Tuesday, August 9, 2011

REVIEW: Nightkeepers by Jessica Andersen

Synopsis From Goodreads:
As a Miami narcotics detective, Leah Daniels never knows how her day will turn out. But she certainly never expected to be strapped to a stone altar, the human sacrifice in an ancient Mayan ritual meant to coax up a demon from the underworld. Or that she’d be saved by a handsome warrior-priest king who claims to recognize her from his visions...

Jaguar Strike wishes he hadn’t made the mistake of reuniting his fellow warrior priests, or broken the law by saving their chosen human sacrifice. Now, he has no choice but to join forces with Leah and invoke dangerous magic in a death-defying race against the end of time.
Nightkeepers is the first book in the Final Prophecy Series by Jessica Andersen. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the book despite the fact that there were some very big complaints from me as the reader.

Things I Liked:
There were a few things that I really liked about Nightkeepers. Andersen has a background in science and you can read more about her bio here. I always love it when you can see a bit of the author's personality and the way they think come out in their writing. This was very evident in her scientific logic to some of the scenes. (If A is true, then B is true, B is true , therefore A is true.) Another thing I liked was the fact that she mingled in a sports reference here and there, especially a Rangers reference being a Texan and all now. She even got in a Extreme Home Makeover reference, with the use of Ty Pennington and who doesn't like a handy man? What I liked the most was her use of Mayan history and the 2012 Prophecy. Having never had an interest in Mayan culture it was great to get a glimpse at what they believe and how their society worked. If a book makes me have to google to find out more about something, then I am obviously staying interested.

My Complaints:
First, I do not like books that cannot clearly explain all the characters and how they connect to each other. It took me quite a while to get past the beginning, but when I did I actually started to enjoy the book. Then, my momentum was put on halt around the sixth or seventh chapter with the addition of approximately ten new characters. This would not have been such a stopping point except for the fact that the only notice given that you will be getting new characters was the change in point of view. One paragraph ended in one person POV, then another paragraph started another POV within the same chapter no less. It was very annoying to me to try to keep up. To the point that I had to pull out a piece of paper and start making a chart of who belonged to who. For many people this would have been a stopping point, but I charged ahead. This is also the main reason it received a three out of five rating. My second complaint is a little petty, but I really really hate the word "Ergo." For whatever reason that word is like nails on a chalk board to me and Andersen used it seven times in the book. Yes, once I see that word I start counting how many times it shows up. She also used the phrase, "if he was an inch" too much. She is the author if the character is six feet tall we do not need to hear that they are emphatically six foot tall. My final complaint is that many scenes were overly descriptive. I do not need to know the pattern of the bed spread in excruciating detail.

Nightkeepers saving grace was that the story was interesting. Andersen kept a good pace, there were not many lulls in action. Now that all the characters are laid out and know I how they connect I believe it will make the second book in this series easier to read. A book should be able to stand alone though and shine in its own right and for this reason it did not ranking very high for me.

My Rating:

For more information about Jessica Andersen and the Final Prophecy Series visit her website www.jessicaandersen.com

Disclosure: This book was read for Books That Bite Book Club.

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