Keeping It Interesting

I knew I was in for a treat when I saw AD Wills pop up in my inbox, and I was right! His new book, The Keeper’s Codex was engaging, adventurous, and fun, so read on for more.

(Or watch–I’m going to make sure to have vlogs for authors who reach out to me, but with my hectic schedule, I may or may not have a vlog for every review)

So, first, a disclaimer–some of why I enjoy AD Wills’s work is because I see myself on the fringe of his “usual audience.” I don’t typically go for a lot of paranormal (like his other book I reviewed), nor do I typically go for fantasy. But I like challenging myself and being recommended books because even I can get a little burnt out of the historical fiction I often gravitate toward.

I also enjoy AD Wills’s work (disclaimer over) because he’s. So. Descriptive. It’s like watching some LOTR-Hunger Games-Treasure Planet hodge podge (again, a little out of my element here so I’m not 100% sure what to compare it to) unfold before me, and I gobbled it up. I surprisingly really enjoyed the action and battle scenes and I loved the snark of the characters. Caden in particular really stood out as a unique person and while his naiveté bordered on annoying at times, his shameless optimism was very much welcome.

Keeper’s Codex is fairly intext and it’s definitely multifaceted–Wills really challenged himself as a writer and us as readers because it just takes on so much. In fact, that might be my only critique–while there are really only about two and a half (one kind of ends/bleeds into another) subplots, they’re very nuanced and so the cast of characters is huge, the world map is big (but clearly developed), and there’s just A LOT going on. I almost feel like Caden and his rag-tag team of adventurers could have been one book and then the Dracus/Summit of Leaders/Raid of Lyndenwell could have been a separate book… with a third to tie them together. (There are more in the series right??? Amazon saying “book 1 of 1” is making me worried that I won’t find out what happens next!)

I know I just said that Wills is descriptive and clearly spent time developing the characters and world, but I feel like it’s just such an interesting literary universe that one book with all that action just didn’t quite give any one story line enough justice. Like, what about Skala, there’s more to the dragon, right; or with Aldriss, was he shook when he woke up at home; and tell me more about Faella, that place sounded so cool!

I’m trying hard to not give away too many spoilers–especially before I give a summary–so please bare with me. 🙂

Basically, on one hand, we follow Caden, an orphan, who desparately wants to be an adventurer and along the way, recruits strangers who help him push back against tyrants who have taken over a small town. He’s an optimist to his core and despite the odds, he’s really lucky. I also LOVED his new-bff Sappo (also want to know more about him!), he’s a wolf-man who’s insecure and loves to cook and seeing that character development was AMAZING.

On another hand, we have Lord Dreymond and his daughter Calaera, who are the leaders of Lyndenwell. Dreymond is part of this council of elders who took over after the War of Regions. Dreymond wants to be a good leader and his people love him, but he still seems to struggle to figure out “the best path.” Calaera, meanwhile, is strong willed and sassy and she has this ninja-like buddy Shyn, when the enemy suddenly (and uber tragically) descends on Lyndenwell, they must step up to the challenge of protecting their city.

Then, there’s a plot… but we only get to see a glimmer of it and honestly it was quite the twist, so I’m not gonna say more.

Oh, and there’s a talking dragon who appears for 0.2 seconds–Skala. Eszu. What the heck, tell me more, I need to know more about what happened! (also… are “rocs” birds? That was a little unclear to me until the very end)

I definitely enjoyed this book and flew through it. If you like fantasy and adventure, you’re sure to like it. If that’s not your thing, and/or if you’re sensitive to fighting or profanity, this may not be the book for you. It’s not like they’re “swearing like sailors,” but there’s a few f-bombs… which seemed a little out of place since the language was otherwise pretty PG. This is also an engaging read that might be a fun way to mix it up if you’re stuck in a rut and want to try out other genres.

That’s all I’ve got for now! Next week I have an *advanced reader copy* so it’s not available yet, but keep your eyes peeled for my review of Shifting Forward by Carrie Jane Knowles.

Happy Reading!


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