Review of Shannon Phoenix’s Guardian of the Abyss

Guardian of the AbyssI got my copy of Shannon Phoenix‘s novel, Guardian of the Abyss from the Amazon KDP list.

Description from Goodreads:
Buried at sea by the sorcerers who created him, Abaddon is a gargoyle unable to heal himself and unable to replenish his energy. He has lived here for longer than he can remember, with no hope of escape. Time is against him as the sea eats away at him, body and soul.

When her diving partner tries to kill her to take over her company, Sarah finds herself trapped beneath the waves and dying. Having brought light to Abaddon’s dark existence at last, only she can grant him the courage to do what must be done to escape his watery prison.

Abaddon must sacrifice his wings to save her. Sarah must come to terms with being trapped with someone she has been raised to believe is a demon, and face the betrayal that nearly destroyed her and the company she built. Together, they must take on the ocean and their own fears. The consequence of failure is death.

Guardian of the Abyss wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. Most of it took place in the cave under the sea, which means it was just Abaddon and Sarah alone in the near dark. There were a lot of awkward getting to know each-other moments, a few rushed sex scenes and a couple sweet passages, but almost no action at all.

Once they reach dry land at last things pick up a bit, but I also felt like the story started to unravel a little bit. All of a sudden werewolves, vampires, goblins, etc were introduced and I was left wondering what the society looked like. There had been little previous indication that it was other than modern American up until that point. Plus, despite no introduction to her abilities, Sarah suddenly seemed all powerful and awe inspiring. It didn’t feel like she deserved half the praise she received since she didn’t seem to work at anything. It all just came so naturally. She had no fear of any of the paranormals she suddenly encountered, boldly chastised a powerful gargoyle and somehow brought peace where none had been for hundreds of years. Not to mention saved a species (and we’re never told what makes her special). It was all just too easy for her.

I also had a little trouble with small details like the fact that Abaddon was 2,000 years old, had been stuck in a cave for 400 years, didn’t know what a door knob was, but had no trouble describing something as sub-atomic. Some of his ignorance of modernity was pretty funny though.

For all that, it was still a fun little read. Abaddon was extremely honourable and I enjoyed that aspect of his personality. Sarah was stubborn to a fault and more than willing to take charge and demand what she wants. You don’t see that in PNR heroines too often. Together they were a cute, if occasionally inept couple. Final call: it might not top my favourites, but I enjoyed it all the same.

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