Book Review: Guardians of Porthaven


Hello, hello, hello bookworms!

I hope you had a marvelous Juneteenth holiday. Me and the boyfriend just enjoyed each other’s company and I did some more packing for my upcoming move. There’s so much change happening right now that I’m just looking forward to things coming to a close in August. Save me!

Anywho, I kept going with my LGBT reads for the month, this time trying out Guardians of Porthaven by Shane Arbuthnott.

I actually found this book through my fellow author friend Jessica Renwick (definitely try out her MG works if you get a chance!) in a post of hers through Instagram. The cover and blurb really drew me in.

Superheroes and LGBT characters? Sign me up!

On with the book review!



On his fifteenth birthday, Malcolm Gravenhurst is preparing to take on the mantle of Guardian, like many Gravenhursts before him. The Guardians are tasked with defending the city of Porthaven, and his family is the only one to possess the superpowers necessary to battle the frequent alien invasions of robotic klek. But power has brought the Gravenhursts more than just responsibility―it has also brought them fame and wealth. When Malcolm meets some teens living and working in secret, he learns that underneath their heroic facade, the Gravenhurst family is hiding some very dark secrets. With the threat of annihilation on the horizon, soon Malcolm must choose between family loyalty and doing the right thing.

Praise for Dominion and Terra Nova:

“Arbuthnott’s debut novel is the first part of an original, fascinating tale that offers an unusual, magical spin on how far human beings will go to gain dominion over the world…Feisty young Molly will keep [readers] grounded in this page-turning mystical adventure.”― Kirkus Reviews

“What a fabulous read! There are elements of Airborn and The Golden Compass there…and there was also a huge welter of originality, a charming band of characters―including some truly horrible baddies―and, well, all the ingredients to make it an extraordinarily imaginative first novel. What a poignant plea for our environment, not to mention a stirring indictment of slavery in all its myriad forms. A truly moving book. I hope there are many more to come.”―Tim Wynne-Jones, award-winning author of The Emperor of Any Place

“Arbuthnott creates an intriguing steampunk world with a smooth combination of technology and magic…A fast-paced read with a strong female lead, this will leave steampunk and adventure fans looking forward to a hinted-at sequel.”― School Library Journal ★

“In this sequel, Arbuthnott elevates his story…allowing this imaginative steampunk fantasy to slowly build…This spectacular sequel takes steampunk into new territory.” Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Sometimes a book comes along that rocks you back on your heels, smacks the self-pity, the selfishness, and ignorance out of you, and makes you ashamed of your own timidity. And sometimes that book happens to be a kids’ book. Read Dominion, and then read Terra Nova. Read them for you. Read them for your kids. Read them to your kids. Let your kids read them and ask you questions. I don’t care how you do it; I’m just asking you to do it.”―Sci-Fi & Scary blog



***Brief disclosure***

I am an Amazon affiliate and earn a tiny commission for purchases made through the Amazon links in this post at no cost to you. It’s a great way to help me keep things running on my blog if you’re already intrigued enough to make a purchase. 


The Review

DNF @ 44%

Unfortunately I didn’t complete this read, but I didn’t hate it by any means. I simply stopped because I wasn’t resonating with it enough to continue forward.

To sum things up, this book is about a young man Malcolm. He’s enjoyed the finer things in life due to his family being the only superpowered people in the city of Porthaven. But when a chance encounter on the streets leads him to other superpowered individuals, Malcolm embarks on a quest of discovery that will challenge everything he knows.

Okay, so I really loved the premise. The city of Porthaven is futuristic with some really cool dystopian elements that I liked. The Gravenhurts as a family were something of an enigma, and that created a mystery that needed to be solved that really pulled me in. There’s also a scifi element behind the powers of the family that was refreshing, but I don’t want to spoil anything so I’ll leave it at that.

That being said, I didn’t completely connect with Malcolm as a character. He’s kind of your average teen with superpowers. He’s curious, adventures, and brave, but his reactions to some of the developments felt too sugar-coated for me. I wanted to feel the horror and astonishment on a more visceral level.

The plot was fun and moved at a brisk pace, but I actually think the superpowered action scenes could’ve been slowed down a bit and given more detail. They just moved a bit too fast to enjoy them as much as possible.

Despite all this, I still enjoyed myself. If you’re a big fan of superheroes it’s worth trying this book out to see if you connect with the story. Who knows? It could be your next favorite!



That’s A Wrap!

Well that’s it for this book review. I hope you enjoyed it!

Have you read this book? Are there other similar books you’ve read that you simply have to gush about? Feel free to leave a comment. I’d love to start a conversation!

Have a great day!


Join My ARC Review Team | Subscribe

 Facebook | GoodReads | Bookbub | Tumblr | Instagram


Leave a Reply