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The Path Keeper

Posted on March 3, 2017

Can love ever be stronger than fate?
What if every coincidence was a tiny miracle? What if our life was already mapped out before birth? What if someone had the power to change the path we were destined to follow?
Ella hates her new life in London, she misses Spain and she’s struggling to get over her past until she meets Zac. He has always loved her but he isn’t meant to be part of Ella’s story. Not this time. Not ever. Little does she know that his secret is the one thing that will tear them apart and will force her to live in a world that no longer makes sense, a world more dangerous than she could ever imagine.


Genre: Fiction / YA Fantasy
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A YA Book with an Intense Spiritual Dilemma

This book review is a little bit different. You see, at The Glass House Book Club, we have one very important moral standing. We will always review honestly, impartially and without prejudice. All books sent to us are treated the exact same way.

However, this book is slightly different. Because this book was written by our close friend, co-worker and co-founder NJ Simmonds.

But you see, we couldn’t simply let this massive achievement go unnoticed simply because to review this book would be seen as ‘biased’.

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The Glass House was launched for many different reasons. First and foremost to give a voice to people and issues that are all too often overshadowed. To discuss topics that are all too often deemed taboo and finally, and sometimes more importantly, because all of those involved in launching The Glass House are writers in their own right. We are aspiring authors and have written our own books and dedicated our lives to the written word in one way or another. We are among the lucky few who get to make a living doing something we truly love. Your job never truly feels like work when you love every moment of it.

So it is with massive pride and honour that I can say that after years of hard work, sweat and more than a few tears, our good friend Natali is the first of us to finally see her biggest dream realised. Her novel, The Path Keeper hit the shelves on February 23rd and is already causing a stir in the Young Adult literary world.

So – what do we do when our good friend has published her first book, and due to our own morals and values, we can’t possibly write a review without seeming biased and anything but impartial?

Simple. I am not going to review it. (Despite the fact it is on my reading challenge list and all I want to do is scream to the world at the top of my lungs how much I loved this book…) Instead, I am going to hand the baton over to someone who can indeed review the book impartially.

So here to review the book is our very fairly chosen and completely impartial book reviewer – Pippa Perriam.

The Path Keeper
I have to admit, I have never been a reader that would pick up a YA book. At least not deliberately. I have read the likes of The Fault in our Stars (John Green) and The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Stephen Chbosky), but realised only afterwards that they are classed as Young Adult. But for me, the likes of Twilight and The Hunger Games have never grabbed my attention. I am not a reader that searches for fantasy romance or dystopian fiction. So, when I was given this book to read, it really was pushing me out of my comfort zone. But there is nothing I love more than a challenge.

However, this book was anything but challenging. It was a joy to read. So much so, that I devoured it in less than a week. Something I generally only achieve with a truly gripping psychological thriller.

Generally, I read thrillers that offer fast paced action as I don’t have the patience to read slow burning romance novels.

However, The Path Keeper kept my attention with fast paced dialogue, intrigue, an expertly crafted story line along with a healthy dose of tall dark and handsome – which is never a bad thing.

The story line is not linear. NJ Simmonds uses her skills to jump not only between past and present in the main character’s life, but to merge the lives of others from different time periods to show how the decisions of those in her past affect her future. Although set mostly in modern day London, Simmonds explores love during different time periods by beautifully painting a picture of love in war time Britain, which is an element of the book I was not expecting.

Ella Fantz is a feisty firey 18 year old, but not your normal teenager. The daughter of a hotel mogul, she leads a privileged but simple life, but a chance encounter with the tall handsome Zac takes her life off down a path she never expected.   

I have to admit that The Path Keeper may have changed my views on what the YA genre has to offer.  I always assumed YA books were on the timid side. Full of teenage angst or family conflict. But The Path Keeper offered more than that. It was spiritual and sexy. Yes, I said sexy. The Path Keeper does not conform to the expectations most of us have of the genre. The sex scenes, although not ‘Fifty Shades’ explicit, were unexpected. But then with such a passionate love story, it makes sense to explore those feelings within the book.

I loved the fact that Ella is not a typical YA female lead. She is not a weak and confused teenager trying to ‘find herself’. She is a strong independent young woman who knows what she wants and will fight (against all odds) to get it.

The Path Keeper, is in no uncertain terms, an intense book. So much so, that the only reason I couldn’t finish the book in one sitting, was because I felt I needed to let the book breathe (and me) breathe.

Although the story line is addictive and well crafted, I often felt the pace of the book didn’t allow me a chance to fully understand the characters. The intense love Ella has for Zac felt a little sudden. The independence of Ella’s character left me questioning why she allowed herself to fall so hard for someone. But Zac’s character is so full of depth and intrigue that as a reader you are secretly joyous that Ella lets down her defenses.

But the fact of the matter is, Zac and Ella’s love is forbidden (you will have to read the book to find out why) and the cliffhanger Simmonds leaves us on has me admitting that this may well be the first YA fantasy series I simply have to follow through with. I am already looking forward to the sequel “The Son of Secrets”.

Reviewed by: Pippa Perriam

Published by: Accent Press
ISBN: 978-178615-506-1

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