Synopsis: When myth becomes reality, reality becomes a nightmare. Like any other teenager in America, Ashley just wants a normal life. But growing up in an orphanage for the insane is anything but normal. After endless therapy and increasing medication, her nightmares have only gotten worse. Probably because they're not nightmares. When Ashley's mysteriously abducted, she finds a reality even less normal than the orphanage. And she discovers something else--she's no ordinary orphan. Faced with enemies thought to only exist in fairy tales, Ashley discovers she possesses a powerful Maya bloodline. She's the daughter of an ancient Maya Guardian, whose duty is to protect the Stone of Muuk'Ich, an enchanted relic blessed by the gods. But first she must get it back from Sarian, a power-hungry demigod who slaughtered the last guardian--Ashley's mother. Without the stone, all will be lost. When she meets Arwan, a hot Belizean time bender, his delicious olive skin and dark eyes make her feel a little less alone. But his gentle whispers and reassuring touch might not be all they seem. How can she balance love and duty when it's up to her to prevent the rising of the underworld? Especially when the guy she loves might be its crown prince...
My thoughts: I signed up to do a blog tour stop for the novella Escaping Darkness and decided to read this book before I read the novella. I'm glad I did because I got a lot of background information that will help me understand the other story better.
What I liked most about this book was the fact that it concentrated on Maya mythology. When reading mythology, one usually encounters Greek and Roman. It was a wonderful change to read about the western side of the world. I only wished that the Maya culture was expanded more in the story.
The characters were enjoyable to read. The main character, Ashley, was first thought to be insane but it was soon learned that she was a powerful protector of a Maya stone. I liked that she stood her ground and was able to put the people that she loved most first before boyfriends. Next there were Jayden and Arwan. They were the love interests that wanted to protect Ashley at all costs. I do admit though that I was not too fond with the love triangle going on (I'm usually not a big fan of this), but it did not stop me from reading the book. My favorite character had to be Renato, Ashley's uncle. He was caring and smart. He made me wish that he was my uncle too.
The plot of The Stone Guardian was quite interesting but it developed slowly. I was entertained with the fact how the story started off with an asylum for orphans then it moved on to Belize. I also enjoyed the fact that there were underworld creatures going after Ashley and I liked how the characters tried to retrieve the stone back. What I disliked about the book was that it was too slow for me. I felt that it could have been told in fewer pages because I found myself skimming through most of the second half of the book. I liked the plot but the pace could have been faster.
In all, I am glad that I took the time to read the first book in the series before delving into the novella. Other than the pace of the book, I liked the Maya mythology, the characters, and the whole good vs evil. I give it: