Nancy O'Toole's Reviews > Summon the Keeper

Summon the Keeper by Tanya Huff
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's review
Jul 30, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: paranormal, book-club

Claire Hansen is a Keeper who's job and birthright is to keep the universe secure. She's in for quite a shock when she's summoned to a run down hotel, and then wakes up the next morning as it's new owner. When Claire finds a hole to hell in the basement, and a woman frozen in a magical sleep state in one of the rooms, she quickly discovers that there's more going on in Elysian Fields Guesthouse than the previous owner revealed. Now, it's her job to clean things up.

Summon the Keeper is the first book in trilogy. It's also the July selection for a book club I'm in. I've had it sitting on my bookshelf for years, but for whatever reason, I've never picked it up. Now that I have, I can't help but have mixed feelings over the book. On one hand, there is plenty in this book to enjoy. It has all the usual elements found in a typical paranormal fantasy book, which is pretty impressive considering when this was published (1998) “typical” hadn't been fully established yet for the genre. At times, reading it was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed the concept of a hotel where the supernatural come to stay. I also found Austin, the talking snarky cat, to be an enjoyable character. Oftentimes, the chapters feel like their own self-contained stories, and some of these stories really did work, such as the Halloween chapter, and the one focusing on the Greek Gods. Some of the moments in the later chapters can be pretty exciting too.

On the other hand, I had some serious issues with the overarching character storylines. Claire could be a really interesting heroine, but at times she really got on my nerves. Her habit of keeping information from Dean as some form of protection seemed logical at first, but as the story continued and she continued this habit, it began to get really irritating. As for Dean, I liked his habit of cleaning everything and felt as if was, for the most part, a nice guy, but he could be a little dull. The character of Jacques, a ghost that haunts the hotel, was supposed to be all sexy and tempting to Claire, but I just found him to be irritating. As a result, the Dean/Claire/Jacques love triangle never really worked for me. Another major thing I had issues with was the humor, a very important part of this book. There were a few times when the jokes had me smiling, bur for the most part, the humor wasn't for me (especially the ones involving Hell talking to itself in the basement, which happened ALL THE TIME- IN ALL CAPS!).

While reading this book, I often found myself thinking “well I like this but....” As I said before, there was some interesting concepts and enjoyable moments in this book, but my issues with aspects like the characters and the ineffective humor prevented me from fully enjoying this book. I wouldn't call Summon the Keeper a bad book exactly, but it really wasn't for me. I don't think I will be continuing the series.

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Reading Progress

07/24/2010 page 84
07/30/2010 page 218
65.0% "Feeling very mixed about this book"

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