I wanted to like this book, I really did. The concept was unique—an Urban Fantasy involving the 2012 Dooms Day Prophesy, Mayan gods & demons and a super human race of magi warriors, The Night Keepers, who are on a mission to save the world. Uber cool! The series couldn’t have come more recommended, I mean, Jessica Andersen is the great JR Ward’s writing partner! And yet, while I liked some elements of the book, I just couldn’t get into it the way I thought I would.
So, the question I have asked myself over and over this week while I struggled not to put the book down was why did I feel this way? Part of me thinks that it is my fault—I clearly had gone into this with my expectations set too high. I’ve been known to do this with both books and movies on occasion. It’s the literary equivalent of “It’s not you; it’s me.”
However, I can’t take all of the blame. While the concept was brilliant, there were definite issues I had with the book itself. For example, I never bought into the love story. Strike (horrendous name) is the King of the Night Keepers. Some thirteenth prophesy (the first twelve are completely never mentioned) states that he will need to sacrifice his true love on the autumn solstice in order to free some god and to prevent some crazy demon from crossing over to Earth. (Honestly, the details were too confusing and lacking in explanation to follow.) Then, the chick (Can’t remember her name. Not a good sign for a book I just read.) is a hot blond police officer finds herself on a sacrificial alter before Strike saves her. Thirty seconds after he gets her shackles off, they are going at it like rabbits. Seriously? It was only like page ten! Suddenly, they are the loves of each other’s lives without ever having a getting-to-know-you phase.
The lover’s dialogue, what little of it there was between them, consisted of unconvincing arguing (usually followed by one of them stomping out of the room) or craptastic lines like:
Hot Blond: I love you.
Strike: Goes both ways.
Gag me with a tuning fork. (Oh! Just remembered hot blond is named Leah.)
What kept me reading this book was the stuff about the Mayan prophesies. I know very little about the Mayan beliefs or the 2012 end date, so I was interested in learning about them. Unfortuanately, the ideas were never really fleshed out in a way that I could easily grasp. Things would be mentioned, but not fully explained. I finished the book feeling like I only caught about 65% of what I should have. Was I just not paying close enough attention? Maybe. But I also didn’t expect to have to work that hard to figure out what was going on.
Overall, I give Night Keepers…
Plot – 2 ½ bookmarks
Characters - 2 ½ bookmarks. (Liked Strike slightly better than Leah. Some of the supporting characters were interesting. Unfortunately, the other Night Keepers were only given about five pages a piece toward the beginning and then dropped.)
Magical & Fantasy Elements – 2 bookmarks.
Dream Cast (otherwise known as who I pictured while reading) - Joe Manganiello (Strike), Kate Hudson (Leah the hot blond), Joely Richardson (Anna), Billy Miller (Sven), Christopher Walkin (Red-Boar), Suzy Amis (Alexis Gray), Velma from Scooby Doo (Jane), the black silhouette of Vlad on the cover of Heather Brewer’s books (Rabbit)