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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
Journals of the Earth Guardians by L. C. Webb may sound like another typical superhero story, but you need to give it a chance to understand its heart. At first glance, twenty-five-year-old Lila Winters may appear like an ordinary young mother of two, but she wields an extraordinary gift, an ability that allows her to control the natural elements. If you think that her ability will go unnoticed by the paranoid government that monitors superhuman abilities, think again. Lila is a Nature Guardian, a very rare type of guardian with a long history. Her kind was considered uncontrollable because none of the other elements effectively fought or controlled her type. Lila learns about this when she is approached by Alex Woods, a fellow Guardian. He invites her to join a classified government department called Mission Control. Reluctant at first, Lila accepts. Under Mission Control, she learns to develop her abilities, rescue other Guardians, and encounter out-of-this-world creatures. But is there a price to pay for the big changes in her life?
The sacrifices and the burden of responsibility are always at the heart of metahuman stories, and it’s touching how, in many scenes, you are reminded of the things Lila draws her energy from. Of course, when her powers became known, the government quickly exploited her for the sugar-coated purpose of benefitting humanity. But L. C. Webb also brings up family issues, separation, and our instinct to take advantage of those we deem useful in achieving our goals. This makes the story stand out because Webb is trying to deal with the emotional issues instead of churning out a typical superhero story. You should include Journal of the Earth Guardians on your reading list for its broad outlines of a superhuman story that is transformed into something deeper.