GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Book Review: Keeper of Crows (The Keeper of Crows Duology Book 1) by Casey L. Bond | I Smell Sheep

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Book Review: Keeper of Crows (The Keeper of Crows Duology Book 1) by Casey L. Bond

Keeper of Crows (The Keeper of Crows Duology Book 1)
by Casey L. Bond
293 pages
March 19, 2017
Carmen Kennedy is a spoiled brat from Beverly Hills with a chip on her shoulder and a cocaine addiction to match. Using drugs to suppress reality, her life is more than she can stomach most days. All she wants is to disappear, and on one fateful night, her wish is granted.

There is a world that exists just beyond the fabric of our own. When Carmen is dragged there against her will, her hopelessness seems to disappear, replaced by a determination to survive. The Keeper of Crows is charged with guarding Carmen, but is safety a possibility in a world so desolate? Can love blossom when danger lies in wait? Together, they fight like hell, seeming to lose more ground than they gain with each battle against the dark enemy threatening to tear them apart. Can love keep her safe? Can it give her the strength she needs?

When the lines between life and death, reality and dream become blurred, who will save the souls trapped in the spaces between Heaven and Hell? Who will save Carmen's only love, The Keeper of Crows?

Keeper of Crows is a new paranormal romance duology from the author of The Frenzy Series. The book does contain adult material such as profanity, illicit drug use and sexual situations.

Carmen Kennedy is a sour, vacuous young woman flirting with death and danger. The daughter of a successful businessman turned politician, Carmen is a typical ‘sad little rich girl.’ She feels unwanted and unloved and, as such, becomes most unlovable. When Carmen’s reckless behaviour lands her in intensive care, she is sucked into purgatory and forced to fight for her very tenuous existence in the ‘real’ world and beyond. At her side is the dark and powerful Keeper of Crows, a majestic and terrifying warrior placed in purgatory to maintain order.

Bond’s fantastic purgatory is wildly imaginative. Her creativity is seemingly boundless and her imagery highly evocative. I loved the image this passage conjured: “The demon gave a slight bow to Keeper and slowly sank into the earth, inch by inch, until he was gone and all that remained was a pile of bubbling tar on the ground.”

At its heart, Keeper of Crows is a transformation story. Initially Carmen is insufferable, almost comically so: “I hated dogs. And kids. And old people. And men.” I found the start of this book a little difficult to read because Carmen, as a walking stereotype, has few redeeming qualities. But once she fully realizes her capacity for love and strength, she becomes a truly fearsome force. While a transformation story isn’t at all unique, Bond does an excellent job leading to the formidable crescendo of Carmen’s becoming.

I was also taken with Bond’s not so subtle political leanings peppered throughout the narrative. Carmen’s nefarious father is characterized by “his fake smile, caked-on orange make-up, and his jubilant face as it waved to hungry crowds, starving for his lies.” Sound like anyone you know?

The conclusion of this book, however, is less than satisfactory. It takes on the qualities of a confused psychological thriller with a few inconsistencies. I expected something more from an author with such imagination. Without revealing too much, the archetype Bond uses to wrap up the narrative is rather unsatisfying. I look forward to book two in this duology, nonetheless. Perhaps what I’m interpreting as inconsistencies and confusion will be clarified when the story continues.

Bond initially caught my attention as an attending author for this year’s Once Upon a Book convention being held in Frankenmuth Michigan. As an attending blogger, I plan to check out several authors prior to the August 2017 event. Keeper of Crows stood out for its stellar cover design. I like pretty things and the artwork for this book definitely sets in apart. And for the most part, this book is as cool inside as it is on the outside.

Four Sheep

Bianca Greenwood

About the Author:
Award-winning author Casey Bond resides in West Virginia with her husband and their two beautiful daughters. Casey loves to read almost as much as she enjoys writing romance.

Her young adult books include: the Amazon best selling Frenzy series (Frenzy, Frantic, Frequency, Friction, Fraud and novella Forever Frenzy), the award-winning Harvest Saga (Reap/ Best World Building award in 2014 from IABB, Best Dystopian Series from 2015 Pour Over Parchment awards), Resist & Reclaim, Catalyst, Prisoner of Prophecy (CHBB Publishing), Liquid and Winter Shadows. 

Her new adult books include: Insta-Hate, Mayday, The Sin Series, winner of the 2015 Utopia Award for Best Serial Series, The Temptation Serial Series, Devil Creek, Shady Bay, Crazy Love and co-author of Dark Bishop. 

Anthology works include: Seven, Fractured Glass (YA Sci-Fi), Prep For Doom, and Light in the Darkness. 

Children's book: Chasing Wishes (Juliet and Casey Bond)

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