Harper Price, peerless Southern belle, was born ready for a Homecoming tiara. But after a strange run-in at the dance imbues her with incredible abilities, Harper’s destiny takes a turn for the seriously weird. She becomes a Paladin, one of an ancient line of guardians with agility, super strength and lethal fighting instincts. Just when life can’t get any more disastrously crazy, Harper finds out who she’s charged to protect: David Stark, school reporter, subject of a mysterious prophecy and possibly Harper’s least favorite person. But things get complicated when Harper starts falling for him–and discovers that David’s own fate could very well be to destroy Earth.
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Ah. Finally a tale of an unapologetically high achieving, tradition loving, independent but definitely not without her hang ups, paladin and her nerdy, nuisance, impossible noble cause with questionable fashion sense. If you’re thinking this popular girl turned protector storyline sounds familiar, I’d say you’re right, the Buffy vibes are strong here, right down to the training with medieval weapons under the watchful eye of a mentor type. But I’ll always be a fan of the “saving the word in time for the big dance” trope so you won’t find any complaints about that here.
I appreciated Harper’s attempts at maintaining the separate aspects of her life, and while I rolled my eyes a bit at her exploration of her newfound powers and her googling of Paladins, I have to admit that in this day in age, a lot of us would do a similar thing. Also, from hearing other people talk about this book I was expecting to hate David more. I thought there would be a lot more conflict and opposition instead of the friendship that formed the second Harper and David spent more than two minutes together.
The story was fast paced and never got bogged down in the ‘lore’, only giving the reader the information they needed to follow along with the story. This of course made for some head scratching moments, like how exactly the dead bodies just disappeared, and smashed in doors repair themselves; but never fear all is (kind of) revealed in due course. The ending came and went and I felt a wee bit ripped off, if I’m honest. I didn’t particularly like the way things played out but overall I enjoyed what I read and I’ll probably still give the sequel a go.