Traditionally published in 2018 by Flux Publishing.
Recommended for ages 15+ in my personal opinion. Content advisory is provided at the end of this review.
Keeper is a great recreational read that I wasn’t expecting. I was following fellow moms and lifestyle bloggers on Instagram, when suddenly I wondered where the authors were. I searched, and through several different feeds, links to YouTube channels, and various hashtags, I “chanced” upon Kim Chance’s Instagram profile. Kim posts insta-stories quite often talking to her audience about writing advice & challenges, exciting news, and promoting her fellow authors. Her confident but sweet demeanor and general knowledge on writing has helped her gain a loyal following. After a while I finally purchased her debut novel, Keeper, on Amazon. I began reading as soon as it arrived.
My very first reaction was of surprise and confusion. I didn’t do my homework, and I didn’t even read the back cover to find out what the book was actually about. I loved the beautiful cover art, but it led me to believe I was about to read a book set in medieval times. In the first few moments of reading, I was hearing all sorts of modern day comic book references. Reframing my perspective on what I was about to read, I finished the first chapter both pleasantly surprised and rather amused.
Lainey is a book smart, pretty high school girl that has her very planned-out life jolted upside down when she discovers she is a powerful witch. As she struggles to accept her new identity, she soon realizes that with great power comes great danger!
About halfway through the book I was starting to wonder when “something” would happen. The character and relationship development was rich, but not yet rewarding. Lainey takes stress straight to her gut (just like my husband) which displays itself in waves of nausea that she experiences quite often in this book. I was trying to decide if that was annoying or good character development, and then I realized that it’s both. If I dealt with that much nausea, I’d be annoyed too! Lainey takes a while to process things and goes into denial as her first line of defense. She thinks about everything with extreme structure and logic. Ultimately this is a clever and ironic trait once you finish the book and uncover the secret ending. As a good protagonist can be, Lainey becomes impressively brave once she finally accepts things the way they are. The other character I will comment on is Maggie, the fiercely loyal best friend. Kim, if you are reading this, was Maggie inspired by a real life person? Because she is most definitely the best friend that every person wishes they had. She provides comic relief and is basically Lainey’s most constant pillar of support. Maggie is the one that loves comic books and is basically a walking encyclopedia of the geek realm. I wasn’t going to comment on Ty, but I changed my mind and just wanted to say that he is dark and mysterious and romantic and he loves to fight. And I love the elements he adds to the story.
Halfway through the book everything changed. All that character development, sometimes in slow motion as we waited for Lainey to process her emotions, became worth the wait. The narrative picked up and it came to the point that I would be doing dishes, driving, working, walking from point A to point B, and I would be wondering what’s going to happen next in Keeper. I would be dwelling on the characters and thinking about their choices. That, my dear reader, is the mark of a good book! I ugly cried at the end. It has a cliffhanger, which is okay because the sequel, Seeker, comes out TODAY (09/10/19). I am eager to read the next one. Without giving away a spoiler, I refuse to accept one particular ruse. It will be interesting to see how that develops!
If you enjoy reading about a world of magic and danger from the perspective of a smart, pretty, and powerful teenager, Keeper should be the first book on your reading list!
Because I am a conservative Christian I would like to provide this content advisory for people that might be sensitive to certain content. The following doesn’t contain specific spoilers but it contains vague spoilers.
Sex/Nudity: Mild. There is one scene of implied premarital sex (not graphic). There is a kissing scene. There are occasions of men desiring rape but nothing actually happens.
Violence/Gore: Moderate. Lots of violence and blood, but I wouldn’t say there is a lot of gore. It’s mostly stabbing, slicing, punching, and biting. A reoccurring character is always covered in blood.
Profanity: Mild. A couple basic bad words that some people might not even consider bad these days, but as a conservative person I don’t like to use them.
Alcohol, Drugs, & Smoking: Mild. This is vaguely mentioned in one scene of the story.
Frightening & Intense: Moderate. This book contains magic and witchcraft, and mentions of the spirit world. The main character often sees and interacts with a person that has died long ago. There is brief mention of using a ouija board but they choose not to. The main character plays chicken with a train. She is almost killed several times. She is surrounded by constant danger and learns about how her ancestors were killed.