Title: The Last Keeper
Author: Michelle Birbeck
Publication Date: May 3, 2012
Source: Publishing House
Summary (from Goodreads):
Fifteen hundred years ago, Serenity Cardea took the life of the only vampire she ever regretted killing—Henry, her sister’s husband. With her sister brutally murdered, Serenity had little choice but to grant Henry the only request he had: death. Centuries later, Serenity is no closer to discovering who betrayed them or instigated the massacre of her brothers and sisters.
The vampires want dominance—over their food, the other races . . . the world. To get it, they’ve systematically hunted down and slaughtered the only ones standing in their way. The Keepers.
As a Keeper, Serenity is tasked with protecting the delicate balance between the creatures of the world: Vampire, Witch, Were, and Human. Her kind exists to ensure that no single race sways the balance, dooming the world to destruction.
They're on the brink of extinction, with no sign of return. Now only two remain, and Serenity’s last brother is facing death, leaving her standing alone against a never-ending tide of vampires, all wanting one thing: power.
Then she meets Ray Synclair, a history professor in training with a passion for centuries past, and the harsh reality of her limited time comes crashing down on her. He is her weakness. His mortality is the countdown on Serenity’s life, and with each passing second, it comes closer to the end, for both of them.
She must uncover the secrets of her people’s past and find out who betrayed them—and who is still doing so—before it’s too late.
Serenity’s days are numbered, and Ray will be drawn into a world of myth and legend, where just being alive is enough to get him hunted down.
Because the only way to kill a Keeper is to kill their partner . . .
The first thing that caught my attention was the cover for this book. It’s so simple, yet the woman is so captivating and mysterious. You know the saying “you can’t judge a book by its cover”? Well, I do. I’m a cover whore. C’mon. The cover and title are the first things that you see. It has to be eye catching to make you want to take a closer look. So I took a closer look and after reading the summary I knew I had to be part of this book tour.
I’ve never read a story with such a unique plot idea when it came to the Keepers. From the very first paragraph I was pulled in and couldn’t wait to find out more about these supernatural beings and their lives. I also loved that it was set in the mid-1900s. I was expecting something recent, something of this decade, so it surprised me with the historical timeline.
The twists and turns in this book are what makes it an interesting read. Some things were easy to figure out – like who betrayed Serenity’s family – but just when you think it’s going to end up another predictable storyline something is thrown at you that you didn’t see coming.
I enjoyed how all the characters had a fairly major role in the book, even the minor ones. Birbeck created the story in a way that included everyone, and there wasn’t a character that was there just “because.” Everyone had a purpose.
Serenity is a strong, feisty female lead character. She grew on me very quickly and my heart broke right along with hers for every hardship she had to overcome. She’s exactly the strong willed, independent character I like to read about.
Birbeck again surprised me with the character of Ray. I loved how she described the connection a Keeper has with their partner, how closely their lives are intertwined. Because of a childhood accident, Ray was as weak as Serenity was strong and I loved how they balanced each other out.
The only complaint I have with the story was the showdown at the end with Serenity and The Seats. I didn’t feel like what Serenity did towards Elena was really all the….powerful. Yes, everyone knows she is able to kill a vampire at the drop of a hat without breaking a sweat or a nail, and for that they should fear her. But I just didn’t feel like she lived up to all that talk in the end. I would have liked to see a little more reason for The Seats to fear her; a little more rage on her part when Elena attacked Lizzy would have done it. I don’t want to give away the ending, but I just feel like Serenity could have done so much more damage than what she did.
Other than that I thoroughly enjoyed The Last Keeper, and will be on the lookout for more of Birbeck's work.
Don't forget to check out Michelle's guest post
**I received an eBook copy of The Last Keeper from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
You can purchase The Last Keeper at TWCS Publishing House
Tour schedule for The Last Keeper