‘Continue reading’ for review + info about the author | Read review on Goodreads
**I received an eARC of The Keepers from REUTS Publications, in exchange for an honest review.**
Possible spoilers! Read with caution.
“Sixteen-year-old Isra Kalb has grown up starving in the slums of Islamabad. But hunger is only the beginning. When her father is mysteriously murdered and madness corrupts her mother’s mind, she’s left alone to fend for herself and her sister. Homeless and destitute, the only thing she has to remember her loving family by is a commonplace necklace—an amulet barely worth keeping. Or so she thinks.
Swept into a web of lies, deceit and turmoil, Isra struggles to find a place for herself and Zaffirah, wondering if the strange creatures and visions she’s seeing are indications of the madness that took her mother. But when Snatchers capture Zaffirah, Isra learns her amulet isn’t so useless after all. Transported to Zarcane—the beastly garden where Adam and Eve were born—Isra comes face to face with her destiny. She’s a Keeper, charged with protecting the borders of Zarcane and keeping the demon hordes lurking in the shadows from taking realms that are not their own. And she’s not the only one; there’s a second Keeper, a boy whose identity hasn’t been revealed.”
The setting of Islamabad, Pakistan was definitely a change for me. I liked being able to get a glimpse at the poverty-stricken city that Isra and her family lived in. That’s all it was to me though, just a glimpse. I would have liked to see more of this come into play! As magnificent as Zarcane was, more of Pakistan would have pushed this book to at least a 4 star book for me. Despite being similar to TMI (here), it did have its own unique qualities that I enjoyed. The minotaur army, the leech-like fairies, the crystal creatures; I thought they were terrific additions to the world of Zarcane. Especially considering that Zarcane is meant to be Eden – you’d never think Eden would have those sort of creatures. Oh gosh ― Isra and Ammun, I wanted their relationship to happen. I was hoping for a different (happier?) ending for them. Give me a second book with them together, and everything will be a-okay.
I do have some issues with The Keepers ― Farid; I couldn’t even begin to like this character. He was such a brute, and I didn’t know if he was to be trusted. (At sometimes, he wasn’t!) The only time I wasn’t like, “what the heck, man??” was when he was with Maya. He treated her far better than anyone else in the book, better than his own family. The battle scene ended very abruptly for me. I would have liked to see it go on for a little bit longer, or to have seen the Abaddon escape – making it a bigger plot point than it turned out to be. I feel like the book was a little rushed. Some plot points were either a tad sloppy, or they just faded out with no true conclusion. Character backgrounds. I wanted more in-depth information on the characters. (e.g. Isra’s mother – when did she find out she was a Keeper of Zarcane? Did she have help like Isra, did she know her ‘guardian angel?’ etc.)
In conclusion, I really do hope there will be a second book. The epilogue played at it, and I’m hoping it does happen. I feel like we were left with a mini-cliffhanger. Asking questions like, “Well now what? That’s the ending?” Should there be a second book, I will read it. I want to know what happens next!
Anoosha Lalani wrote a really great book, and if you liked The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare, then this book might be for you! The link to buy it is above, along with a link to add it to your goodreads account. Have a great day!
About the author, Anoosha Lalani:
Anoosha Lalani has always had an insatiable desire to escape reality. It was a childhood trait that never seemed to fade out. If Anoosha were to make one wish, it would be to have wings to journey off the face of this planet and into the worlds of her stories.
When she’s not writing, you may find Anoosha attending high school in Singapore. Having moved around so much, she has had the wonderful opportunity to be exposed to a vibrant range of cultures, which often seem to find their way into her stories. Anoosha was born in Pakistan, the setting of her most recent novel, The Keepers.