Arc Review: The Keeper of Night by Kylie Lee Baker

Title: The Keeper of Night
Author: Kylie Lee Baker
Genre: YA Fantasy / Historical Fiction
Publication Date: October 12th, 2021
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for an earc to review! All opinions are my own.

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.” (Goodreads)

Although I found this book to be good, I wasn’t blown away by it like I have been by other books that deal with Japanese mythology. I will say that the author does a great job of taking it and making it her own by adding Reapers and creating a main character that is split between two worlds.

From the beginning, the main character Ren struggles with who she is as her parents come from different places. She doesn’t know where she belongs and has never been to where her mother was from. I never connected with Ren myself but I can see others being able to. Besides her brother, the family dynamic of the book isn’t talked about much. I do like sibling bonds but I also would have liked to understand the family as a whole better since she was so willing to runaway from it all. Ren goes through a lot of changes when it comes to her character development and by the end I would say that she could definitely lean towards morally grey.

There is one character that really stood out to me and that was Hiro. He was very mysterious but also willing to help Ren get where she wanted to be. The plot twists that involved him were very intense! I did like them and they gave the second half of the book spice.

The most interesting part of the book was the combining of two worlds: Reapers and Shinigamis. I liked learning about them but I also felt that we could have been given more details about the Reapers. The book starts off with them but by 10% Ren and her brother are already running away so we never get to see how their ranking works and what exactly goes on besides the little snippet of Ren doing her job right at the beginning.

Overall, this was a good book. I think that more details were needed for some aspects of the book but I do think readers will enjoy this one if they like Shadow of the Fox and other books similar to that.


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