Cover Image: The Path Keeper

The Path Keeper

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Member Reviews

I'm relatively new to this genre, I have only recently starting branching out and trying something a little different and I had a little trepidation when it came to choosing. I am so so glad The Path Keeper was one of those books I chose! 

I was initially drawn in by the premise of the story, the blurb was interesting and didn't give too much away so left me intrigued. I was completely invested within the first few chapters and I fell in love with Ella as a character. She's a great protagonist, down to earth and easily relatable. I love the introduction of Angels but it also doesn't completely overpower the story. And the relationship between Zac and Ella is breathtakingly authentic - not your typical boy meets girl story. There are peaks and troughs, mistakes and second chances.

 A really fabulous read that will leave you yearning for more! SEQUEL PLEASE!
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This wasn’t for me sadly , I found it a bit chaotic and all over the place. I didn’t connect with any of the characters and the felt a bit one dimensional. Not a fan of the insta love in this, it’s a bit stalker ish and some points trigger warnings required.  Not for me at all.

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest opinion
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I have a lot of mixed feelings about this book. I liked it, i enjoyed reading it a lot, but there were a few things that annoyed me a little bit. I was annoyed by ella, there was such a big difference between her and zac, in the way they talk, the way they act, i did not think they were good for one another... weirdly... he was too good for her and i did not belive in them.. The idea behind this novel was very good and readers will like it as well, it' mysterious, it's different.
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1.5-2/5 stars; tw: rape

When I say I didn't like this book, I really mean it. I wasn't necessarily disappointed because of the lack in connection with the description, but I was more disappointed as I made progress through the book.

The ideas of destiny, fate, and coincidences was played SO well, but it really just died out, and got so much more complicated than it should've. I can't say too much without spoiling huge plot points, but it starts to get problematic around 60-65% of the way in.

Before I get to my issues though, let's talk what I did like. I really enjoyed the first half, being that I was trying to figure out what Zac is, and why there's such a hesitation between them two. I was really excited to see his story develop, and how he played a role in all of this. I like that Ella is sassy and doesn't take anyone's nonsense, but she's also so irrational and plays on her emotions sometimes that it drove me crazy. I think one of my favorite parts retrospectively are the flashbacks and changes in scenery. The parallels were created so well that when looking at the story as a whole, it really helps tie the concept of fate into the entire madness of it all. 

Alright, now get comfortable, because there's a whole lot of not-so-great in this book. And at this point, I will get a bit spoiler-y because there's an important trigger warning. Ella and Zac's entire relationship is a hot mess from start to finish. The whole idea of fate was so intriguing, but it really should not have been the entire premise of their story. With Zac's interference, his selfish actions really become the entire plot point from part two and on. 

As he continues to do what he's not supposed to be doing (are we surprised at this at all?), he becomes less like himself, and more impulsive, and as a result is someone who is CONSTANTLY trying to have sex with Ella. And here's the kicker - they'll have sex, he'll say he's leaving. She'll cry, and he'll come back. More sex, more sadness. MORE HOT MESS.

As for the ABSOLUTELY UNNECESSARY TRIGGER, part three is where you should be concerned because that entire scene is a disgusting mess. The entire idea of morality is thrown out the door and really drives just about ANYONE crazy. I nearly DNF-d this book when I got to that section, and I was so shocked at how abrupt it was, how quickly it was 'taken care of,' and how quickly Ella bounced back from it. I just don't think it was necessary to further that dynamic. Literally anything else could've been used.

There are only so many books I've truly sluggishly read because I don't like, and almost forced myself to keep going to understand whatever purpose or climax it may have - this is one of them. Would not recommend.
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Dear Netgalley, 

I do wish there were a way to leave reviews for books I didn't finish without having to give a star rating. I don't feel it's fair to rate a book I gave up on, but I also want to leave input and explain why I gave up on them, just in case that's helpful (I was approved and appreciate the approval, and want to try to reciprocate how I can - without, that is, forcing myself to complete a book I know I won't enjoy).

As someone who aggressively detests romance and sentiment, I knew VERY early into this one that it would definitely not be for me. I like paranormal/supernatural YA but loathe heavy romance, and it's clear from the beginning this one is leaning very heavy on the romance.

