Changing of the Guard is the first in a series that focuses on Edward Urwin, a urchin boy who is being raised by his aunt and uncle, after his parents were killed in an accident at the docks of Birmingham.
Edward has his life controlled without realising it, he is given privilages that he wouldn’t have gotten under normal circumstances and we go through his life through the eyes of those around him.
This first book is rather interesting, it paints the Victorian era fairly well without being overbearing and heavy about the world they are currently living in. There are moments of confusion, the author starts the book with each ‘chapter’ having a character that will be part of Edwards life and how they influence him, as well as the vague idea of what they are planning for the future. This also has the years at the start too, which makes the book a little bit more interesting to read. However this style of writing goes round about half-way through the book, when it mainly stays with Edward, but does bounce to other characters.
The plot is good, and interesting, there are many guesses to be had as to what is going on, although by the end of the book you do begin to realise part of the outcome.
Pacing is well done, to an extent. As soon as you get close to the dramatic ending it feels like many things fall apart, many things that had been prepared previously – and not even far back for the author to forget this – were just left alone, the drama was made flat as it happened so soon after the previous dramatic moment and the characters just don’t have much going for them.
The only character that we do get to know and cheer on is Edward, he’s been consistently improved upon, he’s interesting and you hope the best outcome will happen for him.
Everyone else just feels flat and lacking any proper development, for example Theodore is meant to be Edward’s best friend, yet there are times when I wondered how and why they stayed as friends after school? There are a few other’s who just seem to lack life as well.
Had the author been able to plan the story out, fixed about the final ending to make it flow a bit better then this would easily be a book that I would enjoy re-reading again.