The Blood Guard by Carter Roy, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
The Blood Guard (Blood Guard Series #1)

The Blood Guard (Blood Guard Series #1)

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by Carter Roy
     
 

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When thirteen-year-old Ronan Truelove’s seemingly ordinary mom snatches him from school, then sets off on a high speed car chase, Ronan is shocked. His quiet, nerdy dad has been kidnapped? And the kidnappers are after him, too?

His mom, he quickly learns, is anything but ordinary. In fact, she’s a member of an ancient order of knights, the Blood Guard

Overview

When thirteen-year-old Ronan Truelove’s seemingly ordinary mom snatches him from school, then sets off on a high speed car chase, Ronan is shocked. His quiet, nerdy dad has been kidnapped? And the kidnappers are after him, too?

His mom, he quickly learns, is anything but ordinary. In fact, she’s a member of an ancient order of knights, the Blood Guard, a sword-wielding secret society sworn to protect the Pure—thirty-six noble souls whose safety is crucial if the world as we know it is to survive.

Now all those after-school activities—gymnastics, judo, survival training—she made him take, make sense. For suddenly Ronan is swept up in a sometimes funny, sometimes scary, but always thrilling adventure—dashing from one danger to the next, using his wits to escape the Bend Sinister, a posse of evil doers with strange powers. Falling in with two unlikely companions, Greta, a scrappy, strong-willed girl he’s never much liked and Jack, a devil-may-care teenage pickpocket, Ronan is left with only his wits and his mom’s last words of advice: Trust no one.

That’s a lot for an ordinary kid to deal with. But then again, maybe Ronan’s not ordinary at all.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
03/03/2014
Debut novelist Roy (a pseudonym for agent Michael Stearns) launches a sharp and energetic trilogy with a breakneck opening and an everyboy narrator who becomes enmeshed in extraordinary circumstances. The improbably named (outside of fantasy novels) Evelyn Ronan Truelove's mother picks him up from school and takes him on a madcap car chase. Once they escape their pursuers, she explains that Ronan's many extracurricular activities—gymnastics, judo, etc.—were to help train him to join the Blood Guard, the secret organization she belongs to whose job it is to protect The Pure, the handful of humans so impossibly good, they balance out the sins of the rest of the world. Along the way, Ronan fights an evil organization called the Bend Sinister and teams up with a girl named Greta and a boy named Jack. The use of familiar fantasy devices is balanced by Roy's narrative verve and multilayered characters, who display genuine emotion and self-awareness. Breathless action, witty dialogue, and unabashed fun should keep most readers from noticing that the plot sometimes stretches itself thin. Ages 10–up. Agent: the Inkhouse. (Mar.)
Voya Reviews, April 2014 (Vol. 36, No. 1) - Blake Norby
Thirteen-year-old Evelyn “Ronan” Truelove is about to find out that his ordinary mom, who wears paint-stained jeans and men’s button-down shirts, is not so ordinary after all. When she unexpectedly picks him up from school, it is to tell Ronan that his father has been kidnapped and she is part of the Blood Guard, an ancient secret group of knights sworn to protect the thirty-six Pure souls, whose safety has to be ensured for the good of the world. All of a sudden, Ronan’s extra-curricular activities, including gymnastics and fencing, make sense as he realizes his mother was training him for survival. And, he needs his training as he separates from his mom to be chased by members of the Bend Sinister, a group intent on stealing the Pure souls. Ronan joins together with Dawkins, another member of the Blood Guard, and Greta, a know-it-all ex-classmate, on a wild adventure to escape the Bend Sinister and reunite with his mother and kidnapped father. This is a superbly written adventure book perfect for middle school readers. Roy’s book has just the right amount of sarcastic humor and genuine heart to keep the reader engaged with the characters all the way through the story. The story is filled with highly descriptive action, and the rare breaks in action are filled with witty dialogue sure to keep the readers on their toes. It is a great start to what is sure to be a wildly popular series, especially among boys, and a must-have for any library serving tweens and younger teens. Reviewer: Blake Norby; Ages 11 to 15.
School Library Journal
07/01/2014
Gr 4–8—When Ronan ("Don't call me Evelyn") Truelove's mother arrives unexpectedly to pick him up from school, Ronan assumes she's just there to give him a ride to gymnastics class. Instead, Ronan and his mom are suddenly involved in a terrifying high-speed car chase by suited robot assassins. Between driving down stairways in a VW Bug, stealing a police cruiser, and wielding swords to deflect bullets, Ronan's mom explains that not only is Ronan's father missing but that she is a member of a secret society, the Blood Guard, dedicated to protecting the 36 Pure Souls, whose goodness must be preserved to stop the world plunging into darkness and evil. When his mother drops him off at the train station with only the cryptic advice "Trust no one," Ronan starts to understand why up to now his life has been a progression from one martial arts class to another—he was unknowingly in training for the Blood Guard all along. Conveniently meeting up with Greta, a sarcastic friend from a past school who happens also to be an expert in the use of firearms, and his assigned Blood Guard protector Jack Dawkins, Ronan sets off on a whirlwind adventure, to prevent the agents of evil from stealing the souls of the pure. Although Ronan's exploits are reminiscent of Alex Rider and Percy Jackson, the background mythology comes from the Christian Old Testament with a touch of Men in Black. Comparisons could also be made to Anthony Horowitz's "Gatekeepers" series (Scholastic), but Roy writes so well that the story is completely fresh and manages to be funny while dealing with superhuman enemies and apocalyptic terror. Ronan is an appealing hero, and readers will want to see what happens next. A great new series for middle school students who love fantasy and adventure.—Jane Barrer, United Nations International School, New York City
Kirkus Reviews
2013-12-18
Roy's first novel is the humorous and exciting start of a new trilogy. Ordinary 13-year-old Evelyn Ronan Truelove's life is turned on its ear when he finds himself a participant in a mad car chase, his mother at the wheel, pursued by unknown assailants his mother identifies as "bad guys." When Ronan's mother reveals she's a member of a group known as the Blood Guard, he realizes his life isn't as normal as he thought, for he's unknowingly been a Blood Guard–in-training his entire life. The mission of the Guard: to protect three dozen people known as the Pure, whose goodness balances out the sins of Earth's 6 billion other inhabitants. If the Pure die, the world ends. The bad guys are Bend Sinister agents, members of a group who've created a way to steal the souls of the Pure—and bring about the world's destruction. The stakes are raised with a startling revelation that will have readers eager for the next book. The pacing is quick, with important details revealed evenly throughout. It can be sentimental in places but never sappy, and Ronan (please don't call him Evelyn) is a believable protagonist, gradually moving from ordinary boy to hero. Though it's a little on the derivative side, this iteration of the hero's journey will have readers chuckling all the way to the satisfying cliffhanger. (Adventure. 10-14)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781477847251
Publisher:
Amazon Childrens Publishing
Publication date:
03/04/2014
Series:
Blood Guard Series, #1
Pages:
279
Sales rank:
598,947
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)
Lexile:
710L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

Meet the Author

Carter Roy has painted houses and worked on construction sites; waited tables and driven delivery trucks; been a stage hand for rock bands and a videographer on a cruise ship; worked as a line cook in a kitchen, a projectionist in a movie theater, and a rhetoric teacher at a university. He has been a reference librarian and a bookseller, edited hundreds of books for major publishers, and written award-winning short stories for adult readers that have appeared in a half-dozen journals and anthologies. But this is the first time he’s written a novel. He lives in New York City.

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