I'm definitely in the minority when it comes to hating romance, so my review is worth little here. I'm definitely not the intended audience, but for those who do love paranormal romance, I think this will grab them from the very beginning. I appreciate being approved and hope my review is helpful and not harsh.
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DNF @ 22%

Thank you, NetGalley, for the opportunity to review this. Unfortunately, the writing and story is a little young for me and I'm not interested at all. Therefore, I will leave the rating blank since I didn't read enough for a proper review or rating.
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I originally started this when it was first released, back in 2017, and I have to say, I didn’t finish. This new release is better... but I can’t honestly say I enjoyed it.

I really like the premise - urban fantasy, YA, passionate teen love? All things I dive into head first in books. I like Felicity, Ella’s mother, and particularly how their relationship reminds me massively of characters in Absolutely Fabulous. I like the defiance of religion - it was a really unique take. A lot of the banter made me snort with laughter, and descriptions of Spain in particular were so all-encompassing that I truly felt I was there. Unfortunately, though, none of this was enough to carry the book. 

Ella and Zac’s story felt far too rushed - Romeo and Juliet-style rushed, with the same amount of melodrama. I understand that they’re entwined throughout their past lives, so they have this dated connection straight off, but it didn’t feel at all realistic - the same with Leonardo and Felicity, later in the book. None of these characters felt fully rounded, or consistent, as if they just did things randomly and had no logical thought patterns. It’s a shame, because the characters have so much potential to be feisty, individual, and unique! Pretty much everything they all did was rushed, and didn’t leave space for suspense, or any kind of build up to major events - things just kept happening, as if the author thought oh, what if I put this here, and this here, that’ll do.

Which brings me to a couple things that concerned me about THE PATH KEEPER - the sexual abuse, and the attempted suicide. I have no problem with these things being in books - they’re extremely important topics, for both adult and YA - but the way they’re dealt with here is worrying. Ella is almost raped by her step-brother (who felt a lot like a stereotypical 2D villain, unfortunately) and then proceeds to have sex with Zac. Ella attempts suicide, and then proceeds to have sex with Zac. Where’s the emotional impact of both these horrific things? It’s not a good message to send to anyone, let alone teens.

And the plot. As I said, I do like the religious themes, and angels and archangels intrigue me. It’s a very different thing to have in YA, as I’ve read maybe two YA books that have dealt with angels in this type of way. Again, though, it just felt rushed, and as though it lost the thread partway through. If the story had taken more time, and we’d been given more background and build up rather than a big, quick showdown in Spain at the end, it would have worked better. I was left finishing it because I promised a review, in a type of despair. The scenes from the past were probably the best written, but felt plopped randomly, without enough context. So much more could have been made of all of this, and I really think it’s a shame that it hasn’t been. 

I hate leaving negative reviews, and I really wanted to love THE PATH KEEPER this time round. Maybe the sequels will build on the first, and give us the rounded, fully-fleshed, well-written story that the first promised to be.
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From the very first page, I knew I was in for a treat. I requested an ARC for this because I was intrigued by the promise of  "a world full of danger, lies and magic" in the synopsis. I didn't know what to expect but I did suspect angels had some part of it based on the beautiful cover art. 

I devoured this book - I was fully invested in all of it and I couldn't wait to read more. I started reading it around 10 PM and had to put it down around 1 AM so that I would be functional for work the following day. But I only had about 20% left to read so I decided to wake up an hour earlier than I usually do to finish it. That was a huge mistake as I didn't know what to do with myself for a good 20 minutes or so after finishing it. How was I expected to go out and function as an adult when all I wanted to do was curl up in bed, immensely saddened by the cliffhanger? This was one of those books that made me feel a certain way that's hard to express. I loved it but it stirred a deeper emotion in me. I felt connected to Ella and her personal journey of love and discovery in the same way I was connected to Zac and his personal turmoil and inner conflict. I loved their love story - it was so genuine and heartfelt. All of the characters, main or supporting, had a role to play and a part to weave in their web of intertwined history. The connections between the characters and the past and present were done effortlessly and were so easy to follow, understand and get sucked in to.

This was so brilliantly done.  I don't know what more to say because I don't think my words would do it justice. I can't wait to devour the next book in this series!
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This book was received as an ARC from BHC Press - H2O in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.

