Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Last Keeper

The Last Keeper
Author: Michelle Birbeck
Genre: Supernatural | Fantasy
Release Date: May 3rd, 2012

The following is a guest review done by my friend Infâme Malkier on my behalf. All credit for the written review goes to him.

As one may expect from a book with such a title, The Last Keeper is a tale of survival. Serenity Cardea is a Keeper, and for millenia her people, her race has been tasked with maintaining the balance between the races. Their role throughout the ages has been to keep the vampires, the weres, the humans and the witches from battling each other to extinction. But, as powerful as they were, the Keepers have been dwindling, for the vampires have stumbled upon their greatest secret : their weakness; their mates and in the process have somehow prevented the other members of the race from awakening their powers.

One would expect The Last Keeper to be a tale of revenge or retaliation, the tale of justice sought for a race brought through hate and betrayal to the verge of extinction. It is not. It is the tale of the last of a kind, trying to live on for the sake of the world while trying to protect her loved ones from the wrath of vampires.

However, the book fails to deliver the promise of the great setting and powers at play. The main character, even though gifted with absolute power over every other race fails to slack their need for bloodshed and violent encounters. Vampires are seen as little more than blood-thirsty creatures with little or no regard for other races. There is no real depth to the psychology of the other races and they ultimately appear as tools to further the story and little more. We are not given much insight into the dealings of the vampires and their ruling organization.

As to the main characters, she appears all too weak for a creature of Old Age. She lets herself be teased, trampled and put through grief by enemies that declared war on her whole race. And on no occasion has she sought to make the offenders pay. There is no sense of retaliation from her and one may end up wondering why one who is so powerful and the mythical Angel of Death never becomes the Avatar of Vengeance she should have become.

Above all, The Last Keeper is a love story. The story of how Serenity Cardea, last of her kind to have awakened her powers, comes to grips with the fact that finding her mate, the only thing that could possibly bring her joy, would doom her and subsequently her race. It is a story of grief and loss. Depending on who you are, you may find the main character lacking backbone or you may see her as a loving, compassionate and caring entity. 

In conclusion, The Last Keeper is rather underwhelming considering the potential for growth it presented. There still are lots of questions unanswered when it comes to the other mythical races and the rather simple plot makes little use of the subtleties such a diversity in powers and races could have brought.

My rating : 2 / 5.