The Keeper

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 10 Dec 2019

Member Reviews

This was everything except what I thought it was going to be. I was confused the whole beginning and then only came to understand what was going on by the time I was basically done reading.
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The Keeper is the first book in a new series by indie author Nikki Moyes. Released 10th Oct 2019, it's 366 pages and available in paperback and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately.

This is a potentially interesting mash-up of a dystopian YA/NA novel (echoes of the Maze Runner and Hunger Games) with some odd romance tropes (a novelized version of reality/bachelorette show) tacked on. The author has a good start with solid world building, ecology, alien life forms, shapeshifters, dragons, and more, but I felt that the grafted on reality TV show subplot felt like filler.

The pacing was off to me as well. There were a number of places which really dragged for me, despite the fact that people were killing one another or being killed left right and centre. I never felt the tension which suggested that any of the main characters were -really- in danger. There's quite a bit of deus-ex-machina going on. The dialogue felt seriously stilted and unnatural in some places and there were a lot of places where otherwise supposedly mature adults just made me want to bang my head on my desk.

Despite that, the author can write engaging fantasy and has a clear and adept voice as a storyteller. The book felt unfinished and in need of unflinching editing.

Three stars.
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This was a fun quick read. Typical bachelor style tv show dynamic which was predictable but enjoyable. Certain bits were super weird and I found myself going Whaaaaat?!
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**Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.**

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It is a futuristic novel, which took a bit to get into. It was a book that I really WANTED to delve into but for some reason, it just didn't grab me. It had an interestingly weird story, I think the part that got me was the 'bachelor/bachelorette' dynamic and the fact that the author changes character perspective, which is purely a personal preference when reading.

There was drama, a bit too much for my liking but everyone has their own threshold, family relationships were explored and of course love. 
This story had a lot of potential, characters were enjoyable to read (and in some cases they were enjoyable to  hate), there was some violence and physical abuse but overall it was a good book for teens to read with limited triggers.
While this is not one of my favourite reads of all time, I am looking forward to seeing how the series continues.
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If you like the Hunger Games, you may really like this book!

The Keeper revolves around Cassie, a recent High School graduate who's life gets turned upside down when her mother signs her up to be part of a "Bachlorette" type television program to find a reputable husband. The author does a great job at creating an interesting world and characters that are different from the norm.

However, as other reviewers had said, the book definitely lacks a noticeable amount of context around certain subjects such as societal norms in this universe based on status, the exact hierarchy of the royalty/peacekeepers/all other roles of the government in the book as well as relationships between many of the characters which would have helped in understanding the book and plot more thoroughly. For example, a diagram showing what the world/universe looks like and/or another diagram showing the family trees/hierarchy may have been useful for readers that may have had trouble visualizing it all. 

I truly believe that if the author incorporates this information in the next sequel, it may help in filling in the gaps. 

Regardless, it was a good read for any fans of fantasy and YA romance.
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Thanks to the publisher for an ARC to read and give my honest opinion.


My honest opinion for this book says it’s a good idea but it needs a major overhaul. First part of the book Cassie uses Dennian for a school project mentor because he has a gift with animals. Cassie’s dream is to make documentaries and her major focus is to graduate. Then the book does a total one eighty with the books focus being on a bachelorette show for a young girl only 17.

What did I like? I liked Dennian and Cassie’s relationship although I thought 17 a bit young for the marriage. The dystopian government was a good idea, and I loved how things turned out but the middle was confusing and hard to follow. I’d do the dating part in book one and the overthrow in part two. Flesh it out better. 

Would I buy this book? No it’s definitely a work in progress.

Thoughts for the author? Good luck, definitely an interesting read.
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I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

While i thought this book was an OK read, I think it has a lot of potential. I found the character development really hard to invest into.  
It was a very slow read and i struggled to maintain my attention on the book. The world building wasn't that great either as i kept getting lost as to where they were and where everyone was from.
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I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Keeper was a weird one. A really really weird one. It's a bit hard to explain because for the first half of the book I had no idea what was going on. If there was a test on this book, I would definitely fail because of how confusing everything was. Luckily for me, after the halfway mark.. things were a bit more interesting. Or at least things were slowly sliding into place for my brain? Maybe?

Still not quite sure on that though.

In this book, you will meet Cassie and Dennian (interesting name??). They were okay. Cassie is a student who wants to work with documenting animal and Dennian is her mentor at the zoological park. He is also mute - which I found a bit intriguing and I wanted to know more about him. 

Low and behold, there's drama - like instantly. We get to meet Cassie's awful mother - seriously, she is a major character to hate with all your heart - and things were kind of iffy for me. It was like the bachelor/bachelorette was a part of this book now. 

