Human life must always be protected, and free will must always be honored.
—As recorded in the Scrolls
The Guardians is an Urban Fantasy Romance series written by New York Times bestselling author Meljean Brook. The series will have eight books, with the final book being released in 2012. Each novel focuses on the romance of an individual couple, and advances the overall story arc of the war between good and evil.
During the first war of the angels, Lucifer led a rebellion against God and was defeated. The angels who fought with him were cast into Hell as demons; the angels who choose neither side were cast down to Earth as nosferatu. Demons, nosferatu and angels are bound by Rules; they cannot harm humans nor deny their free will. However, they can tempt humans with bargains and wagers. If either party of a demonic bargain fails to fulfill their side, then they will be trapped in Hell for eternal torment.
While the angels tried to counteract the demons' influence on Earth, they were unable to work among humans inconspicuously. So they created the Guardians, humans who die in a moment of self-sacrifice and are granted the powers and responsibilities of an angel. The Guardians have been fighting to defend humanity from the forces of Hell for over sixteen centuries. They may choose at any time to Fall and live as a human or Ascend and face judgment and the afterlife.
Vampires are half-human half-nosferatu hybrids who are born human and later changed by drinking nosferatu or vampire blood. They are neither bound nor protected by the Rules, and have free will to choose good or evil.
- "Falling for Anthony" in Hot Spell
- Demon Angel
- "Paradise" in Wild Thing
- Demon Moon
- Demon Night
- "Thicker Than Blood" in First Blood
- Demon Bound
- Demon Forged
- "Blind Spot" in Must Love Hellhounds
- Demon Blood
- Demon Marked
- "Ascension" in Angels of Darkness
- All Women Are Prudes - The opinion of Alice's husband. When Alice expressed disatisfaction with their love life, he scolded her and blamed her parents for letting her learn ideas beneath her station.
- Exclusively Evil - The nosferatu, and to a lesser extent, the demons.
- An Offer You Can't Refuse - A tactic demons commonly take to get around those pesky Rules. They'll take a nonhuman loved one hostage or hire another human to kill them if they refuse.
- Archangel Michael - No, Michael isn't the Michael... But he was named after his father's best friend, who is.
- Ascended Demon - Lilith, although she was never a full demon but a human-demon hybrid much like the Guardians. She chooses to "Fall" and live as human.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence - At any point a Guardian may choose to Ascend and move on to their afterlife.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension - Irena and Alejandro argue with each other constantly. Lampshaded by the other characters.
Alejandro: "We're just friends."
- Big Good - Michael is the Doyen of the Guardians. He's their leader and it's his job to recruit new Guardians, enforce the Rules and facilitate the Fall or Ascension of retiring Guardians. He was also the first Guardian ever changed.
- Blood Lust - When vampires drink blood from someone attracted to them, they are overwhelmed with lust and sex is inevitable. However, the choice belongs soley to the blood donor; they may resist or succomb, but the vampires cannot resist.
- Brought Down to Normal - Guardians can choose to Fall and become normal humans. They will still have highly diminished versions of their superpowers. The longer they spent as Guardians, the stronger those superpowers will be when they Fall.
- Call to Adventure - Humans who die in a Heroic Sacrifice may choose to become Guardians and fight evil, or go on to Judgment and the afterlife.
- Contemptible Cover - Early covers show half-naked men and women embracing. The more recent covers have gotten better.
- Deal with the Devil - Demonic bargains can be cancelled by either party before one side is filled. After that, if the other party doesn't fulfill their side, they are damned to the field of frozen faces. Demons don't bargain for literal souls, although they often ask for something that will drive the human to damnation such as betraying a friend or murdering an innocent.
- Demonic Possession - One kind of demon, the nephilium, can enter the body of one damned to Hell at the moment of their death.
- Demon Lords and Archdevils - Both Lucifer and Beliel have lieutenants among the Legions of Hell.
- Does Not Like Shoes - Michael's signature style, because his sense have grown so acute he can feel the vibrations in the ground.
- Enemy Civil War - Lucifer holds the throne in Hell, but Beliel has enough followers to fight him for it.
- Extra Ore Dinary - Irena's Gift, which works well in tandem with Alejandro's Gift of fire.
- Fallen Angel - Demons are angels who rebelled against God, and nosferatu are angels who failed to support him.
- Fire and Brimstone Hell - The Pit in Hell, where the souls of damned humans and disobedient demons are tortured.
- Flight - Guardians have wings and many demonic creatures have a winged form as well.
- Good People Have Good Sex - Subverted; when the Guardians are adjusting to their new powers and senses, they're encouraged to get it all out of their system. One novice spent 30 years having orgies before he finally grew bored of it. Even mature Guardians aren't above a little Power Perversion Potential.
- Good Wings, Evil Wings - Demons have batlike wings, while Guardians have white feathery wings. Only Michael has black feathery wings one of the signs he wasn't born human, but half-human and half-demon.
- The Grovel - In Demon Blood, Deacon kneels before Rosalie and offers her his services and anything he owns if she will just give him a second chance to prove his worth to her. The fact that he's willing to offer convince Rosalie he's changed.
- Hammerspace - Guardians and demons have "caches" to which they can vanish and retrieve items. Younger Guardians that grew up playing videogames actually call it a hammerspace.
- Happily Ever After - Each novel has a happy or mildly bittersweet ending for the main couple, but side characters are far from guaranteed.
- Healing Hands - The Gift of Michael, Dru and Pim.
