Cover Image: The Keeper of Night

The Keeper of Night

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Member Reviews

t really is a cool again so I can wear this

It is one of the softest sweatshirts I have ever owned. It is so ridiculously comfortable so ridiculously easy to wear 

Trust me you will not be disappointed
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3.75 stars

The Keeper of Night was a bit of a roller coaster ride for me. A historical fantasy with a morally grey, bi-racial protagonist, it is dark, gory, and full of fascinating Japanese lore. It may have had a bit of a bumpy start (the exposition takes up a good third of the novel), but I definitely think it found its stride even if some of the plot twists were a bit predictable. I have to admit that at one point, I had to stop listening to the audiobook because I was listening at night and getting too freaked out! If you love your YA a little on the darker side, I think that this is definitely worth picking up.  

Thank you to NetGalley and Dreamscape Media for an ARC of this audiobook in exchange for a fair and honest review!
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Beneath the fantasy, monsters and darkness this story is truly about the hurt and rage of rejected children.

Ren, born to an English reaper and a Japanese shinigami, has never fit in in London.  She's rejected by her father, her peers, other reapers, all except her brother Nevin. 

After crossing a line while defending herself from bullies, she flees England to Japan with Nevin in tow.  She expects to finally find where she belongs, maybe even her mother, but instead finds yet another place she doesn't quite fit.

Desperate for belonging she agrees to the ruler of Yoni's (Japan's underworld) terms only to be betrayed again.  

The story suddenly takes wild twists as turns as secrets are revealed, positions change, but still belonging eludes Ren.

While also terrifying this story is deeply heartrending.  It brought to mind the quite "the child not embraced by the village will burn it down to feel it's warmth".
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I'm really struggling with writing a review for this book. I loved the Japanese folklore and the eerie (also slightly depressing) atmosphere Baker conveyed... however I feel like I've yet to recover from that ending. Let's just say that I'm glad to hear there's a sequel on the way!
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Advanced Reader’s Copy provided by NetGalley and Dreamscape Media in exchange for an honest review.

Content Warnings (provided by the author): death (on-page + discussed frequently), racism, sexism (brief), ableism, bullying, emotional neglect of a child, mentions of child abandonment, violence, murder, blood, gore, and implied sex.

Well this was a heck of a debut by Kylie Lee Baker! 

Ren is half British Reaper, half Japanese Shinigami living in London. Her Reaper father has disowned her, her fellow Reapers bully her. And everywhere she goes, she is seen as an other, never fitting in. Her only friend is her half brother Neven, who is ostracized by the rest of the Reapers for showing kindness towards Ren and towards living things. After Ren's Shinigami powers cause her to have to flee London to save herself, Neven joins her, even though it means he has to leave the only home he's ever known. Together, they journey to Japan where Ren hopes to find her Shinigami mother. But all is not as it seems and soon they are fighting for their lives and a place within the Shinigami world. Even here, Ren is seen as an other... she was too Japanese for London and too London for Japan.

This is a dark fantasy full of Japanese folklore and mythology driven by a morally grey protagonist. The world building is so detailed and engrossing that readers will feel like they are traveling along with Ren and Neven. Japanese mythology is not for the faint of heart though, the beings that Ren encounters are terrifying. 

The last 20% of this novel will pull the chair out from under you. I'm still not recovered from it and now have to anxiously await the next book in this series to find out what happens next.

The only real bummer for me was Rebecca Yeo's performance of the audiobook. It felt very one-note to me.
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Brilliant. As a part Japanese part European heritage, it was easy for me to connect with the MC immediately. I enjoyed the lore, the deeply flawed characters and world building. There isn’t much I didn’t like about this. I can’t wait for the second book
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This was such an interesting book! I loved all the folklore, spirits, dark history, and everything else was wonderful! I wasn't super impressed with the audio quality. I could hear pages turning, and the breathes in between sentences. It was a bit distracting.
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