Book Review: The Keepers

The Keepers Blog Tour

There’s something nice about being in the dark about a book. I’m the type of reader where if I’ve found a book I like, I will reread it over and over; if there’s a series, I’ll read it until the series ends, and then reread it (or not – you treated me wrong, Maze Runner series, you done treated me wrong). But there’s nothing quite like picking up a book for the first time, with little to no prior knowledge about it.

When I signed up for this book review, I didn’t research the book prior to my receiving the advanced reader copy. I had no idea what to expect when I started reading it. I certainly didn’t expect the religious undertones that captured my attention, or how the world as we know it (the one where God created the heavens and the earth) would somehow also include a realm that could easily be Faerie’s and Narnia’s love child.

In the prologue, when the first death by magical creature occurs, I would have pegged The Keepers as an other-worldly fantasy. But then, as time went on, Angels started to show up. Then demons. Then the retelling of the Adam and Eve biblical story. It was suddenly grounded into a mythology I was familiar with. Anoosha Lalani built a very intriguing world, one that I wish we were able to spend more time in.

At times, I found myself distracted by the two Keepers, who serve as the book’s narrators. We get to see trials and troubles through their eyes, and Lalani makes sure that when one narrator stops, the other picks up on or around the same time to keep the story moving. Sometimes, they don’t seem that reliable, and I’d feel as if I missed something or they neglected to tell us something important. Other times, I’d come away with the feeling they made important decisions, which I would’ve loved to see, off-screen, and they’d bring us back into the thick of things afterwards. (Please bear in mind that I received an ARC, these may no longer exist in the published version.)

All in all, The Keepers was a fun book to read. Lalani created a world that we could easily visit again, and given the epilogue, we know the story isn’t completely over – we may well be seeing more from her soon.

About The Keepers

Cover of The Keepers

Sixteen-year-old Isra Kalb has grown up starving in the slums of Islamabad. But hunger is only the beginning. When her father is mysteriously murdered and madness corrupts her mother’s mind, she’s left alone to fend for herself and her sister. Homeless and destitute, the only thing she has to remember her loving family by is a commonplace necklace–an amulet barely worth keeping.

Or so she thinks.

Swept into a web of lies, deceit and turmoil, Isra struggles to find a place for herself and Zaffirah, wondering if the strange creatures and visions she’s seeing are indications of the madness that took her mother. But when Snatchers capture Zaffirah, Isra learns her amulet isn’t so useless after all. Transported to Zarcane–the beastly garden where Adam and Eve were born–Isra comes face to face with her destiny. She’s a Keeper, charged with protecting the borders of Zarcane and keeping the demon hordes lurking in the shadows from taking realms that are not their own. And she’s not the only one; there’s a second Keeper, a boy whose identity hasn’t been revealed.

Now, in order to save her sister and fulfill her family’s legacy as Keeper of the Amulet, she has to find the second Keeper and close the borders. Surrounded by betrayal, trapped between warring factions of angels, and desperate to save the only family she has left, Isra must decide:

Who can she trust when nothing is what it seems?

Available on Amazon Add to goodreads

About the Author

The Keepers author Anoosha Lalani

The Keepers author Anoosha Lalani

Anoosha Lalani has always had an insatiable desire to escape reality. It was a childhood trait that never seemed to fade out. If Anoosha were to make one wish, it would be to have wings to journey off the face of this planet and into the worlds of her stories.

When she’s not writing, you may find Anoosha attending high school in Singapore. Having moved around so much, she has had the wonderful opportunity to be exposed to a vibrant range of cultures, which often seem to find their way into her stories. Anoosha was born in Pakistan, the setting of her most recent novel, The Keepers.

Connect with Anoosha on her website and twitter.

Blog Tour: The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant

The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred blog tour

First of all, the book The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant shall henceforth, for the remainder of this post, be referred to as FRED.

Secondly, don’t let the title fool you. Fred is a quiet, unassuming guy, and since it’s his story, he can look back with gray-tinted glasses all he likes. However, author Drew Hayes has crafted such a delightful nerd lark, I don’t want anyone to assume this book is going to be dull.

Fred is fairly new to the vampire game. His sire pulled a bit of a dine and dash, never bothering to take the poor accountant under his wing. So, much like a pre-teen learning about the birds and the bees, Fred relies on pop culture and movies to help along his vampiric education, and except for the sunlight aversion and sudden switch to a mostly liquid diet, life seems like business as usual.

This changes when he meets up with his old friend, Krystal, at their high school reunion. A pack of werewolves attack the school and Fred discovers that Krystal also has a secret: she’s a badass monster hunter for the Feds. And she thinks Fred is cute. Bonus for getting the girl and not getting staked!

