Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Reader's Review: "A Keeper's Destiny" by C. A. King

 
Synopsis from Goodreads (*with some information summarized by me):   
 
[Nightmarish creatures once existed, each occupying its own realm, connected by magic portals.]
Years ago a group of ancient races known as Guardians put up barriers between the realms to separate the peaceful and the dangerous, linking them to the main world by portals only they could activate. For years, with the help of a group of hand-picked humanoids helping them, they protected those portals from being breached. Then one day all that changed. An evil King developed a way to rip holes in the barriers between worlds. That began a war with the guardians and their helpers.

Today only a handful of protectors remain. Rogue holes appear at random, allowing access to the main world for all manner of beings. Now many different races live here, some peacefully, but others with vicious intentions, including world domination. For now, most of the main world is oblivious to what is happening around them, but that won't last long. All we can do is hope for a hero.
 
Book One of the Portal Prophecies Series, A Keeper's Destiny, follows a group of ancient races who join together with some unlikely teenage heroes.The only clues they have to help them are hidden within predictions contained in a book written long ago. Can they unravel the mysteries of their past and over come the deceptions of their leaders? Will they be able to decipher the prophecies in time to stop invading armies? Join Willow and her friends in this fast paced adventure.
>>>>>>>>
 
My Review: 
 
If that doesn't sound like a great premise for a series, I don't know what is! 
I had regarded the Portal Prophecies with moderate interest until I ended up winning a giveaway at an author event. I decided to give it a try, and by the end of the first chapter, I knew I was going to enjoy this book.

King sets up a world where everyone has a special supernatural ability, which sometimes isn't realized till the age of sixteen. It's world isolated to one village, with everything a community needs, so isolated it doesn't even have a name. It's a world that the main character, Willow, doesn't feel like she belongs to, as it seems the circumstances of her life have conspired to discourage her at every turn. The only confidence booster she has are the two voices in her head, looking after her like her absent mother and father.
The story explodes when Willow discovers that her world used to be part of a network of worlds, connected by portals—and somebody wants to exploit the portals, which paves the way for the stuff of nightmares to get loose and escape their confines. Willow, a Keeper, must discover her destiny and protect the book of prophecies that holds the key to restoring balance between the worlds. It won't be easy; these aren't your ordinary life challenges—but Willow isn't your ordinary heroine.
I really liked all the characters in this book; King allows them to speak for themselves and gives them each their own distinct personalities that each contribute to the story in some way. Even the villains end up with a role to play, developing naturally and logically, as their choices spring from legitimate (albeit selfish) motives, rather than a lust for chaos. 
In particular, I loved the way the world developed and expanded as the adventure did, and the principles of the lore King has invented is nice and solid, supported by demonstrative scenes to show the truth and reality of the assertions, rather than just telling the reader and either taking things for granted or expecting us to suspend our belief.
The resolution was a little weak, but the conflict is very relevant even for real life, taking on an almost allegorical vibe, and the dialogue is just great! 

A KEEPER'S DESTINY earns a solid ****FOUR STARS****, and I am definitely looking forward to exploring the worlds and watching the characters develop in the rest of the series!
For young readers with plenty of imagination looking for a worthwhile heroine, an inspiring premise, and an inventive paranormal setting, A KEEPER'S DESTINY, and I dare say the whole Portal Prophecies series, is definitely a wonderful choice!
 
Further Reading: (Teens with magic/superhuman abilities/"Teens of Destiny")
The Vemreaux Trilogy--Mary E. Twomey
       -The Way
       -The Truth
       -The Lie   
The PSS Chronicles--Ripley Patton
       -Ghost Hand
       -Ghost Hold
       -Ghost Heart