Hello readers! Welcome to my stop on the Inkyard Press Fall 2021 YA Blog Tour for The Keeper of Night by Kylie Lee Baker! Thank you to Inkyard Press and the author for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this tour.
Title: The Keeper of Night
Series: The Keeper of Night #1
Author: Kylie Lee Baker
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Published: October 12th, 2021 (Inkyard Press)
Synopsis: Death is her destiny.
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 to care 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.
Thank you to the publisher, Inkyard Press, and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Ren Scarborough is half British Reaper, half Japanese Shinigami, and while she has been raised in London, she has never felt like she belonged, often looked down upon for her mixed heritage. When one night, Ren loses control over her Shinigami powers and injures three High Reapers, she knows that her only chance of survival is to flee England. With her brother in tow, Ren heads for Japan, hoping to find acceptance and a place serving the Goddess of Death, and also seek out the mother who abandoned her. The Goddess however, sets her a task to complete in order to prove her worth, to destroy three deadly Yokai demons who are threatening the balance. With her brother and a new ally, Hiro, by her side, this dangerous journey will test the limits to which Ren is willing to go to become a Shinigami and what she is willing to sacrifice for it.
This was such a good read! The world building alone makes it a rich and immersive read, and it incorporates a lot of Japanese folklore, much of which was new to me, so I found that aspect of the book especially interesting. Ren’s journey from London into the Japanese underworld was a fascinating one to follow and I’m hoping to see more of this amazing world building in the next book. The writing was wonderful, and the narration style made for such a riveting read that the pages just seemed to fly by.
Ren was my favorite character in this book. As the story is narrated entirely from her perspective, it makes it easy to really understand her state of mind as she struggles to define herself and find a place where she feels like she truly belongs. Despite the magical setting of this book, I think this aspect is something that anyone can relate to on some level. Her arc was very well done, and her zeal to belong often clashes with her morals, leading her to make some highly questionable decisions, but it all fit perfectly with her character. Her brother Neven, on the other hand, was basically the voice of reason that was ignored throughout, but his loyalty to his sister was admirable.
The only thing I want to mention is that this does get kind of dark and creepy at times, but that does make it a great choice for this month. That ending was definitely not something I saw coming. It was just one jaw dropping twist after another and I can’t wait to see how what happens next in the sequel! Highly recommended!
The Keeper of Night releases on October 12th, 2021.
About the Author
Kylie Lee Baker grew up in Boston and has since lived in Atlanta, Salamanca, and Seoul. Her writing is informed by her heritage (Japanese, Chinese, and Irish), as well as her experiences living abroad as both a student and teacher. She has a B.A. in Creative Writing and Spanish from Emory University and is currently pursuing a Master of Library and Information Science degree at Simmons University. In her free time, she watches horror movies, plays the cello, and bakes too many cookies. The Keeper of Night is her debut novel.
Do you plan to read this book? Let me know in the comments below!