Each episode (or uninteresting tale) introduces you to a new character and, as it happens, a new side of Fred. While you get to meet the rest of the characters, you see how Fred adapts and incorporates them into his life. Some awesome people to look out for:

  • Albert, who becomes Fred’s live-in assistant (kind of an undead Pollyanna)
  • Bubba, a werepony (seriously, just read the book because werepony)
  • Gideon, who is feared by everybody and comes in the package of a creepy little child (he’s my favorite character, despite what little screen time he gets)
  • Amy, whose alchemical skills border that of a mad scientist

The format of the book is different from others I’ve encountered. There’s a major episode, which gets broken down into separate chapters until the episode is over. Sometimes Fred stops to remind you how the previous episode left off. It’s not bad, but if you’re reading multiple chapters in one sitting, it can just make you go, “But I know that, now get to the funny!” On the other hand, if you’re a sporadic reader, it’s handy, like the first page summary of a Marvel comic book.

I quite enjoyed FRED on its own, but what really sells the book for me is that there’s more coming. This is an origin story for Fred and his friends, setting the stage for more books to come. Thankfully, this has been semi-confirmed on Twitter (unless Hayes is trying to deceive us).

A tweet from Drew Hayes regarding Fred book 2

So I’m personally looking forward to what’s coming next, as we just got a glimpse into Fred’s afterlife. Let’s see what happens when Fred’s supernatural world continues to open up.

Order your copy of FRED today: REUTS Publications ~ GoodReads ~ Amazon

About the Author

Drew Hayes, author

Drew Hayes – probably not a vampire accountant

Drew Hayes is an aspiring author from Texas who has written several books and found the gumption to publish a few (so far). He graduated from Texas Tech with a B.A. in English, because evidently he’s not familiar with what the term “employable” means. Drew has been called one of the most profound, prolific, and talented authors of his generation, but a table full of drunks will say almost anything when offered a round of free shots. Drew feels kind of like a D-bag writing about himself in the third person like this. He does appreciate that you’re still reading, though.

Drew would like to sit down and have a beer with you. Or a cocktail. He’s not here to judge your preferences. Drew is terrible at being serious, and has no real idea what a snippet biography is meant to convey anyway. Drew thinks you are awesome just the way you are. That part, he meant. Drew is off to go high-five random people, because who doesn’t love a good high-five? No one, that’s who.

Website ~ Twitter

FRED Release Day Blitz and Giveaway!

It’s here! It’s here! It’s FINALLY here!

Happy Book Birthday to the latest book from REUTS Publications, The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant by Drew Hayes.

The book cover for The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant by Drew Hayes

Look at the shiny!

The Giveaway!

In honor of such a momentous occasion, REUTS is having a special e-book giveaway! Take a mo and submit an entry for your chance to win:

  • The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant by Drew Hayes
  • The Rose Master by Valentina Cano
  • Flux by Ellie Carstens

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The raffle will only run for 24 hours, so get your submissions in tout de suite!

About the Book

Not sure what FRED is about? Check back next week on August 5 for my book review of FRED. In the meantime, here’s a blurb of epic blurbage!

Some people are born boring. Some live boring. Some even die boring. Fred managed to do all three, and when he woke up as a vampire, he did so as a boring one. Timid, socially awkward, and plagued by self-esteem issues, Fred has never been the adventurous sort.

One fateful night – different from the night he died, which was more inconvenient than fateful – Fred reconnects with an old friend at his high school reunion. This rekindled relationship sets off a chain of events thrusting him right into the chaos that is the parahuman world, a world with chipper zombies, truck driver wereponies, maniacal necromancers, ancient dragons, and now one undead accountant trying his best to “survive.” Because even after it’s over, life can still be a downright bloody mess.

REUTS PublicationsGoodReadsAmazon

About the Author

Drew Hayes, author

Drew Hayes – probably not a vampire accountant

Drew Hayes is an aspiring author from Texas who has written several books and found the gumption to publish a few (so far). He graduated from Texas Tech with a B.A. in English, because evidently he’s not familiar with what the term “employable” means. Drew has been called one of the most profound, prolific, and talented authors of his generation, but a table full of drunks will say almost anything when offered a round of free shots. Drew feels kind of like a D-bag writing about himself in the third person like this. He does appreciate that you’re still reading, though.

Drew would like to sit down and have a beer with you. Or a cocktail. He’s not here to judge your preferences. Drew is terrible at being serious, and has no real idea what a snippet biography is meant to convey anyway. Drew thinks you are awesome just the way you are. That part, he meant. Drew is off to go high-five random people, because who doesn’t love a good high-five? No one, that’s who.

WebsiteTwitter

Grab your copy of FRED today!