The Keeper of Night: The Keeper of Night, Book 1 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Audible Audiobook, Unabridged
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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 who cares 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.
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|Listening Length||12 hours and 22 minutes|
|Audible.ca Release Date||October 12 2021|
|Publisher||Dreamscape Media, LLC|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #62,315 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#178 in Paranormal & Supernatural Fiction for Teens
#520 in Dark Fantasy for Young Adults
#587 in Paranormal & Urban Fantasy for Young Adults
Top reviews from Canada
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In terms of plot, you've got your classical monster hunting quest, but the focus on Japanese mythology really breathed fresh life into this trope. Since Ren herself is somewhat of an outsider, the myths are introduced in a way that's very accessible to a reader with little to no knowledge of Japan. I also never realized how cool and creepy Japanese myths are.
I loved reading about Ren. She's an angry, selfish, morally grey heroine which was so refreshing to read. It seems like every YA heroine is self sacrificing and always does the right thing, which gets boring and I don't find it very relatable. Ren really wasn't afraid to take what she wanted and I was here for it. I connected so much with her whole "I'm a bad person and I don't care" attitude.
A large focus in the book was Ren's half British, half Japanese heritage, how she is not really accepted in either society, and her search for belonging. While I couldn't directly relate to her situation, it was really interesting to read about and caused me to do a lot of introspection around my own heritage.
Also the ending to this book was wild. So much went down in the last 5% of the book. I can't wait to see what happens in the next book because I have no idea where the story is going to go or what an ideal ending would be. Definitely recommend!
This was an intense and wild story. Ren and Neven encountered many demons and creatures from Japanese folklore. Ren had learned about some of the demons in her studies of her culture, but some of them were not the same as the tales. Both the British and Japanese soul collectors had their own methods of doing their job, so Ren had to get used to a whole new system. Though Ren felt like an outsider at home in England, Neven became an outsider in Japan, since he didn’t speak the language and didn’t look like the residents. It was an interesting look at if it’s harder to be born as an outsider and never know any differently or if it is easier to choose to live in a culture as a visible outsider.
The ending of this story was intense and fast paced. It left me wondering if the next book will be about Ren, based on where the story left off. I’m really curious to see what the next book in this duology will be about.
The Keeper of Night is a great book with Japanese folklore.
Thank you Inkyard Press for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Ren’s entire existence is defined by being on the outside. The daughter of an English Reaper and a Japanese Shinigami, she resides in London and is bullied, disrespected, and ignored for her heritage — something that, I’ll admit, was really getting my back up because I thought her father, the obvious culprit for her dual heritage, had been let off the hook and all the hate and distrust was focused solely on his daughter. And well.. he is demoted for his transgressions but Ren still bears the brunt of it as he gets to, mostly, wash his hands of it all. I got to say, I’m hella tired of that particular narrative. Next time I want the kid to be welcomed and the parents to be ostracized please and thank you. Also, I hope more of this backstory is explained in book two as, currently, I’m not quite satisfied by how things stand.
But anyway, stuff happens and Ren is forced on the run and her brother, who has always loved her despite having been also tarred with some of the same brush as his sister, even though he is not biracial, flees to Japan with her. And basically this whole relationship, this whole bond? The best. They didn’t always get on, they could never full understand each other, but they were still there for each other.. though this bond definitely does get tested along the way. Especially when Neven admits to feeling like a fish out of water in Japan and expresses those feelings to Ren, even though it was only a glimpse of what Ren had endured in London for centuries — and I really loved that Baker explored this.
While so much of this story ends up being about Japanese mythology and legends, the author leans close to, if not outright, grimdarkness with some of the violence and demons they encounter. Maybe it’s not quite grim but it is dark. Being that the whole premise is set around death and soul collecting, I like that this wasn’t glossed over considering the target audience.
Also not glossed over is Ren’s anger, which we see explode out of her a few times once she’s away from London and is able to both articulate and let herself rage, about all the years of being told who she is, what she isn’t, and how she’s not accepted. Because unlike what she thought.. she is not immediately welcomed in Japan. She’s seen, once again, as a foreigner. This disappointment felt so raw and real and I honestly have no words to describe it.
Where things sorta fell apart for me was near the end. I knew this wasn’t a standalone (yay it’s only a duology!) so maybe that explains why the big climax came upon us in a bit of a quick and dramatic fashion — well, there’s two, really. I loved the first, which I sorta saw coming (but one reveal was still a surprise) but it was what followed that.. I don’t know. I really enjoyed where things ended, though, and I’m so keen to see how it all resolves — or if it even does — in book two.
If you’re looking for a dark YA fantasy, set in the past, with a compelling setting, rich in atmosphere and setting, with a main character who isn’t remotely the hero, though not quite a villain, but definitely grey in hue.. you should give this a go.
Top reviews from other countries
It's a bummer, but otherwise the book is alright.
Reviewed in the Netherlands 🇳🇱 on December 30, 2021
It's a bummer, but otherwise the book is alright.
This book honestly destroyed me. My advice is that if you get towards the end and want to back out, don't. Keep going. It's going to hurt in a way that stories do when you become attached to those within the narrative. I predicted multiple endings up until the last chapter, and all my predictions were wrong.
My only criticism is that at one point towards the end I felt the turn of events gave me whiplash and my suspension of disbelief wavered for a moment. The actions and decisions felt rushed and I wasn't satisfied with the motivation. However, I suspect this was intentional on the part of the author and I was still satisfied with the story as a whole. It's worth your time and your money to check this out.