Review: Night Keepers by Jessica Andersen

Posted September 12, 2018 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 18 Comments

Review: Night Keepers by Jessica Andersen
Night Keepers

One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
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Series: The Final Prophesies #1
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Published by Signet
Released on June 3, 2008
Pages: 464
Format: Paperback
Source: Giveaway

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The Delight

It’s so lovely when you’re the winner of a mystery box of books and get the opportunity to try out books that wouldn’t normally come to your notice.  In this batch of older releases, there was this exciting looking paranormal romance series that has a refreshing take.  Put mythology in a paranormal romance and I’m there even more so when the mythology is Mayan which I know little about.

Review

Nightkeepers introduces the world of the Final Prophesy series.  It is a unique series so the author starts with a few pages of explanation to get the reader up to speed on the world system she has created.  Next, there is a tension-wrought prologue showing the how the Night Keepers as a unit were lost and only a handful of the children survived.  In the present day, narcotics police officer, Leah Daniels is about to get an up close and personal with the secret Mayan priesthood cult where drugs are the least of the troubles.  Human sacrifice is on the table and Leah is the next ritual sacrifice until Striking Jaguar can save her from his own kind.  The ritual was not completed, but it leads to some interesting side affects for Leah and for Strike to be ostracized and still needing to pull his people together if they stand a chance of defeating demon coming to herald the apocalypse.

Nightkeepers ended up being something of a mixed bag for me.  Sometimes I was so into it that I lost track of time while at other times I could care less.  I liked the worldbuilding and the built in tension the author created with the end of the world countdown.  I was even okay with Strike and Leah most of the time.  There was some exciting stuff and I’m glad the author didn’t pull any punches when it came to the darker side to the Mayan beliefs with all the blood and magic and sacrifice because that is a major part of the rituals and culture (yes, that’s a hint that if you’re a tad squeamish to keep that in mind).  But, when I put it all together, I had a few bits that didn’t work as well for me.

First of all, I think if I’d gone into this with the mindset that it was like an urban fantasy rather than a paranormal romance, I’d have done better.  With PNR, I find the romance takes a front seat to other elements in the story whereas with UF, the romance may not even show more than a hint as other stuff goes on.  I waited a while for the romance to get rolling and in the end (I don’t count that bout of instalust in the beginning), had to adjust.

Secondly, the romance was only alright when it did show up.  I said I was okay with Strike and Leah and this is true, but sometimes I was not.  The pair of them took turns annoying me.  Leah comes off as this brash cop type that had a few stubborn-stupid moments.  I don’t think a Miami-Dade Narcotics officer would make it very long pulling that stuff in such a dark, dangerous world and that’s even before we toss in the paranormal elements.  Then there was Strike really hem-hawing around before he got going.  I felt the uneven pacing as a result of him being stuck in his head a lot.  But then, it picked up and boy howdy were we finally off to the races.

I think the biggest issue I had (and try not to faint) was there was too much.   This book needed a trim.  Too much background and history overshadowing the ongoing plot and too many characters and situations.  I wish the other Night Keepers’ romances had been less present in this one which already was pulling the load of being the intro book to the series.

So, in the end, I can definitely say I liked it, but loved parts of it better than others.  I would also recommend it to lovers of both PNR and Urban Fantasy.  I want to press forward and see if now that we’re past book one if a change in characters and a tighter plot surface for me.

Challenges

Romance Roundabout #286 PNR
Mt. TBR #103
Books N Tunes #41 R.E.M.’s Its the End of the World Tune:

Recommendations

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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  • Ah it looks a bit confusing there. I didn’t know about it but in any case it looks different so that side is interesting!

    • Yes, there was a lot going on when the other romance relationships started getting mixed in with the already full plot of explanations about the world, intro to this pair, and the current plot’s conflict. Whew! 🙂

  • Debbie Haupt

    Ah yes the book 1 in a series fatal flaw, but I took that into consideration when I read it wayyyyyy long ago. I liked it about a 4, so we’re on the same track and yes the romance was not forefront, none of them really are so it is more uf than pnr. the one thing I absolutely loved was the Mayan end of days plot and that is very front and center in all of the series. I hope you read more Nice review Sophia Rose.

    • You’ve definitely got the right game plan going into a series, Debbie. I actually didn’t mind the low level of romance so much as I was so-so about their individual activities, too. LOL But yes, the series arc and world building definitely call me to keep going. 🙂

  • I am sorry to hear that this was such a disappointment. I read this one years ago, and I really liked it quite a bit. I really was intrigued by the Mayan type of worldbuilding.

    • I wasn’t disappointed completely. It just felt really ponderous, but there was a ton of potential so I’m going to keep going and to see if it gets better for me. Glad you loved it.

  • I was hoping that you would say that you loved everything about this book since I liked the sound of it. This could be one of those series that gets better as it goes but the fact that you were not totally into this book throughout is not a great sign.

    • Ah, man! Yeah, it wasn’t a total hit, but you know, it did get rolling in the last part and it was definitely suffering from first in series so maybe I’ll get into it by book two.

  • So this was supposed to be a romance, but ended up heavy on the UF. At the same time, there were other romances going on? I think I may be confused although I read that last paragraph twice. I really don’t enjoy a book that has so many characters and story threads going on at the same time. My old brain can’t keep up! Maybe the next one will be better.

    • When I was reading it and right after, I felt like there was so much going on and so much to keep track of between the Mayan myth stuff and all the players. Then there were intros as to future romance conflicts and I felt that the current one wasn’t as developed as it could have been because of the several things going on including stuff in their heads. It did eventually resolve for this couple and the current main plot thread. I’m thinking book two would be better because there won’t be so much new stuff and it focuses on a different couple that I might like better.

  • I enjoyed this series so I hope you stick with it.

    • I’m glad to know that you did enjoy it. I do want to keep going to see if it was just a rocky start for me.

  • Sometimes I feel authors try to much and put some much into it.

    • She put a ton of work into this one and it was obvious, but I also felt this poor book had too much in a different way with all the background detail, intro to the series arc and group of characters and then there was the current pair and their stories with their conflict. Maybe the next book won’t be so crowded.

  • I love the idea of Mayan mythologies. I’m like you, I don’t know much about it. It sounds like the book could’ve been helped by better editing (removing some parts that weren’t needed). I like getting information, but if it slows the story down, that’s not fun. Glad you enjoyed it enough to give book two a try.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Books of My Heart

    • It was pretty cool and she let the horror of their bloody history stay intact so that was great. There was a lot of repetitive and extra explanation plus all the hem-hawing with Strike’s need to make decisions that kept it from being crisp. Maybe the next book won’t have all that.

  • Northwomn

    Well I’ll be interested to see if you like it as you go forward. I like world-building and action, different mythology can be great. . Sometimes then I’m fine without much of a romance, or a blase romance. Anne – Books of My Heart

    • I probably would have been alright with the lack of romance if I could have gotten more action and not as much mental monologuing. The set up was interesting and I really did love the Mayan myth paired with the modern. I think it will be better with book two since this one had all the set up.