Cue eyeroll.

Overall, I was mostly confused. Certain things were just too weird for me. I wanted to enjoy it a lot more than I did but it was just a meh book for me. Hopefully the second book is a lot better and less weird.
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The Keeper feels like two very different stories welded together.

On the one hand we have a fascinating fantasy story set in a futuristic world of multi-planetary diplomacy, telepathy, shapeshifting and genetic manipulation. This story thread centres around the mysterious Dennian and his shrouded past; and promises a huge power battle related to the Keeper’s role and status.

The other story thread is a somewhat forced romance between schoolgirl Cassie and the mutely brooding Dennian, leading into him crashing a reality TV show starring Cassie as the victim/star who is to be married off to the winning contender.

I really hated that Cassie’s mother apparently cares so little for her daughter that she is not only willing to sell her into marriage to secure a house, but when her daughter’s one true love manages to finagle his way into the running and thereby offers a potential win-win scenario for both Cassie and her mother, her mother is willing to scupper his chances purely to squeeze a tiny bit more money and prestige for herself. I felt a lot of rage.

That said, I found it hard to buy into Cassie and Dennian’s relationship anyway. I definitely enjoyed the characters individually, but I just didn’t get a feeling of chemistry between them, and the way they meet through Cassie shadowing him for a school-project, then leap straight into a potential marriage scheme feels really rushed and a little uncomfortable. I got more of a mentor/trainee vibe from the characters than a sexy loving one, and was relieved when the fantasy plotline distracted from their flirting. I think that Cassie would have to mature and become a bit more proactive about her fate in order to make a realistically equal match for action-hero Dennian – master of all things!

In terms of the two plots: the reality show was actually engaging (and occasionally enraging) and good fun, and the challenges were a little more I’m a Celebrity than The Batchelorette, so there was some real tension and danger. The political fantasy plotline – featuring Governer Suri and the Keeper, dragons and tigers – was also enjoyable and had plenty of potential for developing in interesting ways in future instalments.

It’s just a shame that the two plots have been squished together, rather than getting their own book each, as the result is detrimental to both threads; leaving the reader confused and even cold.





I stand still so my movement doesn’t spook the notoriously temperamental animal and slowly check my tablet screen, hoping the zoological park has an emergency contact for people about to be eaten by wild animals.
Before I can call for help, the man touches his forehead to the large feline’s, before running a hand down its back. It butts its head into his shoulder in response. He stands as the cat prances away, and he backs out of the enclosure, locking the gate behind him. I step forward before I remember I’m not meant to be here.
“How did you do that?” I ask.

– Nikki Moyes, The Keeper

Review by Steph Warren of Bookshine and Readbows blog
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All Cassie wants is to make wildlife documentaries. While doing a school project at the zoo, she meets Dannian and asks him to be her mentor for the project. At first he presents himself as a mute that can seemingly communicate with animals and Cassie is intrigued. Her father dies and her mother, fearing she’ll be shipped off to a home, enrolls Cassie in a Bachelorette TV show to marry her off and procure housing for them both. Her mother, mad that she herself married for love and not money wants Cassie to make an important match regardless of what Cassie wants. She doesn’t care if she’s happy or not. Cassie’s friend Jayne seems to be rather shallow as well. The Bachelorette type show is a bit silly. They remove contestants then randomly add others. Dannian gets on the show but the producers don’t see his value. The show is constantly, recklessly putting the contestants in danger and Dannian comes to the rescue. Then, there is the back story with planets, black holes, dragons, horned temple guardian tigers, death and reincarnation, evil leaders and something called Suri that is supposedly all knowing. This is the most interesting part of the story and is just not explained well. I wish the author had focused more time on fleshing this part out than all the time spent on the stupid television show. I think we needed more explanation of Dannian powers and why the dead were brought back to life for the Keeper contest. There were so many parts I didn’t understand that I cannot give this book more stars. I liked this book and it was a quick read.  The idea is there and it’s very interesting but it needs to be fleshed out. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me an ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
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I received this eARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Trying to describe the world of The Keeper is incredibly hard. This book spans multiple genres and has so many different aspects of each. Cassie is a student and wants to become an animal documentarian. She lives in some sort of fantasy-futuristic UK-esque country that is probably on Earth, but it's called Terra.

At school, she does a project that involves working with a mentor at the local zoological park. This is where she meets Dennian. A mute guy who was a special way with the animals. They seem to be bonding until disaster strikes Cassie's home life. Her mother, who is quite awful IMO, forces her to go on a reality TV show that will marry her off to a guy chosen by the ratings. Then there's the myths of The Keeper, dragons, dragon slayers and a Governor of the universe. Like I said above, there's a lot to unpack in this book.

