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Guardian: A Steeplejack Novel


Guardian: A Steeplejack Novel

Former steeplejack and fledgling spy Anglet Sutonga -- Ang for short --- is back with the most intense adventure yet in book three of the Steeplejack novels, GUARDIAN by A.J. Hartley.

Every time I write a review for one of these novels I have to remember that I can’t reference everything, otherwise the review will be as long as the book, but goodness this mystery is a doozy! As far as third installments go, GUARDIAN is here to put its two predecessors to shame. All of the stops have been playfully removed by Hartley, who at this point can almost be seen laughing maniacally at his own ingenious pacing. He is an absolute master of pacing and building tensions higher and higher. I might very well have whiplash from how fast I blew through this book.

"This is the fastest moving and absolute most intense installment in A.J. Hartley’s Steeplejack series....I am hoping I can step back into Bar-Selehm again and again."

The dynamism, vibrance and honesty of Bar-Selehm is in full uproar when the Heritage Party takes control of Parliament. The Heritage Party is (for those grabbing this volume before the second in the series: FIREBRAND) a hardline white supremacist government party in Parliament. At the start of GUARDIAN, the Heritage Party is trying to remove all people of color from Bar-Selehm, the steampunk city-nation in which our young Anglet Sutonga resides. This fascist party of potentially violent government officials has attempted to assume control of Parliament and the country for some time, but to no avail.

That is, until the Prime Minister and leader of a somewhat conservative but less ignorant party turns up dead --- slain, in fact --- in a tucked away corner of the Parliament building. Now it’s up to Anglet to solve the case with the help of her powerful friends. Or at least that would be the case, until her powerful friends start getting taken off the streets to prevent any interference. Soon, a national crisis sends heads spinning, fingers pointing and lands Anglet Sutonga’s Parliament representative employer, Willinghouse, in jail as the prime suspect in the Prime Minister’s murder!

Amidst all this government conspiracy the children of the district in which Ang’s family lives, including all of her nieces, have started getting deathly ill. The virus starts with a handful of girls and quickly spreads to the adults. People are dropping like flies and Ang has only days before people start dying. Its true, you will find all this and more in A.J. Hartley’s newest Steeplejack installment, GUARDIAN!

This is the fastest moving and absolute most intense installment in A.J. Hartley’s Steeplejack series. If this is the conclusion I’m satisfied with it, but really I am hoping I can step back into Bar-Selehm again and again.

Reviewed by Matthew Burbridge on June 14, 2018

Guardian: A Steeplejack Novel
by A.J. Hartley