Sunday, 25 March 2018

Keeper by Kim Chance


Published: January 30, 2018
Publisher: Flux Books/Northern Star Editions
Author's Youtube

Introduction

Lainey thought the SATs were the worst thing in her life. Then, a 200-year-old witch attacks her in a parking lot. The witch shows up, bleeding, scaring the bejesus out of her. She also meets a handsome new boy. Then, everything she thought she knew about her life gets blown out of the water -- the world of the magical rises up and threatens everything she has known. To avoid the evil that is pursuing her, she will have to: 1. Believe in the unbelievable, and 2. Be stronger than she ever thought possible.

Beginning 

The beginning was boring, I'll say it here. I'm surprised, with all the beta readers she has listed, that this is what was published. I really had to make myself keep reading. The ending was a huge payoff for my efforts, but seriously, the beginning and most of the middle was a slog to get through. I considered abandoning the book. I had been watching Chance's Youtube channel for a while now, and I know she's better than this lousy beginning.

Atmosphere/Overall Feel

This book is mostly a Buffy the Vampire Slayer kind of romp. Which isn't bad, but it's predictable. I was hoping for a bit more horror. We get a bit of that in the beginning, with the bloody witch following Lainey around. But where does this happen? In a parking lot of a comic book store. That's terribly mundane. Most of the novel takes place in familiar settings such as: parking lots, cars, and home. Sometimes they go to a bookstore, and hey, they go to the cemetery a couple of times.

There is also a lot of comic book and general nerd references from best friend Maggie all the time. I didn't mind the references, but Maggie's catchphrase got old real fast.

Insta-Love 

Although the term "love" isn't thrown around much until the latter half of the book, here is another pot of instant love/love at first sight. I'm sick of this. I get that younger people tend to be smitten, but how naive do we all think young adults are?

The Good Parts

I know I'm throwing this book to the wolves. There were some great parts. Unfortunately, I don't want to spoil the entire latter portion of the book. However, the pace picks up, the stakes are raised, and Lainey stops being so bloody mopy/dramatic. There are many moments where my cold, frozen heart started to melt with the sad turn of events--and there are many!

At the end, there's a major betrayal. On par with the movie Frozen. All I'm going to say is that someone needs to get revenge in the next book.

Final Thoughts

I'm glad I made it to the end. I'm sure her sequel will be better, as the world building and set up are done. Would I recommend it for a library purchase? Sure. Librarians don't need to adore every book in their collection. There isn't anything subjectively offensive (blood happens, and that's all I can recall), and a few mild swears. I'd say if someone asks for it, buy a copy and put it in your collection. When the sequel is released, read that, and maybe the series will begin to sway you.

I did, however, notice two mistakes in the writing. Why does this happen? Self-published books that are put out way too soon, I see why it happens (still not saying it's ok, btw). Keeper has a traditional publication, with an editor!

WHYYYYY?
Lilo basically sums up my thoughts for this book. Great premise, boring beginning, two writing mistakes, but a great ending, and a desire to read more of the good writing.

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