ABOUT THE BOOK:
Title: Keeper: The Book of Aon (The Keeper #1)
Author: K.M. Higginbotham
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publishing: July 31, 2016 (Createspace Independent Publishing Platform)
Format: Paperback, 342 pages
Source: Featured book in Fandom Adventures subscription box
“I’ve always liked books. As a kid with a less than perfect life, they became saviors, my getaways in bad situations and comforters when I had no one to turn to. I could imagine myself in any world as any character and ignore the pain of reality. My books held my hand and offered a shoulder for me to cry on when few my real friends didn’t live up to the job.”
When Elizabeth Knight meets a boy with a peculiar book on the streets near her apartment, she gets a little worried. When she wakes up the next morning in a totally different world, she starts to question her sanity. Elizabeth is whisked away to Aon, a kingdom of danger and mystery, with Edward, the boy from the streets. Turns out, he happens to be the prince. And that makes her a target by association. Before night falls, the peculiar book is hers, she’s being called the ‘Keeper’ and she has a new enemy: the dark, hooded figure called the Night Rider, who wants nothing more than absolute power. Now, the only things in his way are Elizabeth, her book, and the boy from a secret place. As impossible secrets unravel, Elizabeth is left with the greatest challenge of her life. Can she protect Aon and the people she cares about despite the danger that awaits her? Elizabeth is faced with saving the kingdom and protecting herself, knowing that one accident could send her spinning through the darkness, leaving Aon behind forever.
I have always been pleasantly surprised by the books featured in the Fandom Adventures subscription box. Keeper: The Book of Aon was included in April’s box, and I loved it! As part of the online community associated with Fandom Adventures, I was able to participate in a Q&A with K.M. Higginbotham which only added to its appeal.
First, let me begin by saying how inadequate I felt after my group Q&A with the author (I’m kidding…but, really!). Did you know K.M. was only in high school when she wrote Keeper? Our chat was actually the day before one of her AP exams! She also worked her tail end off in order to afford publication of her work by herself; she did not want to have to rely on anyone. I really admire her work ethic, especially for someone so young. She was so sweet, too. Her future is bright, I tell you!
Now, about the book…
The premise for Keeper really grabbed my attention. I enjoy books where fantasy and reality meet; the crossing of the worlds often adds elements of confusion, intrigue, and humor, and that was certainly the case here. Elizabeth, our protagonist, adapted pretty well, though. Maybe too well, at times. I think I’d panic a bit more if I fell asleep in my apartment after helping a complete stranger (who happened to be crashing on my couch) and woke up in a completely different world, seemingly in a different time, kind of like a fairy tale. I was picturing “A Kid in King Arthur’s Court” — a family movie from the 90s — when I first started reading (I hope at least ONE person knows to what I’m referring).
After opening with a paragraph that made me literally gasp and look in the mirror (quote listed above), I couldn’t help but enjoy K.M.’s writing. Her style is relaxed and conversational; perfect for a teenage author, yet much more mature than her years. She had a way of making me feel invested. From her unique plot to her well-developed characters, I was in from the go!
Elizabeth seemed smart, aware of her surroundings, strong-willed, and, probably most importantly, caring. Her kind-hearted nature was significant, and it also made her more likable, in my opinion. Personally, I often struggle with female protagonists which leads to me getting frustrated and easily annoyed by them. Not this time, though! Without giving away any spoilers, because I liked Elizabeth, I felt sympathetic towards her on more than one occasion in Keeper.
My favorite character, although he made me want to smack him over the head a time or two, was Joey! He had me on an emotional rollercoaster. I believe his character had to grow up too soon or has been judged too harshly and unfairly in his short life, so his defense mechanism is distance and using his protective instincts as an excuse. He’s a doll, though! He, like Elizabeth, cares so much for others, and I find that to be such a winning character trait.
There is one other character I loved, but I think you need to learn about him on your own 😉 He’s adorbs!
I have one issue. I don’t know if there is something that I missed or if there is something that will be answered in a future book (as this IS the first book in a series), but there was only ONE character with magical abilities. I don’t want to say much more (hello, spoilers), but that did completely baffle me! I have a bit of a working theory…kind-of, sort-of…but I thought it would have come up in this book and it did not, so I have a feeling I am wrong-o. Other than that, this was a great book!
I rated Keeper: The Book of Aon 4-stars and definitely recommend it. It was a quick read for me because once I got going, I just couldn’t put it down, and I don’t think you will be able to either. I know from our Q&A that the next book is a little bit off, but I cannot wait to read it. In the meantime, K.M. has a YA Contemporary, September, that should be releasing in the near future, so be on the lookout!