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
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?
About the Author
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.