Songlines by Carolyn Denman (The Sentinels of Eden; 1)

The Synopsis:

In the heart of the Wimmera region of Victoria, an ancient gateway to Eden is kept hidden and safe by a creature so powerful that even the moon would obey her commands – at least it would if she had any idea that she wasn’t just a normal girl about to finish high school

When a mining company begins exploratory sampling near Lainie’s sheep farm, a family secret is revealed that makes her regret not having learnt more about her Indigenous heritage.

What she’s told by their farmhand, Harry – an Aboriginal elder – can’t possibly be true, but then the most irritating guy in class, Bane, begins to act even more insanely toward her than ever, until she can no longer deny that something very unusual is going on.

When Harry doesn’t return from his quest to seek help to protect the area from the miners, Lainie sets out to discover the truth of her heritage, and of the secret she’s been born to protect. 

I received this book from the author via BookSirens for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.


‘We belong to the Earth, Lainie-Bug. We were sent here in human form for a reason. If you don’t know what to do, then just be human.’

Songlines is a fantastic weave of a common Bible story and a fantasy imagination. Bordering on the paranormal, this introduction to a unique YA adventure does more than bring the reader into its world, it takes everything we know in our world and adds “what-if?” to develop a beautiful, never-before-seen, scenario.

Though Songlines is very much based on the Bible’s Garden of Eden, I would not consider it wholly a “Christian book”. There is some mild cursing included in the dialogue and a lot of twists to the story of Eden that many Christian readers may be disappointed to see skewed in an “unbiblical” way (this is due to its Aboriginal inspiration as well). However, this book is not meant to provide a theologically sound point, it is a fantasy novel based on the concept of the sinless, perfect, paradise from Genesis. But, the author certainly kept the story of the Bible whole, as in, scripture that is quoted and explained is accurate to the actual story of the Garden of Eden, the difference is the storyline of this book. That may not make sense, but I’m trying not to post spoilers…So, long explanation short, I actually found this book to be very interesting and quite enjoyable.

It is YA, and a classic one at that. Which can be a good thing if done the right way. Predestined “soul mates” linked together in some way. Check. The most attractive characters in school banding together against a common enemy. Check. Lack of communication and a whole lot of internal, emotional conflict. Check. And of course, denying romantic attraction in the name of “they deserve better than me”. Also check.

Let me clarify, the above isn’t bad, I just found it incredibly easy to predict the storyline because so much was cliche.

So overall, I loved the unique spin off of the Garden of Eden and Songlines truly did hold my attention all the way through the book. I’m definitely interested in finishing the series, even if I found some of the character’s decisions to be predictable, so I give Songlines 4 out of 5 stars and do recommend it as a great YA Fantasy/Paranormal read!

I mentioned the very mild cursing, but it has no sexual scenes aside from a few (not-detailed) kisses. There is no action or gore worthy of being mentioned either.

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