I got this book because I’m in a book club and I went into this book totally blind, which means I knew nothing about it. I didn’t really know what to expect except one person in the book club made the comment that she couldn’t wait for the second story of the series, so I was a bit intrigued about what I was getting into. The Keeper of Night is a YA Historical fiction/fantasy story by Kylie Lee Baker. I love reading books by diverse authors and is looking to read more books by Asian writers. I’m usually a bit uneasy about reading historical fiction (I don’t read a lot of them) but this honestly didn’t disappoint in that aspect.
So just what did I think about this book? Read on to find out!
A girl of two worlds, accepted by none… A half Reaper, half Shinigami soul collector seeks her destiny in this haunting and compulsively readable dark fantasy set in 1890s Japan. Death is her destiny. Half British Reaper, half Japanese Shinigami, Ren Scarborough has been collecting souls in the London streets for centuries. Expected to obey the harsh hierarchy of the Reapers who despise her, Ren conceals her emotions and avoids her tormentors as best she can. When her failure to control her Shinigami abilities drives Ren out of London, she flees to Japan to seek the acceptance she’s never gotten from her fellow Reapers. Accompanied by her younger brother, the only being on earth to care for her, Ren enters the Japanese underworld to serve the Goddess of Death…only to learn that here, too, she must prove herself worthy. Determined to earn respect, Ren accepts an impossible task—find and eliminate three dangerous Yokai demons—and learns how far she’ll go to claim her place at Death’s side.
First of all, while I wasn’t even half way done with the book, my spidey senses was going. I was right about the majority of what was going to happen (I was wrong about her mom) with Hiro and about the Shinigami. I’m just a cautious person in general and have my guard up so it made sense for me to feel what I felt about them, which I did not get good vibes for them. Like there’s a reason why they’re kind of shunned from the rest of the world.
I hate Ren. She was awful and allowed life to make her bitter. I think the question that kept coming up as I read was: how far you willing to go to get what you want? I felt like her pride got in the way alot of the time. She was an example of what not to do. Don’t think with your heart. Don’t allow the ill treatment experienced in life change you for the worst. Nothing you seek is worth sacrificing those of who you love. Oh and Oliver the cat….messed up! I’ll finish the duology but Ren makes me angry.
I get it, we all make mistakes when we love someone but you shouldn’t toss someone to the side who actually loves you for someone you just met. She didn’t love her brother like she said she did. She would’ve understood where he came from or at least show some empathy. They both had parents (in Ren’s case their dad since she was a half sibling) who didn’t care about them. While yes Reapers are not supposed to feel love but still they should have been treated better than they did. Because she was an outcast due to the fact she was not a full Reaper, they treated him awful as well, not as bad as Ren but still he was sort of isolated. Also, Neven had empathy and felt sad for the souls he took, which wasn’t usual for Reapers and was viewed as weak. She should’ve used their experience and used her regret or sadness to make better choices. I talked about it before in my post but there is a difference in feeling regret and doing nothing and feeling regret but choosing better options. I hope in the second book she’s back for redemption.
The thing about her that bothered me the most about her was that she knew what she was doing was wrong. She felt bad about it yet it didn’t stop her from making certain choices and to me that showed how selfish she was and all around was just an awful being. I felt like she lost herself when she tried to find herself which is very unfortunate. Even Hiro told her “You’ll do whatever it takes to become a Shinigami” and he was very correct in that statement. She even answered him “Yes…Anything.” It was her driving force because she said if she wasn’t a Shinigami “…then I was nothing at all”.
I give this book