The Path Keeper by NJ Simmonds
MY GOODREADS REVIEW MY RATING: 3 OUT OF 5 STARS
YA FANTASY FOR NOT SO YOUNG ADULTS
I kindly received an arc from the author for review. I loved the concept of The Path Keeper. It’s the story of unrequited love over thousands of years. Zac has watched and loved Ella throughout countless lifetimes, sometimes tasked with supporting her through her hardships in various lives, but mostly doomed to love her from afar… until now. The story is set in modern day London where we meet 18 year old Ella, in all of her brashness, abusing a rude bus driver. Enter Zac, who approaches her and offers his help. Ella is mesmerized by this intriguing stranger and an emotional tug of war ensues; Zac drawn to her, even though he knows it’s against the rules, and Ella wrestling with her compulsive need to throw herself at him, then hating him for pulling away. Why is it against the rules for Ella and Zac to fall love???? Well, you'll just have to read the book to find out! We follow the pair in this present life as Ella unravels the secret of what Zac really is and we also delve into the past lives of Ella and her parents and see how their choices from the past hold weight in the present. While the storyline is compelling, I felt the execution could have done with further refinement in regard to character building. The characters just didn’t feel fully expressed to me and I struggled to form a connection with Ella and Zac. It was as though the author knew how they felt and why, but didn’t explain it to the reader. Consequently, much of the love, drama and struggle in their relationship felt rushed and confusing to me. I was left guessing why Ella or Zac would react a certain way because I hadn’t heard how they were feeling and what they were thinking. The historical content from past lives shared and the back story of various characters was wonderful. I relished discovering how the journey of the characters’ souls interwove and effected their current lives. The author’s descriptions of other eras and ways of life was engrossing. Her descriptive writing is lovely as she sets scenes in WW2 London or describes picturesque places in Spain. I could see myself there drinking in the view. And speaking of drinking, there is an exclusive bar named Indigo in the book that is staffed by hot angels. I would very much like to find it! Unlike most YA books, the sexual content of The Path Keeper is rather explicit. There’s a good dose of profanity as well from feisty Ella. I think this, coupled with the spiritual content of The Path Keeper, make it a good read for ‘not so young adults’. Adult fans of YA who want a bit more substance and romance action will appreciate this author’s style which I think is the market she was aiming at. I've given The Path Keeper 3 out of 5 stars (bearing in mind that a five means perfection). All in all, a great debut effort from NJ Simmonds with plenty of room for growth in a promising new series.