The world has changed. The veil between the “others” and humans has dissolved and as oceans are polluted and wild lands encroached on by overpopulation, the different races from Yeti, to Atlanteans (merfolk), to the Sidhe (faeries) begin to emerge and take their place among the humans. But that easy peace doesn’t last long and before long the humans have either killed, hunted, or imprisoned many of the others. Now there is a war council convening, one made up of several races of others who find it difficult to get along together much less determine a course of action that will free their peoples before the mass sterilization the humans have planned begins. As they bicker amongst themselves, a goddess of sorts—an ancient being– interrupts their meeting and warns them they must find “the keeper” or they are doomed to fail. But no one knows where the keeper is for he vanished from the sea after supposedly killing his entire family and has been on the run ever since.
Marin has hidden on the earth disguised as a quiet aquarium employee for several years. After fleeing his ocean home and coming ashore to escape the evil queen of Atlantis, Gelashia, he has been determined to never be found again. His powers, which allow him to do everything from read other’s minds to bending their wills to his, have been kept locked away—until he sees the faerie sent to find him.
Liam is his father’s second in command and loyal to his people. He has been tasked with finding the keeper and bringing him to the council. When he hears Marin’s story and realizes that Gelashia and another have orchestrated the hatred that currently exists between the others and humans in order to one day rule the world themselves, he realizes he must protect Marin at all costs, even if that means thwarting his father’s authority for the first time in his life.
Author Kiernan Kelly creates an interesting world where creatures once held as mythical and fantastic live with humans. The Keeper explores several races once held to be more fairy tale than reality and brings them together united in one common cause—survival. But how to survive and just what race should lead after they regain their freedom is the cause of great frustration and subterfuge. In creating Gelashia—a purely evil witch of a queen, the author gives us perhaps one of the most unlikeable beings ever to grace the page. You want to hate her and the way in which the story evolves, carefully peeling back layer after layer of her deceptions and machinations, really helps you do just that. Marin is no wilting flower and a worthy mate to Liam as they both are strong individuals who realize fairly quickly that they are drawn to each other and connected in a way neither has experienced before.
This novel had all the necessary components to make it an exciting, action filled paranormal story where the poor others fight for their right to exist. Unfortunately, there was so much unpacking of the various races and Marin and Gelashia’s backstory that the action part of this book got lost. In essence, we spent the entire novel getting ready for a battle that never really happened. Without any kind of warning indicating that this could possibly be a series or at least have a sequel, the story seemed to end abruptly with everyone on the brink of a good fight. I was confused. Was this the beginning of a series? There was definitely a chance for Liam and Marin to have their happy ever after since they both declared their love for each other, but what does their future look like? They are still in hiding from the humans—the threat of war is still very real both from the humans and the faction of others who have broken away after being fooled by Gelashia into thinking they will rule the world– and the novel ends so abruptly that I was left wondering what the next chapter holds for all of them.
More importantly, because so much page time was spent unraveling the mystery of who killed Marin’s entire family, why he has such incredible powers, and just how the many races of others were ever going to work together to defeat the humans or at least get to the point of negotiating with them, we had very little time to spend on the rather speedy relationship between Liam and Marin. If that previous sentence left your head spinning, welcome to my thoughts on this novel. It was too much—too many plot threads all needing resolution and a romance that needed to be established pronto. Something was bound to suffer and in this case it was a lack of chemistry between Liam and Marin who fell into bed way too fast for my liking while being chased cross-country by those wanting to either use Marin’s powers or kill him. There was just too much “telling” of the story and not enough interaction or even dialogue for me to sink my teeth into.
In the end, The Keeper by Kiernan Kelly fell short of its promised excitement and became just an okay paranormal story that left me scratching my head and wondering if there would be a sequel where the action would finally begin.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.