Biological warfare, space aliens, and super powers, oh my! Determinant is filled with elements that come together to make a story where anything is possible. It is the third book of the Guardians of Vesturon series, but don’t be scared to pick this one up and read it out of order. I haven’t had the opportunity to read the first two books, but A M Hargrove does a wonderful job telling a complete story that doesn’t make readers rely on previously reading her other books.
January St. Davis has been dealt a crappy hand at life. She is kicked out of her house at age 16. She goes to college on an academic scholarship but looses it after her grades slip because she works two jobs just to survive. Oh, and her college roommate disappears. It looks like the one good thing is an internship at the CDC. However, while working late one night she is exposed to a fatal virus and ends up lost in the woods while on her way home. While dying in the woods, she is rescued by Rykerian—a Guardian of Vesturon. Soon the two realize that their souls have bonded. When a new and powerful being kidnaps January, and sends the guardians on a death mission, the two will have to face their own separate battles. Is January ready to commit to spending the rest of her life to this guardian she just met? And does Rykerian have the ability to pull off the mission so he can save the love of his life?
This story is fast paced. Hargrove doesn’t rely on long drawn out descriptions, but gives readers what they need to know before continuing on with the action of her story. She quickly skims January’s childhood so readers know where her character is coming from and why she is reluctant to trust and love others. Then January is thrust into the action. She meets Rykerian and the other guardians, and the world she thought she knew is turned upside down.
I love the unique super powers Hargrove gives her characters. In addition to the typical ones like telepathy and telekinesis, she also has obliteration (to erase others’ memories), tranquility (to ease and calm others’ emotions), and command (to force others to obey). Hargrove also creates “energy shifters” as a species. They can control the energy around them and use it as they want. For example they can inflict pain on others by using their mind and incinerate objects by looking at them. They are also immune to the Vesturons’ powers. They are definitely an enemy you don’t want to deal with!
Hargrove creates a serious toned story that will have readers either loving their parents or relating to what January goes through. Her mom despises her and can’t stand to look at her. January is banished to the attic when she is four years old and is kicked out of her house on her graduation night. Thankfully, I can’t relate to what January goes through, but Hargrove does a good job describing the pain January feels at being rejected by her family.
Determinant is a stand alone story that leaves a couple minor plot lines open for readers to pick up the next book. I would have liked to learn a little bit more about January’s father and what his story is about. Determinant is geared toward older teen readers who like romance novels. A few scenes get a little steamy.