I'm back to do another review! This time over "Keir" the debut sci-fi/high fantasy novel by Pippa Jay.
As usual, before I get into the review, here's the book's description courtesy of Goodreads:
Outcast. Cursed. Dying.
Is Keir beyond redemption? For Keirlan de Corizi--the legendary 'Blue
Demon' of Adalucien--death seems the only escape from a world where his
discolored skin marks him as an oddity and condemns him to life as a
pariah. But salvation comes in an unexpected guise: Tarquin Secker, a
young woman who can travel the stars with a wave of her hand. But Quin
has secrets of her own. She's spent eternity searching through space and
time with a strange band of companions at her back. Defying her
friends' counsel, Quin risks her apparent immortality to save Keir. She
offers him sanctuary and a new life on her home world, Lyagnius. When
Keir mistakenly unleashes his dormant alien powers and earns instant
exile from Quin's home world, will she risk everything to stand by him
WARNING: Contains sweet romance, some violence and plenty of adventure.
I found this book through my Goodreads recommendations for liking the "Beyond" series by Kit Rocha- and after reading the description, I was sold. The cover doesn't quite match the book's male lead, Keir, but considering most covers are created from stock photos, I don't hold it too much against the novel. Not to mention the fact that it displays a bare chested man doesn't stray too far from Cassandra Clare's "City of Bones" original cover. So right off the back, I wouldn't try to draw too many conclusions- positive or negative- from the cover art alone.
The storyline is interesting, I'll say that. The plot mixes elements of high fantasy with common science fiction giving it a medieval Stargate sort of feel. The portals and different planets would definitely appeal to fans of the popular television series or the film. However, some of the details tended to drag on in a way that made the passages feel like filler at times.
I think a few more rounds of line edits could have cleaned up most of the problems I had with this book: the drier descriptions I've already mentioned, some slow and rushed story development. Certain subplots were almost unnecessary for they didn't really push the story along much- especially considering the fact that this is a stand-alone novel, so those story branches that distracted from the big picture were both unnecessary and frustratingly unfinished. I think if there would have been more conclusions to some of the subplots, that already would have made me enjoy them more- but they didn't feel complete to me so I noticed their odd place in the book even more. I almost feel as if the book would have been better with one main plot and the other sub-points made available afterwards as part of an online series which would have given the author so much room to play and develop everything that is only just hinted at in this book.
I loved the characters....to an extent. I wish they were all a little better developed and I would have liked to explore the relationships between them a little more. The dialogue seemed a little forced at time which made the sweet build up of the relationship between Quinn and Keir come across as cheesy and uncomfortable at times.
Their powers and how they used them confused me- they could read each others mind...and yet neither were able to get even the smallest inkling as to the others feelings? And once their relationship came to be, I feel it rushed too quickly into things.
Ultimately, I did enjoy the book well enough- and it definitely isn't horrible, but there are a lot of details that make this seem like a draft. I would be wary of that and not go into this expecting perfection. Try not to have any expectations, like I did, and you'll enjoy this book much more than if you have a critical eye and want it to be like something else.