by Carolyn Denman

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We belong to the Earth, Lainie-Bug. We were sent here in human form for a reason. If you don’t know what to do, then just be human.
Right. Like that was ever a simple thing to do.
In the heart of the Wimmera region of Victoria, an ancient gateway to Eden is kept hidden and safe by a creature so powerful that even the moon would obey her commands – at least it would if she had any idea that she wasn’t just a normal girl about to finish high school.
When a mining company begins exploratory sampling near Lainie’s sheep farm, a family secret is revealed that makes her regret not having learnt more about her Indigenous heritage.
What she’s told by their farmhand, Harry – an Aboriginal Elder – can’t possibly be true, but then the most irritating guy in class, Bane, begins to act even more insanely toward her than ever, until she can no longer deny that something very unusual is going on.
When Harry doesn’t return from his quest to seek help to protect the area from the miners, Lainie sets out to discover the truth of her heritage, and of the secret she’s been born to protect.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781922200617
Publisher: Odyssey Books
Publication date: 08/20/2016
Series: The Sentinels of Eden , #1
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 322
Sales rank: 58,977
File size: 2 MB
Age Range: 13 - 18 Years

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Songlines (The Sentinels of Eden, Book One) 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
cts827 3 months ago
Songlines by Carolyn Denman is a wonderful story that will take you away and make you think about life and heaven and earth. Do angels exist? Was the Garden of Eden real? There is so much going on in this story that I do not want to add anything to the synopsis about this book. I do feel that reading it will leave you with a wonderful feeling that cannot be explained. It is a different story and you must read it with an open mind. I guarantee you will love it! I received this story as part of a Quirky Blind Date with an author and I always review every book that I read. I highly recommend this one. Enjoy.
MarkODwyer34 9 months ago
‘I got four angry strides away before Harry changed the course of my life with six easy words. “Can you hear the river crying?” Lainie, Ch. 8’ Lainie’s days are filled with study for exams, repairing fences, ‘pulling stubborn lambs out of angry ewes’, and contemplating a future beyond this one-grain-silo town. ‘Your mother’s grave is a lie.’ Harry to Lainie. When the two important adults in her life, Aunt Lily and Harry, try to tell her that the mother she never knew is actually alive in some ‘Eden’, she reacts with anger. Though not clued up on the Book of Genesis, Lainie is sure the original Garden was not in the Great Southern Land (Australia). Besides, her mother lies buried. Harry, though, disappears. This is the catalyst for Lainie to seek out her roots. This unusual adventure, aimed at Young Adults, is so thoughtful it deserves a wide readership. It mixes a coming-of-age tale and romance with ancient memories, religious motifs and mythologies. The slow burn narrative begins in a nowheresville ‘where the creeks are named after dead animals’. Carolyn Denman builds the details of school life, farm work and hikes through the fire-prone bush until the fantastical elements seem to arise quite plausibly from this backdrop . I see it as an engrossing story of protecting the one Eden we all have now, our Earth. Lainie and her friends, Bane, Noah and Tessa, represent our only hope – young people. Earth’s enemies are symbolised by the mining giant Kolsom. But there is more going on than the struggle between these Sentinels of a special place and Kolsom’s devious agents. Something seems to be going badly wrong with the nature of Eden itself. ‘I smiled at him, winked, then stepped across the boundary into Paradise.’ Don’t be fooled by the early steady pace; the acceleration toward the utterly unforeseeable events took me by surprise. You are bound to want to know what on earth – and Eden – is going to happen next. Fortunately, the sequels are now available too. A note about song lines: To Indigenous Australians, a songline, or dreaming track, is one of the paths across the land or sky which mark the route followed by creator-beings. These made the earth and everything in it. This early time is called the Dreamtime or the Dreaming. Carolyn Denman says in the foreword, ‘My desire is that this tale reflects the co-existance and interconnectedness of belief systems.’ I think she suceeds remarkably well.
BookwormforKids More than 1 year ago
With a unique setting, background and twists, this is a young adult fantasy/paranormal novel to enjoy and devour. Lainie lives with her aunt near a small town on a farm in Australia. Not only does she face the normal troubles of school and farm life, but experiences visions and has a quirky sense of intuition. When miners arrive and start taking over the land, not only Lainie's aunt has her hands full with a battle to stop them, but Lainie notices things around her are growing stranger. Her past and future are nothing like she thought, and the truth is almost impossible to believe. This was a refreshing read. Lainie is full of spunk, humor and a fire-ball of quirky wit. She's down-to-earth, hard working, can handle sheep like nobodies business and still, isn't unsure of herself in many ways. In some ways, she's immature in her actions while, in others, she's beyond her years. It's an interesting mixture which makes her easy to like and tons of fun to follow. The setting is in Australia, and the author does a fantastic job at bringing the surroundings to life. The scenes are vivid, and it's easy to feel at home in Lainie's world. The unique twist with the Garden of Eden, gives this a whole new direction with lots of unexpected surprises and turns. While some aspects of the read are familiar in this YA genre, others are completely new and unexpected. There's never a boring moment, and it's impossible to see where everything is heading or what will happen next. There is a love triangle of sorts, but this is a romance which builds, learns, forms friendships and holds all of the necessary building blocks before nearing anything comparable to a fresh bud of love. In other words, this is an intriguing read and one YA paranormal fans are sure to enjoy.
