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Friday, August 22, 2014

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Review: Paranormal Keepers by Jen Naumann

Paranormal Keepers

Paranormal Keepers #1
Jen Naumann
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Publication Date: March 11, 2014
Publisher: Phantom Owl Press

Everyone thinks Harper Young killed her boyfriend. No one will say it to her face, but the signs are everywhere.

It’s almost been a year since Gavin was torn from Harper’s arms and brutally murdered. The police wrote it off as a freak accident, deciding Harper’s strange testimony was given under duress. But she knows something unnatural was involved and refuses to stop looking until she finds his killer, even if it means her reputation as a senior is ruined. Even if it means there really are monsters living among us.

With the discovery of the mothmen, witches, vampires and all the creatures she always suspected were out there, Harper finds herself amidst a complex bundle of unseen heroes who call themselves "Keepers", sworn to keep the secret of the paranormal creatures that walk this earth. As she tries to understand what’s so special about her that she’s able to break an old Keeper law, Harper has a baffling vision of kissing a mysterious guy before a blade is brought down on him. Before she can get a handle on her future, she becomes central to a battle between the questionable “heroes” and the evil she’s been training to fight, leaving her to wonder if there’s any way to change the fate that has been foretold before it’s too late.
Review copy provided by the author via Lola's Blog Tours

It seems, that when it comes to books, death almost always grabs my attention. There's nothing really special about death – you die, you move on, right? Maybe there's something beyond us, maybe we're floating around – but anyways, I haven't figured out precisely why I'm drawn toward those types of books. Perhaps I really do need to see a psychologist.

I first came across Paranormal Keepers after I finished A Different Kind by Lauryn April. The entire idea of everyone assuming a girl kills her boyfriend – in reality, Harper was a witness, but no one believed her and probably thought she was on drugs – was pretty interesting. A few roads could have played out: 1) Harper would be in a mental institution, 2) said boyfriend by the name of Gavin would come back to life and everything goes to normal and it's all happy – blah blah blah, or 3) something else entirely. Really, I didn't actually remember the synopsis – I almost never do. Then again, the excerpt in A Different Kind, like all excerpts, are maybe one or two chapters tops.

Of course, as I got into the story, I thought Paranormal Keepers was basically another Mortal Instruments type of story – no angels majorly involved (they're mentioned). Technically, the Keepers in the story are similar to Nephilim, but the only similarity is how they basically keep the secret of paranormal creatures (sort of). That's pretty much it – oh, and they go to a school... which to me, looks like the movie version of Vampire Academy. The school in the movie, that is. Not the movie. It seems pretty gothic and isolated from the world, being in the Alps – that's a cold place to stick a school, isn't it?

But here's what's really different: Paranormal Keepers have mothmen and yetis. And yes... ZOMBIES. Unfortunately, said zombie is a professor and just looks gruesome. I was so hoping for an apocalypse of sorts.
“In that spirit, I’m going to introduce you to Professor Gehret. He may come off as a little intimidating at first, but he’s harmless. He’s the real reason you’re here. He’s what they call a mothman.
I seriously wanted to see how that actually played out. Would Harper scream? Run? Or the hopefully least likely option: just widen eyes and accept it. If it were the last option, I would be pretty furious. There's a fur man! How could you NOT be scared in some way?!

Another thing that's different? Harper, as a certain character says, makes the light of every situation. She's not exactly cheery cheery, but when everyone's looking down at her because she's an outsider whose family didn't originally start at Guardare since forever, she tries to makes a joke out of it. Very much like Leo from The Heroes of Olympus series. Add on the sarcasm, of course.
“Wow, I’m starting to think I should run for homecoming queen, if there is such a thing here. That guy seemed really into me.”
One cannot simply leave a review hanging without talking about the love interest. Dexter has got to top one of my favorites... for most of the book. We don't actually meet Dexter until another situation pops up in which a jogger gets brutally murdered a year after Gavin's death, but Dexter makes quite the appearance as Harper's online friend who understands and believes her. He's even addicted to M&Ms, which is absolutely awesome. Or, I should just admit I'm addicted to M&Ms as well.

Then Naumann sort of had to ruin the picture by well... tossing in a surprise, I suppose.
Pictures of me plaster the plain white brick on the right side of the room, surrounded by handwritten words. When I step in closer, I realize they’re little snippets of conversations Dexter and I had online before I came to Guardare, and the pictures are all things I once had posted to Facebook.
O_O!!! Even though it's an art or mural, it's just plain creepy. It's worse than stalking, posting pictures of a crush on your wall. Unless it's a hot actor or a cool movie poster. Then, there are no problems at all, because chances of meeting them are pretty small. It's normal! But Harper is not a movie star and doesn't play Tris Prior or Katniss Everdeen. There is something remotely wrong with the picture.

Either way, Dexter has pretty much landed off of my favorite bookish love interests. But I do like how he's pretty supportive of Harper, even when he finds out something about her that's against Keeper Law. Have I mentioned he's the one who's around when everyone thinks Harper is a murderer, even though he only speaks to her online before they actually meet?

Naumann's latest work is a must to look at for Paranormal fans – especially those who would like to see a mothman. But while Paranormal Keepers sort of hints at a possible sequel or two, it's a stand alone from the looks of it.

4.5 Owls

Author Bio

Jen Naumann grew up in southern Minnesota as an addict of such flicks as Indiana Jones and The Goonies until she discovered John Hughes, and spent her high school days locked away writing love stories with a sci-fi/paranormal twist. Married to a farmer in southern Minnesota, she tries to follow the madness of her four active children while balancing an imagination that never shuts down. As the author of CHEATING DEATH, SHYMERS, AND PARANORMAL KEEPERS, she writes stories with strong female leads who have a good sense of humor and tend to fall in love despite their better judgment.

Author Links:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest

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Sophia is the owner and founder of Bookwyrming Thoughts, but also found on various parts of the internet. She's a 19-year-old communications major who has weird humor and doesn't fit the Asian stereotype (maybe a little). Books, chocolate, technology, and music are among some of her favorite things. For more of her work, visit her personal website.