The Daughter of Doctor Moreau by Silvia Moreno-Garcia Silvia Moreno-Garcia once again stuns with a reimagining of the story of Doctor Moreau in The Daughter of Doctor Moreau. The book starts as a solid retelling but quickly shifts into its own story being placed in time and space in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. The daughter, […]
Our Crooked Hearts by Melissa Albert Our Crooked Hearts by Melissa Albert is a witchy suburban tale. Ivy is a teenager who starts off her summer with a literal bang. This kicks off a reckoning between her and her mother Dana who has kept important details about her adolescence from Ivy. As she moves through […]
In The Keeper of Night by Kylie Lee Baker, Ren Scarbourough is a girl caught between two worlds. Half British Reaper, half Japanese Shinigami, she and her brother, Neven, are never accepted in Britain. When things fall apart and she decides to go looking for her mother and a place among the Japanese Shinigami she finds an adventure and fairy-tale horror awaits in the dark.
“I took one step into the void, and the darkness breathed me in.” – Kylie Lee Baker, The Keeper of Night
The Keeper of Night by Kylie Lee Baker came to me from Book of the Month and I couldn’t be more excited to see Japanese lore coming to mainstream stories. I was impressed with the stories that were incorporated into this retelling. Japanese lore has always struck me as darker and more sinister than other lores and this lived up to that reputation. There are so many night-beasties and things that go bump in the dark in this book. I devoured them all.
As for our main character, Ren and her brother, Neven, I often felt that these two were all alone in the world. There was a desperate, lonely quality to this story which is highlighted in the moments of possibility and connection with others. This world is all or nothing and more often than not, it’s nothing. More than the horror of the beasties, the loneliness and rejection are haunting.
Once this story came close to the ending, I felt that it became almost a montage of increasingly terrifying discoveries. While there were so many vignettes of stories in the journey, the ending was quick and severe. I am pleased to say that there will be a follow-up as this is the first of a duology, so there might be some redemption.
The Keeper of Night by Kylie Lee Baker lived up to the promise of telling a Japanese-centric tale of death and the under-realms. From the exciting beginnings came brutal endings that may only be softened by a second novel. Thankfully for us all, Empress of Time by Kylie Lee Baker is expected Oct. 4th 2022.
I recommend this book if you’re interested in reading fairy lore from Japanese culture.
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All These Bodies by Kendare Blake Summer of 1958 and the Midwest is horrified by a murder spree known as the Bloodless Murders. Sixteen bodies drained of their blood have been discovered without a hint to the perpetrator. The last murders, a family in a small town, has one clue – a fifteen-year-old girl, covered […]
Hummingbird Salamander by Jeff Vandermeer In Hummingbird Salamander by Jeff Vandermeer, the world is at stake. In the noir mystery novel, the world is becoming more ecologically unstable as time goes on. “Jane Smith”, a security consultant is mysteriously sent a note and key from a known eco-terrorist, Silvina. This leads to a storage locker […]
The Night Country & Tales from the Hinterland by Melissa Albert In The Night Country by Melissa Albert, Alice is adjusting to the real world as a story. Living in New York City, working a job and living with her mom, she tries to be as normal as possible. Except she’s not. She’s an ex-story and […]
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia Rating – 4.38 out of 5 In Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Noemí Taboada is an unlikely heroine. When her beloved cousin reaches out for help, Noemí braves the Mexican wilderness to find what has happened to her. Once at the estate of her cousin’s new husband, High Place, it […]
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo Rating – 4 out of 5 In Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo, Galaxy “Alex” Stern is a survivor. She survived a traumatic childhood, the hauntings of the dead, the murder of her best friend, and now is surviving her freshman year at Yale. As a part of House Leathe, the […]