- Hell Hound - Bred by Lucifer by crossing dogs with wyrms, hellhounds are the enforcers he uses to keep his subjects in line. They are giant, demonic, three-headed dogs completely loyal to their chosen masters and their venom can paralyze and kill demons. Sir Pup is a "bad" hellhound more mischievous than evil, and he prefers the form of a three-headed Labradour.
- Heroic Sacrifice - Each Guardian is a human who gave up their life to protect another from supernatural forces.
- I Have Your Wife - Demons are fond of this tactic to coerce humans into a Deal with the Devil. Deacon betrays his friends and gets several of them killed trying to ensure his lovers' safety. It was all in vain.
- Immortality - Guardians and demons have regenerative immortality, able to recover from most wounds, while vampires are undead.
- "It's Not Rape If You Enjoyed It" - Averted hard. When vampires drink, it is the blood donor who chooses whether to resist or invite the Blood Lust. Over the course of the series, several vampires are forced to have sex they don't want, and depending on the circumstances it's treated as anything from a tragedy to outright rape.
- Knight in Shining Armor - Hugh was a medieval knight sincerely striving towards honor and chivalry when he met Lilith. She taunts his naivete by nicknaming him "Sir Pup".
- Lie Back and Think of England - Invoked by Alice when she's trying to convince Jake that she's not attracted to him.
Jake: "So you'll let me [kiss you]?"
- Living Lie Detector - Hugh strove his life to be honest and now gained the Gift of detecting truth and even forcing it from someone. After he Falls, he has a milder version that only can detect truth and not compel it.
- Loophole Abuse - There ain't no rule that a Guardian can't become human, exercise human rights, and become a Guardian again. And they gain a second Gift upon their second self-sacrifice, which is why Michael has so many Gifts.
- Magically-Binding Contract - How bargains and wagers are enforced. If they are broken, that person or demon is damned to eternal torment.
- Man of Wealth and Taste - The form demons take to live among humans and tempt them into evil; at least one is a US Senator. Subverted when the Guardians can't find a demon and later realize it's taken the form of a woman of wealth and taste.
- New Meat - Any novice Guardian. Jake's role as the New Meat is one of the subplots of Demon Night.
- - Bit character Pinter is referred as the FNG: the Fucking New Guy.
- Our Angels Are Different - Actual angels exist but do not interact with humans, as their holiness leads humans to mistake them for gods. The Guardians are human-angel hybrids working on their behalf.
- Our Demons Are Different - Demons are Fallen Angels who followed Lucifer in his bid for God's power. They are bound by Rules not to harm humans or deny their free will, but they can still tempt them with bargains and wagers.
- Our Dragons Are Different - Dragons are unintelligent monsters from the Chaos realm. Only one has been released in recorded history, and it rampaged across half the world before it was finally killed. Their blood taints anything it touches with the aura of Chaos.
- Our Vampires Are Different - Vampires are half-human half-nosferatu hybrids. They are killed by sunlight, feel Blood Lust, and are neither bound nor protected by the Rules. Vampires born from nosferatu are more powerful and less common than those born from other vampires. All vampires have reflections save one, the source of that rumor, and in his case it's caused by a completely unrelated curse.
- Personality Powers - In addition to the Stock Super Powers, each Guardian has an individual Gift related to their life. Someone who yearned to see the world and was trapped in their hometown will gain the Gift of teleportation. Someone who strived to be honest will gain the Gift of detecting truth and lies.
- Playing with Fire - Alejandro's Gift, which works well in tandem with Irena's Gift of metal.
- Power Perversion Potential - Guardians can fly, breathe underwater, teleport to exotic locations and shapeshift. And they do.
- Redemption Equals Death - Death is the only way to release Lilith from their demonic bargain. Unfortunately, it doesn't take.
- Satan - Currently Lucifer Morningstar, but Beliel is waging an Enemy Civil War to take his throne.
- Shock and Awe - Jake's second Gift, referred to as the human Taser.
- Stock Super Powers - All Guardians have Voluntary Shapeshifting, their own Hammerspace, functional wings, Super Strength, Healing Factor, Super Senses, and a unique Gift.
- Teleporters and Transporters - Teleportation is the Gift of Michael, Selah and Jake Hawkins.
- Undead Child - Vampires are forbidden from changing children because while their bodies will be frozen, their minds will age. Worse, they will be driven by Blood Lust to have sex with their blood donors.
- Unlimited Wardrobe - Guardians can create clothing with a thought, though some have more skill than others.
- The Vietnam War - Jake Hawkins fought in the war and died there, though he was murdered by a nosferatu enjoying the chaos of war.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting - Guardians and demons can change their appearence at will.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist - Anaria decided the best way to end the war was to slaughter one of the armies in its entirety. After that she decided she was thinking too small and she needed to apply her idea to the entire planet, until the only people left alive were the ones who agreed with each other. But don't worry, she'll still respect human free will. She'll just make sure that humans have no other options except to choose peace, joy and love.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human? - In the beginning of the series, Guardians regard vampires at best as victims and at worst as abominations. Colin calls Michael out on this and demands to be recognized as a person capable of choosing between good and evil. Since then, the Guardians have been working with vampire communities to mutual benefit.
- Winged Humanoid - The Guardians all have wings, though they can make theirs appear and disappear.
- You Said You Would Let Them Go - Deacon makes a Deal with the Devil to protect his hostage lovers. The demon does return them afterwards, but he never promised he'd return them alive.