Monday, January 22, 2018

Monday #Review - Keeper by Kim Chance #YALit #Paranorml @_KimChance ‏

Series: Untitled # 1
Format: E-Book, 408 pages
Release Date: January 30, 2018
Publisher: Flux Books/North Star Editions
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy / Wizards & Witches

When Lainey Styles, an SAT whiz and bookworm, discovers she’s a Keeper—a witch with the exclusive ability to wield a powerful spell book that has been stolen by a malevolent wizard—she is forced to leave her life of college prep and studying behind to prepare for the biggest test of all: stealing back the book.
When a 200-year-old witch attacks her, sixteen-year-old bookworm Lainey Styles is determined to find a logical explanation. Even with the impossible staring her in the face, Lainey refuses to believe it—until she finds a photograph linking the witch to her dead mother. After consulting a psychic, Lainey discovers that she, like her mother, is a Keeper: a witch with the exclusive ability to unlock and wield the Grimoire, a dangerous but powerful spell book. But there’s a problem. The Grimoire has been stolen by a malevolent warlock who is desperate for a spell locked inside it—a spell that would allow him to siphon away the world’s magic. With the help of her comic-book-loving best friend and an enigmatic but admittedly handsome street fighter, Lainey must leave her life of college prep and studying behind to prepare for the biggest test of all: stealing back the book.

Kim Chance's Keeper is her debut young adult novel in a yet to be named series. Lainey Styles is the main protagonist of this story. She is a bookworm and a nomad having moved 14 times in a brief 5 year period. Raised by her Uncle Gareth, Lainey is what most people would call a science nerd. As Lainey is preparing to take her SAT so that she can graduate early and get into a top level college of her choice, things slowly start to unravel. 

First, she sees a bloody woman after hearing her name called. Then, the bloody woman leaves a mark on her arm. As they say, magic always leaves a mark. What's more disturbing is that upon further research, the woman appears to be wearing the same pendant that her deceased mother once wore. The woman's name was Josephine, and she, like her own mother, were Keepers. Apparently, Lainey is now the last Keeper who can access a powerful spell book called Grimoire.

What in the wide, wide world of sports is going on here? With the help of her comic-book-loving, adventure-hungry best friend Maggie who absolutely steals the show and keeps you in stitches, and an enigmatic but admittedly handsome street fighter named Tyler (Ty) Marek, Lainey must leave behind her life of books and studying to prepare for the biggest test of all: stealing back the book from the Master. 

There are two other people in Lainey's life who play important parts. Gareth, who raised her since her mother died, and Serena, a seer who is the first person to enlighten Lainey about her calling. Both made vows to keep Lainey safe and hidden until her Seventeen birthday when her powers would come active, and from those that serve the master, like Scavengers, can find her easily. Even though both Gareth & Serena kept major secrets from Lainey, I still can't fault them. 

I will reiterate my feelings about cliffhanger endings. I don't care for them. In Keeper's case, the last 20-30% of the story was by far the most entertaining, the most action packed, and the most troubling in regards to several of the secondary characters. It is filled with revelations, betrayal and life altering situations. Not only do readers meet the diabolical villain and his merry band of Guards, but the Hetaeria, who are rebellious Supernaturals fighting the Master, as well.

Chance also gives readers a back story on Josephine which is both enlightening and connects a whole lot of what happened in the past to what is happening with Lainey and her new role as Keeper. Shall I also mention that there's a whole lot of pop-culture references in this book? I’m talking comic book stories, television shows, and literally anything else you can nerd-out about. Thanks Maggie! I have searched the internet for information regarding a sequel. The author has apparently stated that this is not a standalone. Since the ending leaves a whole lot of unanswered questions, this is a good thing.

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