Summon The Keeper
(Keeper's Chronicles #1)
Claire Hansen was a Keeper; a member of that select group which kept the universe in one piece. And now she'd been summoned to the Elysian Fields Guesthouse, a rundown bed-and-breakfast that seemed to attract the most "unusual" clientele. And Claire was not happy about this latest assignment, not happy at all.
Now when she'd been tricked into taking over here by a horrible by a little gnome of a man who'd abandoned his post before she'd even figured out who he really was...Not when room six held a resident who'd been sleeping there for so many years that she really needed a good dusting - except that it was far too dangerous for anyone to get that close to her...Not when the basement housed too much temptation for anyone's mental health...Not when she found herself surrounded by "helpers" as distracting as Dean, the hunky-yet-innocent handyman, and Jacques, a ghost with a real lust for life...And especially not when it looked like this might not only be her most challenging mission but one she'd be stuck handling forever...
I can't help but stray away from most fantasy I've tried because of them being so bizarre. Summon The Keeper by Tanya Huff still beckoned me, mainly because I so loved her Blood Line series (up for re-read and review shortly I hope). The world painted is certainly unique and a little hard to grasp, yet with the characters and setting I was able to be nabbed into it. Situated in a Canadian Bed and Breakfast, life is anything but ordinary with the keeper when she encounters a sexually hungry ghost, fights the attractive Dean who becomes her assistant, stops her talking cat from getting into too mischief - and food! - and saving people from not only a visiting female vamp, but also from the world of Hell locked in the basement.
I've noticed mixed reviews because of all the frequent comedy. On my side I think the comedy worked well and is one of the things I found so endearing with the book. I loved Jacques the french ghost and his amusing attempts to get laid while stirring the testosterone laden air between himself and Dean. The cat's sense of humor was strong and he can claim the more witty lines of the novel. The Greek Gods may have been a little overkill, though... Amazingly Claire, as the main character, was one of my lesser favorites. She just seemed a little too bitchy much of the time.
As for the actual plot, well, it's out there but grew on me. I had trouble getting into it at first but not long. This may not be because of the book, though, so it's not fair to state that in the review without the forewarning of me not being used to the fantasy world. It's different but not so different I was turned off from it. Plenty of 'stuff' hits the fan, showing this is no easy job, and the comedy is kept rich through it all, with obvious things (like the entire world of course) at stake. It makes you wonder what really goes on out there we never know about sometimes.
As a summary, even though I laughed out loud more than once, toning down the humor during certain scenes would have helped the book more than harmed it. Hell, even Hell has a sense of humor here. Having a dark villain amidst funny situations in a grim setting would have worked better, I think. It was hard to go along with the bitchy main character much of the time, as she was overly dominating and hard to bear for not only the reader, but the other characters I found myself falling for. It may be a trend for the author, as Huff also creating a similarly bitchy character in the Blood Line series.
If you're in the mood for a light read and to have mucho fun, this is the one to find.