I received this eARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Trying to describe the world of The Keeper is incredibly hard. This book spans multiple genres and has so many different aspects of each. Cassie is a student and wants to become an animal documentarian. She lives in some sort of fantasy-futuristic UK-esque country that is probably on Earth, but it’s called Terra.
At school, she does a project that involves working with a mentor at the local zoological park. This is where she meets Dennian. A mute guy who was a special way with the animals. They seem to be bonding until disaster strikes Cassie’s home life. Her mother, who is quite awful IMO, forces her to go on a reality TV show that will marry her off to a guy chosen by the ratings. Then there’s the myths of The Keeper, dragons, dragon slayers and a Governor of the universe. Like I said above, there’s a lot to unpack in this book.
At first, I was very confused as to where this book was going and how everything fit together. While you will probably spend 50% of this book pretty confused, things slowly pieced together. I really liked the myths of the dragons and the history of the Atlasian’s fighting them. I wish this had been brought in sooner. It was really fascinating and I loved that aspect. The whole government system was pretty highly sci-fi driven, though there’s also a fantasy aspect with the dragons. I loved that the Governor of the universe was non-binary. It added a sort of mystery to their persona. Plus the fact that the Governor has all the previous memories of the Governors before it was fucking awesome.
As for the reality TV show, I was wary. It seemed like we’d seen the last of Dennian and if Cassie didn’t outright rebel, we’d never see the two reunited. Fortunately, he finagles his way onto the show. I did eventually start to enjoy this aspect, the other guys were pretty great and very highly amusing. I want a Nathan for myself if I don’t say so lol. The relationship between Cassie and Dennian was VERY insta-love, but by the end I did like them together. I wish their chemistry had developed a bit more before they started making heart eyes at each other.
All in all, while confusing this was really fascinating and I’m definitely interested in reading the next book.