The Family: The Brotherhood
By Donte M McNeal

Based in Michigan, Donte's Playground is a blog by Donte M McNeal. His posts range from nonsensical ramblings about anime, in-depth reviews of books and television/film, to random spurts of philosophical babble.

Ingrid Seymour's "Keeper"

Ingrid Seymour's "Keeper"

How you ever wondered how things would be if the immoveable will of Fate dictated your life, if it decided how you’d act, think and even who you’d love? Well, find your answer in Ingrid Seymour's Keeper.

Fate is unfair, unfeeling and non-negotiable. It doesn’t care about what you want or your plans for life, and imposes it will with steely precision. That’s the boat that our trio of main characters find themselves in. Greg, Ashby and Sam are all Morphids, beings who bend to the will of Fate, their roles in life decided for them once they come of age.

Honestly, I didn’t know how much I would like this book, because me and fate don’t really get along. I despise the lack of free will that comes with fate; in the face of it, every action someone wants to is meaningless. If it is fated, then so it shall be. That’s why I was hesitant to check this book out. I couldn’t help but think the characters would suffer as they tried to break the wheel of fate, or worse, just go along with it once they learn how futile their fight was, and although I believe I was nearly right, I do think the Seymour does a great job of showing just how much power fate has over one’s life. I won't elaborate too much on the fight against fate in fear of spoilers.

We have Greg and Ashby, who grew up with the knowledge of their being Morphids, but Sam is totally in the dark about her true nature. We learn more about what being a Morphid is about as she does, and that journey was one I enjoyed immensely. Being able to learn more about the world existing within our own was a lot of fun, what with all the different powers, politics and such. That world is one the reasons I plan on returning for the sequel. However, I feel I should point out some things that I didn’t like.

1) I really didn’t care for Ashby as a character. He was arrogant, controlling and irritatingly smug. The further I got in the story, the more I disliked him, which kind of sucked because I think so much more could have been done with his character. Now, I know his actions could be chalked up to his upbringing, but I don’t think that excuses him. Although certain things are revealed later in the book that help to understand him more, and even sympathize, by then, my dislike for him had already set in.

2) The POV seemed a bit confusing at times. So, Sam, Ashby and Greg all get chapters in their POV, but there were times where it seemed we would jump into another character’s head during an entirely different character’s POV chapter. That threw me off a few times while I was reading, but it wasn’t something ruined the story for me.

3) The antagonist was unclear, at least for me. Don’t get me wrong, there are people who go after Sam, but I wasn’t entirely sure why they did, or who was pulling the strings. This lack of a clear threat was a bane. It’s hard to feel the tension when you don’t know what our mcs should be fearing/fighting. It doesn’t help that things didn’t get rolling in that regard until much later in the book. That could just be for me though.

All in all, Keeper was a fun read, complete with an interesting world and believable characters, undercut by its lack of an engaging threat/villain. I do plan on reading the sequel so I can how the story continues, because the twists in the book did keep me interested.

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Spring 2017: Anime 1st Impressions

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