I was not expecting to love this book, but I really do! We always wonder if our lives are pre-planned or mapped out for us and what is truly meant to be. For Ella is to be in Spain with the love of her life Zac but it seems that Zac was not supposed to be a part of her life and if they get together, their lives will be in danger. This is an adventure and a love story all wrapped into one. This book defines that love is the greatest power and the greatest strength that anyone will ever have and NOTHING not even the Map of your life can destroy it. Such a heartwarming enticing adventure that will leave you breathless and wanting more.

We will consider adding this title to our YFiction collection in our library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.
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The story mainly follows Ella and Zac although they have many lifetimes. A few are included in the story. In the beginning Zac gave Ella (and me) whiplash with his extreme change in moods. At times he was a bit mean towards her and it seemed out of place. The background of what Zac is was interesting and made me think. There is a trigger warning for this book for sexual assault. You can skip that part and not miss out on the rest of the book. The book does end with a twist and a cliffhanger. Overall, I can't wait for the next one to see what happens.
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Huh, for a book that started as well as this did, I'm immensely disappointed by the ending. The story was so intriguing at the beginning, and then even I'm not sure where it took a turn for worse.. But let's trace back to all the things that the book did wrong, shall we? 

1. CHARACTER CONSISTENCY: This is something that I feel the book suffered with. There was zero consistency in the character actions and motivations. They were mostly abrupt for the sake of being abrupt, rather than for the sake of suspence, as it should be. 

2. STORYLINE: I think the author started writing this story with something else in mind, but then went in an entirely different path altogether somewhere after 60% and then never bothered checking of the stories connected. But maybe that just might be me.

3. CHARACTERS IN GENERAL: Neither of the MCs were remotely likable to me and neither were the sides. This book tried with the typical YA themes of side characters where one friend is a sex advocate for every hot guy the female lead comes across, and a bitch of a rich mother, but boy did it fail at even that. Ugh. Literally showed me why I avoid YA books like they're the plague. 

Did I miss anything? 

The ending was such a cluster fuck I'm surprised my phone is still intact after the number of times I banged my head against its screen.
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The story is set in modern day London where we meet 18 year old Ella, in all of her brashness, abusing a rude bus driver. Enter Zac, who approaches her and offers his help. Ella is mesmerized by this intriguing stranger and an emotional tug of war ensues; Zac drawn to her, even though he knows it’s against the rules, and Ella wrestling with her compulsive need to throw herself at him, then hating him for pulling away. Why is it against the rules for Ella and Zac to fall love???? Well, you'll just have to read the book to find out! We follow the pair in this present life as Ella unravels the secret of what Zac really is and we also delve into the past lives of Ella and her parents and see how their choices from the past hold weight in the present. 

While the storyline is compelling, I felt the execution could have done with further refinement in regard to character building. The characters just didn’t feel fully expressed to me and I struggled to form a connection with Ella and Zac. It was as though the author knew how they felt and why, but didn’t explain it to the reader. Consequently, much of the love, drama and struggle in their relationship felt rushed and confusing to me. I was left guessing why Ella or Zac would react a certain way because I hadn’t heard how they were feeling and what they were thinking. 

The historical content from past lives shared and the back story of various characters was wonderful. I relished discovering how the journey of the characters’ souls interwove and effected their current lives. The author’s descriptions of other eras and ways of life was engrossing. Her descriptive writing is lovely as she sets scenes in WW2 London or describes picturesque places in Spain. I could see myself there drinking in the view. And speaking of drinking, there is an exclusive bar named Indigo in the book that is staffed by hot angels. I would very much like to find it! 

Unlike most YA books, the sexual content of The Path Keeper is rather explicit. There’s a good dose of profanity as well from feisty Ella. I think this, coupled with the spiritual content of The Path Keeper, make it a good read for ‘not so young adults’. Adult fans of YA who want a bit more substance and romance action will appreciate this author’s style which I think is the market she was aiming at. 

I've given The Path Keeper 3 out of 5 stars (bearing in mind that a five means perfection). All in all, a great debut effort from NJ Simmonds with plenty of room for growth in a promising new series.
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After reading The Path Keeper when it was first published and this current version.  This time the story doesn't feel rushed, you're able to  immerse yourself more in their world.  You will fall in with characters leaving you wanting to know more.  I am looking forward for book 2 and seeing where their story goes.
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I like to this of The Path Keeper as a New Adult (NA), modern version of Hush, Hush, Fallen, and Beautiful Disaster. I think the Young Adult (YA) category for this book should be removed. While I firmly believe YA can be mature and delve into adult themes, The Path Keeper goes much further than that, almost completely heading into Adult territory. This book definitely belongs in NA, but given that the market isn't as wide there, YA may have been more appealing for the publishers and readers. I'd just like to get this info out there, since I don feel it is wrongly advertised as YA. 

