Book Review – Songlines

Title: Songlines (The Sentinels of Eden #1)

Author: Carolyn Denman

Publisher: Odyssey Books

Publication Date: August 20, 2016

320 pages

3.25/5

Goodreads Synopsis

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.

Review

Hi friends! Back again with a review from Netgalley! Thank you to Netgalley for the privilege of reviewing books and the following opinions are my own.

I have a lot of thoughts about this book, and I’ve had a hard time organizing them into coherent thoughts. Overall, I liked this book, but there were parts I just really couldn’t connect with.

Basically, this book is a fantasy in which the Garden of Eden is real and weirdly enough in Australia. Cherubim guard the opening so humans cannot stumble upon it and find it. Lainie, the main character seems to be in the US equivalent of her senior year in high school. She’s got all sorts of usual problems – a dude who picks on her, a guy best friend who is exploring the dating scene without her, and trying to figure out what she wants fo do with her life. This is until a drilling company comes sniffing around her property & opens up a rabbit hole of godly proportions.

I found I liked the characters the most, plus the love stories. Who doesn’t love a good enemies to lovers trope? I feel like it’s done well and you really get a sense of why they were enemies. I don’t necessarily love the “You have no choice in who you love” trope, but it isn’t my least favorite. Lainie is just a normal girl trying to cope with her new lot in life with a ragtag group of pals.

I will say, the religious theme doesn’t do it for me. While it isn’t outwardly devout, it is centered around the existence of a huge piece of the Bible existing. In Australia. The setting of this book is another aspect that threw me off because I’m very unfamiliar with Australian language and slang so a lot of it didn’t make a whole lot of sense. I took a lot of guesses while reading.

Lastly, I was not a fan of the ending. Not because it wasn’t good or didn’t have a good enough cliffhanger, but because it made me so sad!!! I just wanted to hug all of them & squeeze them until they felt better!

I docked this book down to a 3.5/5 stars for those reasons. I’m not super sure if I will continue in the series. I imagine it would be a very mood read kinda thing. Not entirely for me, but I’d give it a try, especially if you understand Australian lingo!

Thanks for reading, friends!

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