The Keeper by Natalie Star
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Length: Full Length (230 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 16+
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Poinsettia
The morning of her sixteenth birthday, Billie feels blessed despite the reoccurring nightmare that wakes her. Loving parents, a caring boyfriend, and great friends surround her until an heirloom necklace throws her into a world she never imagined.
“Gifted” with supernatural powers and an unexpected destiny as the Keeper, Billie and a mysterious boy from her past must work together to find answers. But, as they begin to discover feelings for one another, he disappears leaving her to fight evil alone. Her life spirals out of control. She breaks up with her boyfriend, Tony, and alienates her best friends Arianna and Jocelyn to protect them from the truth.
As dark forces pursue her, Billie longs to run away from it all, yet a need to do what’s right compels her to face the future as the keeper of more than her own fortune.
Sometimes an ordinary life just isn’t possible.
Billie is a typical, if a bit snobbish, teenage girl. She’s pretty, smart, and relatively popular. At first, her attitude put me off. She's overly critical of those around her and the words that come out of her mouth are often harsh. However, Billie changes quite a bit over the course of the years contained in this story. I truly enjoyed watching her develop into a young woman who learns to genuinely love and appreciate those around her.
When Billie becomes the Keeper and starts receiving her supernatural “gifts,” her world is thrown into chaos. On top of surviving high school, Billie now finds herself fighting nightmarish creatures sent by an unknown dark force. Fortunately, Tyler, her Watcher, is there to guide her. I thought Billie handled her new powers and the revelations concerning her destiny surprisingly well. She still has moments where she breaks down and wishes for a simpler life, but I think that's a completely normal reaction for a young woman. While Billie sometimes just wants to be a teenager, she also knows that her position is much too important for her to simply walk away. Her strength is very admirable.
Billie’s relationship with Tyler is complicated to say the least. Both Billie and Tyler know that a romantic relationship between the two of them is not smart, but they literally can’t help themselves. They are powerfully drawn to each other. However, the path to their happy ending is definitely a rough one and the situation they find themselves in is not one I remember coming across in other books I’ve read. I thought Ms. Star’s solution to their problem was interesting. While I didn’t completely understand the reasoning behind the process that Billie and Tyler had to go through to be together, I did find the resolution to be satisfying.
I do wish the supernatural aspect of Billie’s world had been explained a bit more. Ms. Star made the concepts of Billie’s gifts, the creatures, and the forces of good and evil clear enough that I could follow the plot without any problems. However, I still wanted more detail. What exactly are the creatures that Billie fights? What started the battle between the opposing sides? How are people chosen for their specific roles? Who makes the rules concerning what is and isn’t allowed in the supernatural world? How has the supernatural aspect of Billie’s world remained hidden for so long? All these questions were rolling around in my mind when I finished reading The Keeper. Perhaps Ms. Star could delve into them in another book?
I also think that Billie’s confrontation with the dark force that had been plaguing her was over a bit too quickly. Most of the story seemed to be building up to an epic battle and while it was intense, somehow it wasn’t quite as big as I anticipated. I also thought the dark force would have had a larger role in the story. Instead, he showed his face briefly and soon the big showdown happened. After the fight, Billie’s role as the Keeper is clearly not over, so I was left wondering who she would be facing in the future.
I found The Keeper to be a truly enjoyable story. I thought the world Ms. Star created was intriguing and Billie had certainly won me over by the end of the story. I was moved to tears near the end of the book when Billie had to make some hard choices in order to protect her family and friends. I recommend The Keeper to anyone looking for a compelling and emotional tale of friendship, love and loss.