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Sunday, June 26, 2016

Review: The Keeper of the Mist by Rachel Neumeier

Title: The Keeper of the Mist
Series: N/A
Author: Rachel Neumeier
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: March 08, 2016
Pages: 400
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, High Fantasy
Source: ARC from author
Rating: 1 out of 5

I received this book for free from the author via Amazon in exchange for an honest review.

Keri has been struggling to run her family bakery since her mother passed away.  Now the father she barely knew—the Lord of Nimmira—has died, and ancient magic has decreed that she will take his place as the new Lady. The position has never been so dangerous: the mists that hide Nimmira from its vicious, land-hungry neighbors have failed, and Keri's people are visible to strangers for the first time since the mists were put in place generations ago. 

At the same time, three half-brothers with their own eyes on the crown make life within the House just as dangerous as the world outside. But Keri has three people to guide her: her mysterious Timekeeper, clever Bookkeeper, and steadfast Doorkeeper. Together they must find a way to repair the boundary before her neighbors realize just how vulnerable Nimmira is.

My Review
This book just did not work for me, and I so wanted it to. After reading the synopsis I was so excited to read this. It boasted magic, conflict, and a young girl's personal struggle, but reading this left me unconvinced. It typically takes me a few days at most to read one book, as long as it is the only book I'm reading at the time, but it took me a month to finish this one. 

The main character, Keri, was rather annoying to me. I wanted to like her so much, but I just didn't. I am a sucker for a heroine, or a young person proving themselves. This book did not portray Keri like that to me at all. I kept reading just hoping that she would get more interesting, be I was disappointed. 

The explanations for why the magic border mist failed were generic, and unconvincing to me. There should have been more substance to the reasons, and there just wasn't any. The premise itself is quite unbelievable as well. There is really no clear explanation to how the country's magic chooses the next ruler of the country. None. It left me wondering why it was happening and how it played into the rest of the story. 

This book has a serious lack of romance and action, and I think that is one of the reasons why I did not enjoy it. I think that if there had been action and romance, I would have enjoyed it at least a little. The story hints to possible romance between Keri and her childhood friend, Cort, but it never comes to pass. Nothing. Literally not a bit of romance. The only romance that we get it between Keri's friend and the prince from the country on one of the borders of Nimmira. And it is very tame. There is really no real fight scenes or action to speak of. The enemy in the book is a sorcerer, and he does not truly harm anyone, only takes away their magic. I was so disappointed in the action and the romance.

One of the things that I disliked the most about this book is that I felt like I was reading a middle grade book, even though the main character is a young adult. It just didn't feel like a young adult book. I did not care for the writing style. It felt too dumbed down to be a young adult novel. It is written in third person, but most of the book feels like it is from Keri's point of view. And the descriptions of the country, more specifically the land itself, was too entirely repetitive. 

I feel like this book could have done well with more explanations to the magic of Nimmira, and better character development. More backstory would have been helpful as well. We get a brief history, but it is indeed brief. Including some romance for the main character, and some action would have made the book much more interesting.

If you have read The Keeper of the Mist, what did you think? Do you enjoy books with magic? What has been your favorite book with magic in it? 


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