At first, I was very confused as to where this book was going and how everything fit together. While you will probably spend 50% of this book pretty confused, things slowly pieced together. I really liked the myths of the dragons and the history of the Atlasian's fighting them. I wish this had been brought in sooner. It was really fascinating and I loved that aspect. The whole government system was pretty highly sci-fi driven, though there's also a fantasy aspect with the dragons. I loved that the Governor of the universe was non-binary. It added a sort of mystery to their persona. Plus the fact that the Governor has all the previous memories of the Governors before it was fucking awesome.

As for the reality TV show, I was wary. It seemed like we'd seen the last of Dennian and if Cassie didn't outright rebel, we'd never see the two reunited. Fortunately, he finagles his way onto the show. I did eventually start to enjoy this aspect, the other guys were pretty great and very highly amusing. I want a Nathan for myself if I don't say so lol. The relationship between Cassie and Dennian was VERY insta-love, but by the end I did like them together. I wish their chemistry had developed a bit more before they started making heart eyes at each other.

All in all, while confusing this was really fascinating and I'm definitely interested in reading the next book.
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This was my first book by this author, It was pretty enjoyable. I would give this book a 4 star rating! It was a pretty Quick and easy read!
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I actually thought that The Keeper was an okay read. I’d probably rate it more along the 2.5 stars range, because while I thought the potential of the futuristic fantasy bachelorette plot was ok, I found it difficult to truly invest in the characters. And in the end I was left wanting more, but also not feeling invested enough to actually WANT that more. For some reason I thought that this was a debut novel. The author spends a lot of time building the world and the plot, which shows experience but I feel as though the world felt a little unoriginal. Also there was a lack of investment in the characters themselves and any relationships in the story. It felt like a weakness in the story that I’m just not able to look past. I can’t say for sure if I will check out the next potential installment. We shall see.
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It took me quite a while to get through the book and in the end I wasn't sure what to think about it. It was somewhat confusing and there is nothing standing out, making the story special. I'm not sure if I will pick up the next book.
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DNF @ 33%. I loved the first 12% or so, but with the start of the bachelorette type show it rapidly went downhill. The conversations were vapid and the whole idea was kinda silly. Cassie shows no backbone at all. Sorry, just didn't work for me.
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I wasn’t quite keen on this, it seemed so interesting based on the premise, but I found it slow, hard to get into and the world building isn’t great. Unfortunately for me it’s a no.

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest opinion
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I tried to read this awhile back and couldn't get into it. I don't even remember much of what it was about. 

Thank you for the opportunity to read and review The Keeper.
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I found this book to be somewhat confusing in its structure. The introductory setting didn't seem all that realistic to me (and I know it is a fantasy book but I mean in the ways that the people were acting) and didn't seem to be setting up the world for the rest of the story, rather it was shoehorning characters into situations to set up the action. I was very close to not finishing this book because I wasn't able to get lost in the world or believe in the characters. Instead I skipped ahead and found the boo much easier to read from about a third of the way through. 

The main character was pretty passive and although her internal monologue seems to indicate that she can be brave and forceful she lets other people make all her decisions for her. She runs away from confrontations (sometimes literally) and allows herself to be treated poorly by pretty much everyone in her life. She also doesn't really seem to have lasting emotions and somehow doesn't hate her mother for making her enter a bachelor type competition where she is viewed as a prize rather than a person. 

This book and the world has potential and I would consider reading the follow up when it is published.
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I could not put this book down.  Yes, it was a bit referential (Bachelorette), but it was enjoyable, the characters were likeable, it was well written, and I wanted to see how it would end (even if I knew in broad strokes who would end up together).

There were a few parts of the world-building and "magic" (for lack of a better term) that confused me at times, but I didn't think that detracted from the stories.  I also didn't love the occasional times the author switched perspectives.  I preferred hearing the story from Cassie's viewpoint.

For a young adult book this was pretty clean, although there was discussion of violence and physical abuse.  

I look forward to more from this author!

Thank you publishers and NetGalley for the free e-ARC.
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**Disclaimer: I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.**

1/5
The synopsis of the story was interesting and I wanted something easy to read (it reminded me of "The Selection"), but, oh noooo.

Cassie, the main character, is neither strong nor independent. The interactions she has with other characters in the beginning are so aggravating and cringey that I found myself skipping paragraphs/pages.

The world-building is almost non-existent (at least in the beginning). I was so confused as to where the story was headed (there's zoological research, mentors, rival planets, The Bachelorette-type shows/programs??). help

Dennian was the most interesting part, but I couldn't continue reading, even for his backstory.
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