By Kim Chance
Summary: Magic always leaves a mark.
When the ghost of a 200-year-old witch attacks her on the road, sixteen-year-old bookworm Lainey Styles is determined to find a logical explanation. But even with the impossible staring her in the face, Lainey refuses to buy into all that “hocus pocus nonsense”—until she finds a photograph linking the witch to her dead mother.
After the library archives and even Google come up empty, Lainey gives in and consults a psychic. There she discovers that, like her mother, she’s a Keeper: a witch with the exclusive ability to unlock and wield the Grimoire, a dangerous spell book. But the Grimoire is missing, stolen years ago by a malevolent warlock known as the Master. Now that Lainey’s true heritage has been uncovered, she’s the Master’s only hope in opening the Grimoire, where a powerful spell is locked inside—a spell that would allow him to siphon away the world’s magic. In an effort to force her hand, the Master kidnaps Lainey’s uncle and offers a trade: the spell for his life.
With the help of her comic-book-loving, adventure-hungry best friend and an enigmatic but admittedly handsome street fighter, Lainey must leave behind her life of books and studying to prepare for the biggest test of all. She must steal back the book…before her uncle and the entire supernatural race pay the Master’s price. (via kimchance.com)
Quick Disclaimer: I was a beta for this book way back in May. Sadly, it is not yet published, but I have graciously been given permission to write this review by Ms. Chance, and my hope is that some of my readers may be enticed enough by what I have to say that they will support her on social media and read it when it does become available. Because it is not not yet published, this will be a SPOILER FREE review. With that said….
Where do I even begin to discuss the fabulousness that is Ms. Chance’s novel? I admit that from the summary, I wasn’t sure what to expect because, while it did sound intriguing when I first read it, it also sounded quite similar to a lot of the other books I’d recently finished. Though i love fantasy/adventure books, I just wasn’t really in the mood to pick up another when I first came across the summary, about a month or so after I started watching Kim’s wonderful writing advice videos on Youtube. Thankfully though, I became more and more curious the longer I watched her videos, because she was so eloquent, yet interesting and helpful to watch, that when it came time to fill out her beta application via social media, I simply couldn’t resist.
I can’t even begin to explain how happy I am that she chose me as her beta because this book… I have no idea why agents aren’t chopping at the bit for it. It’s so rich and gripping and… This book might be my Harry Potter. Yes, I actually said that. Don’t hate me.
Even though I’m 21, I was extremely late to the Harry Potter party, and by the time I got there… I saw the movies before I read the books, and while I do like them, I just could never get quite as hyped about them as pretty much every other person I’ve met who’s read them. Keeper is the first book that I’ve read in a long, long time that three months later, I still can’t seem to stop thinking about.
Writing: The writing drew me in from the very first page. Her style is mesmerizing and managed to tickle every single one of my senses, pulling me into the adventure right from the beginning. When I had to stop reading, all I wanted to do was get my other work done so I could get back to the book. Everything was described so perfectly that I could picture every little movement in my mind as if I was actually doing it. And the emotions. Holy crap kittens, the emotion that was poured into this book was just… I’m getting goosebumps as I sit here typing this. I was Lainey. I knew her. I felt for her and with her… I can’t say enough positive things about how absorbed in this story I was, even after it ended.
Characters: I wanted to be friends with every single one of them. Lainey is snarky, but in the best, funniest way possible. She has a thirst for knowledge, and is fiercely determined, protective, and kind, but also has her fair share of flaws as well, which I can’t properly drive into because spoilers. She felt very real to me, and was wonderful to relate to. Maggie was my favorite character of all because she was so adorkably quirky. Forever optimistic, and always there with the perfect comic-book refrence to sum up any situation, she provides a wonderful contrast to Lainey’s more serious, goal-oriented personality. All of the character’s leapt off of the page, but she was someone that I desperately want in my life. Then we have Ty, the mysterious, attractive bad boy. That description sounds ridiculously cliche, but trust me, there is so much more to him than you expect. In fact, the sheer amount of layers that each and every one of these characters have continues to blow me away, and is yet another testament to Ms. Chance’s absolutely astounding ability to make a story truly come alive.
The Twist and Turns: I can’t say too much here because I don’t want to spoil anything, but I was on the edge of my seat for the entire beta process. I didn’t know what was going to happen next. Even when I could predict the small things, it only added to the suspense. There was one instance in particular that had me so invested I was biting my nails and waiting for the other shoe to drop. I didn’t want to put the book down!
World Building: World building is one of the most important aspects of any book, but especially, in my opinion, those in the fantasy genre. Ms. Chance did a wonderful job with both the actual explanations of her world, and the organization of these explanations. Everything unfamiliar was explained clearly, but the reader was never hit over the head with giant pparagraphs of information, nor was the information delivered in way that lessened the suspense or plot progression of the novel.
It’s Not Published Yet: I have absolutely no glaring cons about this book except the fact that I can’t tell every single fantasy lover I know to run out and buy a copy right now. I will be a very happy reader when I can have a hardcover of this book in my hands.
Overall Rating: 5/5 stars. Recommended for everyone.
Book Recommendation: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas.
When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.
As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever. (via Goodreads)