Elizabeth Foster More than 1 year ago
Songlines is a fresh and unusual YA urban fantasy, with a unique supernatural twist: situating Paradise in a remote corner of the Victorian countryside. Songlines begins with Lainie Gracewood finishing off her last weeks of school, unaware that her university plans are about to be derailed. Her mission to protect her aunt’s farm from unscrupulous mining prospectors becomes an exploration of the land’s profound ties to humanity – and the role a close-knit network of farmers plays in safeguarding this sacred connection. Lainie’s character was a real highlight for me. I liked her adventurous spirit, her wicked sense of humour and her practical approach to every issue – whether it be looking after an orphaned joey, or finding a way to save the farm’s precious cave system with its hidden secrets. The mystery of the river which sends its sorrowful music into Lainie’s dreams, the role the Garden of Eden plays, and the inclusion of a strong romance element keeps the story spinning along. Songlines is an absorbing story I think would suit all readers of YA, from young to old.
TracyJTJ More than 1 year ago
Initially, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to buy Songlines, let alone review it. I was worried that I was going to read yet another YA novel involving angels with the usual love triangle thrown in. (Please get me a bucket I’m going to be sick!). Yet, when I heard the author’s tagline for the book I was intrigued: “Cherubim, the Garden of Eden, plus a flaming sword and all set on Australian sheep farm.” I thought, “Maybe this will be different.” You know what? It was - I thoroughly enjoyed it. Songlines centres around a teenage girl, Lainie, who lives on a sheep farm with her Aunt Lily and their farmhand Harry – an aboriginal elder. Lainie’s best friend is Noah, a boy she’s known since childhood and who lives on a nearby farm. They are both in their final year of high school in the nearby town of Nalong. Lainie’s nemesis, a boy named Ben, also attends the school and his violent outbursts over the years have earned him the nickname Bane. The book opens with Lainie experiencing a troubling premonition about her aunt confronting mining surveyors on their property. Her prescience and feelings of imminent danger escalate and through them she, Noah and Bane discover that the world around them is far different than they believed and their roles in it are beyond anything they could imagine. What I loved about this book was its characterisations and its setting. It was a delight to read a fantasy novel set in rural Australia and Denman captures what it’s like to be an Aussie kid going to school in a small country town. Having been a farm girl who went to a tiny high school in rural Victoria, these sections resonated very strongly with me and I found myself smiling as I read these passages – they ring true as do the sections depicting life on the farm. The pacing for the novel is steady, but it doesn’t race along and one of the benefits of this is that Denman has time to develop her characters in depth and as such they are easy to relate to. Their motivations, their hopes and their angst are all explored. Though most of this is written in the first person, from Lainie’s POV, there are sections that are written in the third person from other character’s perspective and this works really well. I normally loathe reading first person stories and if I enjoy them then it’s proof of good writing. The “voice” of Lainie is a blend of naivete, farm girl practicality and confused and hurt teen, but it reads as, or rather sounds, uniquely Australian. Denman does this through clever use of the vernacular and colourful metaphors which made me smile a lot. However, this is not done to such an extent that it will prove troublesome for international readers. Beyond the religious aspects of this tale, this is a coming of age story for all the teens involved in it and there other messages about personal freedom, environmental protection, dealing with loss and grief, facing fears, taking responsibility and ultimately embracing destiny despite the costs. The end was satisfying and definitely made me want to see what’s next in Denman’s The Sentinels of Eden series. 4 Stars.
