Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Review: The Keepers' Tattoo

The Keepers' Tattoo
Author: Gill Arbuthnott
Pages: 425
Source: Library
Synopsis: Ten years ago, Alaric, leader of the Shadowmen, killed most of the Keepers--teachers of ancient knowledge that threatened his barbaric rule. Young Kit was captured, but his twin sister, Nyssa, escaped. Only later will she learn that both she and her lost brother bear the secret words of their people: three lines each of strange, unintelligible writing tattooed on their scalps. Now the Shadowmen are on the attack again, determined to quell a growing rebellion. Nyssa must find her brother, and together they must unlock the meaning--the power--behind the mysterious words.

The Keepers' Tattoo isn't the book for me. I like my stories with different structures, and the two things that bugged me were the characters and the plot.

I couldn't relate to any of the characters for the first 100 pages (yes, I kept track). I usually love the protagonists and I cheer for them no matter what, but Nyssa just irritated me. She was stubborn, a bit forceful and I thought unappreciative. Marius did everything to protect her and she didn't bother to respect him much. She constantly ignored his instructions and decided she knew best. It astonished me how almost everything she does turns out okay. 

Marius on the other hand wasn't very strong either. For a guy who wanted to protect Nyssa, he wasn't very strong. He let her get away with everything and had almost no authority. I said there was one character I liked which was Aria. I'd actually would much rather read the story from her perspective. Aria was strong and talented. She was clear headed and knew what she wanted and the sacrifices she needed to make to get there. I really liked her character.

The plot was the other part I didn't really like. I wasn't surprised much by the twists and it never hooked me in. I thought the story was a bit typical, but I'm not usually a fantasy fan. A lot seemed to be based on luck so I thought it was unbelievable. 

An interesting part of the book were the tattoos. Two that I have in mind. I liked how in the end, there was a small mystery left revolving around them. One that should remain hidden.

Overall, this wasn't a book I loved. It did get a bit better the more that I read of it (some original side characters, cool towns and the big library) but it's not the book for me. I think that fantasy fans would perhaps enjoy this book more than me. I'm giving it 3 stars,



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