The Last Keeper by Michelle Birbeck – Book Review & Blog Tour

More and more people around me are getting their books published, and I think that’s fabulous!  If I surround myself with successful people, then I’ll be successful too, right?  Well, at least that’s how I think it should work!

Michelle Birbeck, a fellow writer I’ve been following on Twitter for a while, has published her first book!  I was able to leap on the bandwagon and join up for her blog tour, and was able to read an ARC of The Last Keeper.  But first, the blurb . . .

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 . . .

I enjoyed reading The Last Keeper.  I found the plot unique, and the love story captivating.  What I didn’t find captivating, though, was the dialogue.

The story is set in 1940, but Serenity – the main character – is thousands of years old.  With those two facts combined, I found her dialogue in particular alternating between too modern or just plain awkward.

And for being set in London in 1940, I was expecting that the war would play a more central part in the story, and yet it was barely brushed over.   That could have added so much to the plot and the day-to-day lives of the characters, but was instead an untapped resource.

But what I did absolutely love was the dynamic between Serenity and Ray.  Serenity’s challenge is her duty – and the fact that her race becomes vulnerable when they find their partners.  Usually they retire at that point, but Serenity is the last of her kind, and she won’t leave the world vulnerable to the vampires.

Ray is plunged head first into everything, but history is his passion, so he’s well suited for Serenity’s way of life.  I just wish there was more written about his side of the story, especially since it was easy to figure out what happened to him when he disappears.  We could have used a little glimpse into his life.

Overall, though, the story was enjoyable.  Since I felt the dialogue was quite lacking, I only gave it three stars on Good Reads, but this is still a story I would enjoy reading again.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.