ReadersFavorite2 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers' Favorite Songlines is the first book in The Sentinels of Eden series written by Carolyn Denman. High school senior, Lainie Gracewood, has a daydream vision of a bulldozer coming straight for her, effortlessly tearing her tree roots from the ground below her. Startled awake by the coach’s whistle, Lainie finds herself back at soccer practice, watching her best friend, Noah Ashbree, trying to break up an altercation between two players. Lainie’s vision had come after Aunt Lily had chained herself to a bulldozer of Kolsom Mining Company, which had been illegally destroying the forest on her land whilst trespassing on private property. As Lainie’s visions continue to get stronger, she wakes each morning with a song holding onto the edge of her subconscious. When one of the local tribal Elders (and custodian to The Garden of Eden, home of the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge), Harry Doolan, discloses to Lainie that she is of Indigenous blood and has a power greater than she could ever possibly imagine, Lainie goes into extensive research mode, only to learn that the local area of Nalong has an interesting history which comes from the Dreamtime. Unsure of how she fits into the scheme of things, Lainie not only sets out to investigate her own family history, but also her tribal lands and where she truly comes from, while making a few startling discoveries along the way. Carolyn Denman’s powerful tale of the Indigenous peoples of Australia and their role in protecting sacred sites of their ancestors reached into my very core. Legends of the Dreamtime are something I have grown up with as a Blackfella of Gubbi Gubbi Country. Sacred sites and the Dreaming (ie. rock art, tribal markings, the waters which are woven by the Rainbow Serpent, and Tiddalick the Frog) teach not only how the lands were created, but also teach humility and of our belonging to Country. Mention of one of Australia’s great authors, May Gibbs, whilst reading the story of Songlines, also gave me a nostalgic smile. It was wonderful to not only read a book which deals with the Dreaming, but also see mentions of such epic titles as Snugglepot and Cuddlepie – an essential book in any Australian home library. Songlines has woven many different genres into one, ensuring that the reader is not only entertained by the modern day teenage storyline, but also educated by the history, legend, ritual and faith of Australia’s first peoples. I very much enjoyed Songlines and recommend it to readers who are interested in the true history of Australia, presented with action, adventure, humor, spirituality and a touch of the paranormal.
ReadersFavorite1 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Kayti Nika Raet for Readers' Favorite Songlines by Carolyn Denman is the first book in the Sentinels of Eden, a young adult paranormal series set in Australia. Lainie views herself just like any normal teenager as she finishes high school with her best friend, Noah, and helps her aunt at the sheep farm. But when a mining company begins to creep into her family's property, tainting the family's water supply, her aunt reveals a family secret she has been holding since the death of Lainie's mother. Lainie is not quite human. Lainie refuses to believe what her aunt and Harry, an Aboriginal Elder, tell her, especially when her heritage has to do with things like Cherubim and the Garden of Eden. But as time passes and more of her unique abilities come to light, Lainie can no longer deny that something is different about her. When, Harry, her best link to her past, disappears trying to protect Eden from miners, it is up to Lainie to rise to the occasion and learn the true meaning of the secret she must protect. Songlines by Carolyn Denman is the kind of paranormal novel that emulates the best of the genre while adding something completely unique and refreshing to it. Songlines is a well written book with engaging characters and I really enjoyed following Lainie's journey of self discovery and acceptance. Author Carolyn Denman is currently writing the fourth book in the series, which is a relief considering how Songlines ended. I'm definitely interested in learning more about Lainie, Bane, and Noah! A great read for any fan of the paranormal.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Melinda Hills for Readers' Favorite Lainie Gracewood and her childhood best friend, Noah Ashbree, are finishing up their VCE and hoping to go on to university when forces beyond their control or understanding pull them into an amazing quest in Songlines: The Sentinels of Eden, Book One by Carolyn Denman. Sleep is increasingly elusive as Lainie dreams of the saddest music imaginable. Combined with increasingly strange behavior on the part of a lifelong pain in the neck, Bane, Lainie struggles to figure out what she is supposed to do. Visions of danger alert Lainie and Noah to a problem in the State Forest where a mining company is coming too close to sacred land. Unfortunately, Lainie never wanted to learn about it from Harry, the Gracewoods' farmhand who is an elder of the local Indigenous people, so she is totally unprepared for the cosmic battle that is necessary to preserve Eden. Along with Noah, Bane and Tessa, Lainie rises to the challenge and confronts the evil head-on as they learn their roles as guardians of a tremendous secret. The question is, what will this battle cost this group of friends and their families? Typical teenagers in very untypical roles make Songlines: The Sentinels of Eden, Book One by Carolyn Denman an extraordinary read. Filled with mesmerizing descriptions of the Australian outback and the mythical world of the Garden of Eden, you can’t help but turn the pages to see just what these friends are prepared to do to fulfill their destinies. Truly wonderful! The characters are so natural, you feel as if you are part of the group. Their depth is a pleasant break from depictions of teens as self-indulged and one-dimensional. Engaging on the surface, Songlines is also full of spirituality and the search for the meaning of a life worth living. This book provides tremendous depth and plenty of food for thought for today’s YA reader as well as people of all ages.