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.
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley. All thoughts are my own.
DNF @ 32%
I picked this up on audiobook after seeing some buzz on Twitter but unfortunately, Keeper of the NIght falls into many of the pitholes that make me struggle with YA debuts. Our MC, Ren, is perhaps on the most unlikable YA protagonists I’ve read in a while. Not in a ‘makes decisions that are rude to other people’ way but in a ‘why are you making these decisions do you have a brain’ way. Ren’s character follows the semi-recent YA trend of Strong Female Protagonists needing to be as unnecessarily antagonistic as possible, and while that’s understandable when faced with her British bullies, even when she ends up in Japan does she insist on this bizarre haughty cockiness in a country she’s literally never been too. Additionally, this is one of those books where the decisions and plot points that occur for the sake of advancing the story, regardless of how much interior logic is follow. Early on, Ren finds herself escaping from the British Reapers by crawling through ventilation tunnels when she finds herself above the Reaper Council discussing her capture. A chapter later, it’s pointed out that Reapers have incredibly good hearing, a heartbeat field away good hearing. So you’re telling that the council of the most powerful reapers, just… didn’t hear a two teens and a cat crawling through some ventilation shafts?? Overall, I rate this book a 2/5. Interesting premise with provoking descriptions of the Japanese yokai, but an absolutely insufferable protagonist and somewhat contrived plot points.
r/Fantasy 2021-22 Bingo Squares:
- 1st Person POV
- Mystery Plot
- Published in 2021
- Set in Asia (hard mode)
- X of Y
- Debut Novel