years old and just been told that she is supposed to save the entire world! Phew. Through everything Eve's main concern is the safety and happiness of her friends and guardians; she hates what they all have to give up and risk because of her. You can't help but admire Eve for this.

Holly's writing really brings the story and its characters to life. Her descriptions of the characters' actions and emotions create the images for the reader so magnificently - you can picture their expressions, the use of their powers and you can completely feel their emotions like they are your own. In this same way, Holly's ability to build tension in her writing is superb - Holly subtly builds the tension into the story as it is about to take a turn, really creating a sense of anxiety in the reader as you know something terrible is about to befall Eve and her guardians.

Alongside the excitement through the fantastical powers we see Eve discover, it is also a story which follows Eve's discovery of herself. I love that the book highlights one of Eve's most important qualities as her humanity - her ability to feel. This is a beautiful journey we follow through the story as we also see Eve's influence take affect on the guardians as they too learn to feel, and discover their own level of humanity. One of my particularly favourite scenes is the snowball fight - in amidst all the darkness it is great seeing the guardians discover laughter.

The Sentinel explores the importance of humanity, and its ability to influence others, as well as exploring an array of different friendships and relationships. It is packed full of action to get your adrenaline pumping as well as being adorned with beautiful friendships, new relationships and some fiery passion.

I wasn't ready to stop reading The Sentinel and it has left me absolutely craving book 2.

A thrilling journey of discovery and stunning display of true friendship, loyalty and love.

If you haven't read The Sentinel you are definitely missing out! Be sure to get your copy now and discover the brilliance that is Holly Martin.
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on 30 October 2013
The Sentinel is the kind of book that starts with action. There are no underlying mutterings that manage to stir enough interest to make you turn the pages until you finally reach the action packed crescendo at the end... No, The Sentinel is completely action packed from start to finish, and I cannot recommend this book enough!

It begins with a coach crash. Yep, within two pages you are practically witnessing a coach load of kids teetering over the edge of a precipice - staring death in the face! Eve, the main protagonist, is snatched from the coach and dragged to safety by her guardians, only to realise that the guardians are quite willing to send the rest of her classmate to their death in order to avoid questioning. Eve summons the strength to help to save them... but in return is sent on a twisted path where she tries to figure out who she really is, why she is so integral to this other world she knows nothing about, and why it is so important that she be kept alive.

Whilst I don't want to mention too much about the storyline for this book (I'm frightened I'll ruin something for you!) I will tell you that my favourite characters in this book were Eve's guardians. As the book develops, so do they and its tremendous to watch (well... read!).

This was one of those books that is so explanatory and drags you so far in that you feel like you're watching the movie version as you read. I would absolutely recommend it, and I cannot wait for the next book in the series!
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on 25 October 2013
Review of The Sentinel by Holly Martin

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

5 stars

This is a story about a young women named Eve who is thrown into a magical world where things she couldn't have ever imagined exist. She is a sentinel and has been guarded her whole life by guardians because of her destiny. However her life is in danger every step of the way by those who do not want to see her destiny fulfilled. And with the help of her guardians she has to learn this new world and her place in it while at the same time trying to stay alive.

It will be hard to review this book as I don't want to give anything away because this is one story every lover of paranormal and fantasy books should read and love, just as I did.

This has been one of my favourite books this year. I absolutely adored it.

This story threw you straight into the action and from the very first page I was captivated. The action never stopped and I read this in one whole sitting, only stopping when I needed to get a drink..I was that addicted to this book.

Eve is a wonderful character and I thought she was so strong minded, kind hearted and just an amazing person. She is thrown into this whole other world where so many people want to see her dead, and yet she remains strong and wants to fight beside those who protect her.

I loved all of the secondary characters in this book, her personal guardians such as Eli, Lucas, Caleb..I thought they were all brilliant and I love how they start to become more human and have feelings because they all connect with Eve.

I adored Quinn and was glad when we discovered who he was and of course I loved Seth, so strong and protective of Eve, just like all her guardians and friends are. There were a lot of secondary characters in this book but even so I still felt connected to them in some way. The author has done a brilliant job bringing all these characters to life.

The plot itself was fast moving and there was always something happening. I couldn't stop turning the pages and was desperate to keep reading to see what happened next. There was never a moment in the whole book where I wanted to skip ahead because on every page there was something happening that I didn't want to miss.

The author has created an amazing story and wonderful characters and I would defiantly recommend this to lovers of fantasy and paranormal. I can't wait for the next book to come out and I pray I don't have to wait too long!
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on 18 October 2014
Eve is a normal 17 year old girl who has plenty of dreams in life and is working hard in school to make sure she can make them come true but when she is involved in a coach crash she discovers things will never be the same again. Eve is introduced to a world of powers, guardians, evil and much more but above all she is introduced to a prophecy that has told of her being the one to save the world. With her world turned upside down and her life at home gone after a fire she must learn to trust those set to protect her and figure out just what she is capable of before it is too late or she has destroyed everything she was sent to save.

First off let me just say this is a book that has very much lived up to the hype and a massive congratulations to Holly Martin on an amazing book. The story is told magnificently and manages to have many fantastical things going on that don't seem out of place thanks to the way in which the author puts them to the reader. The characters all stand out well as having their own individuality which is impressive when you consider what a tight group they are in the book. I think that for any author this would be impressive but to learn it is the first book the author has had published is a massive hope of much to come.

This is a book I heard a lot of hype about and it lived up to the hype. It is a book I really did love and one I will be telling others about as it is one of the stand out ones of the genre for me.
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on 21 November 2013
Wow, what can I say? I was hooked from page one, in fact blown away would be more accurate. The book starts with a coach crash, in which Eve is involved, as far as she is aware she is just an ordinary teenage, but following the crash her whole life changes when she discovers she is The Sentinel. Everything she thought she knew is thrown into disarray as she discovers she has a multitude of powers and is the one to save the world. Throw into the mix Quinn, Eli and Seth, plus the rest of the guardians, not to mention the puritans who want to kill her, and your in for a treat. Then there is Seth, her best friend, but soon she realises she feels more for Seth than just friendship.

The Sentinel is action packed from page one, it is fast paced and thrilling to the end, with some romance thrown in to just add the final gem. It is fantastically written and really draws the reader in. The characters are loveable and I found myself easily able to connect with them. And the plot - WOW!!! I'm new to fantasy, but this well and truly has me wanting to read more.

Look no further for your next read. This is a must have book for your TBR pile, one that will soon become a firm favourite. I know I have found a new favourite with The Sentinel and will be eagerly anticipating the next instalment. Thank you Holly for writing this fantastic book and get writing :-) I need to know what happens next!
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