Now that that's out of the way, I didn't particularly enjoy this. The titles I compared this to earlier, I admit that I didn't enjoy those either. I felt that the beginning was what I enjoyed most, but as the book went on I realized that I just didn't care. I didn't care about Ella or Zac, and I found there love to be extremely unbelievable and toxic. It's very clear since the beginning that they shouldn't be meeting, and Zac knows this. Regardless, he continues to always remind Ella that they can't be together, yet still getting in the way and forcing himself into her life. I found it to be a really toxic relationship, and one that didn't even make sense going through their "history". Insta-love at its finest here, ladies and gents. 

If you're someone who absolutely loves these Angel Forbidden-Love stories, then this may just be the book for you. Just keep in mind that it can feel really slow, and the characters may not resonate with you at all. I know that for me, personally, I didn't enjoy this. I did at the beginning, but it wore off a third of the way through. I'd give this a 2.5/5 stars.

ARC provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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I love YA and fantasy romance but I don't like very much angels, anyway I was intrigued by the plot so I decided  to read this one. The book is well written and I think I will read the next one. I liked Zack but I didn't like what happened between Ella and her stepbrother and the fact that it was never mentioned how she coped after what happened. Usually I don't like flashbacks but in this case are really essential for the story. I think in the next book we will know more about their life in Fiesole and I am pleased that there is a bit of my country in the book and that the city isn't Rome or Venice but I little town near Florence.
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I enjoyed this story on the actual plot level. The only issue I had was that the book is titled to be set for a Young Adult audience but I felt that the language and scenes used went deeper into the adult world. While I believe that intense scenes and situations are acceptable in the YA world there was a few times where I felt strongly about the book needing to be labeled for adults. 

The plot is creative and I enjoyed the read as a whole. A unique way of addressing certain issues in today's world and a creative backstory!
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I found this story to be dull and couldn't find it in myself to give a crap about any of the characters. They were cliche and too beautiful and perfect to be real and likeable.   The dialogue between the two MCs was too cheesy for my liking, and here's a small example why: "Oh, Zac, please just hold my hand and never let go!" *rolls eyes* Okay... Ella didn't say those words exactly but she says something pretty similar. I was not impressed
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I don't know what I was expecting, but I can't say that was it. The combination of the human and supernatural elements was sort of weird in my opinion and it didn't quite work out. Also, I can't say I was particularly fond of the characters. The main character, Elle, especially bugged me and annoyed me the whole way through, and I have no clue why. This book wasn't for me, but I'm sure it works out for someone.
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I normally like to give a blurb to something I've read because I like to see what can be said without giving to much away. Unfortunately I can't really do that with this one because it's so close to other stories I've read that falls under Angel forbidden love triangle with lots of secrets and a long history of it happening over and over type thing. My problem is the wasn't any real depth to this story that would change my opinion on this type of storyline. It didn't make me feel I was reading something new just something revamped. I know some will like it but for me it just wasn't that great but I can understand and appreciate the effort into weaving such a story to fruition. Because although I did dislike it I know the will be someone who does and enjoys this type of story. Which is why I will give it a semi good rating because I'm taking my personal bias out of it and eating it off of its own merits.
I received this copy free through NetGalley and publisher for an unbiased review.
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We follow the story of Ella and Zac who meet in the beginning of the book. From the moment they meet, there is an immediate attraction between the two of them. Ella is a lovely young girl who likes to spend time with her friends. Zac, aka Zadkiel, is an angel and a Path Keeper, a sort of gardener. And he is supposed to watch over Ella. However, things are not as easy as it seems. Because Zak has been knowing Ella for a long time…. Once they begin to accept their love, they will try to overcome all the difficulties they will face.

Globally, the story is interesting, even though you can easily guess what will happen next. 
If you liked Hush Hush, The Immortals series by Alyson Noël, or if you're into angels, you will probably like this one too. 

I would like to thank Netgalley for providing me with this ARC.
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