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Claire Hansen, the Keeper, is summoned to the Elysian Fields Guest House to reseal a hole in the basement, which is literally an opening to Hell. The owner and monitor of the site disappears, leaving Claire stuck managing the place until the problem is solved. Her new employee, Dean McIssac, is a gorgeous Newfie who cooks, cleans, and lives the Boy Scout oath. Then there's Claire Hansen, the Keeper, is summoned to the Elysian Fields Guest House to reseal a hole in the basement, which is literally an opening to Hell. The owner and monitor of the site disappears, leaving Claire stuck managing the place until the problem is solved. Her new employee, Dean McIssac, is a gorgeous Newfie who cooks, cleans, and lives the Boy Scout oath. Then there's Jacques Labaet: very French Canadian, very sexy, very dead. Jacques is a ghost who wants to be the man in Claire's life. Oh yeah, and there's Austin, a talking cat with attitude: "I barely know you, but I'm assuming you're human. I'm not saying this is a good thing, it's just the way it is."


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Claire Hansen, the Keeper, is summoned to the Elysian Fields Guest House to reseal a hole in the basement, which is literally an opening to Hell. The owner and monitor of the site disappears, leaving Claire stuck managing the place until the problem is solved. Her new employee, Dean McIssac, is a gorgeous Newfie who cooks, cleans, and lives the Boy Scout oath. Then there's Claire Hansen, the Keeper, is summoned to the Elysian Fields Guest House to reseal a hole in the basement, which is literally an opening to Hell. The owner and monitor of the site disappears, leaving Claire stuck managing the place until the problem is solved. Her new employee, Dean McIssac, is a gorgeous Newfie who cooks, cleans, and lives the Boy Scout oath. Then there's Jacques Labaet: very French Canadian, very sexy, very dead. Jacques is a ghost who wants to be the man in Claire's life. Oh yeah, and there's Austin, a talking cat with attitude: "I barely know you, but I'm assuming you're human. I'm not saying this is a good thing, it's just the way it is."

30 review for Summon the Keeper

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lois Bujold

    I enjoyed this... mm, not quite urban fantasy. Call it contemporary Canadian fantasy, although 1998 isn't so contemporary any more; a few more years and we can probably call it historical. It had a good sense of place, and a lot of dry Canadian jokes and humor. Claire Hansen (the same name as my street, ha! Minnesota is close to Canada in more ways than one) is a Keeper, a sort of witch whose job it is to patch tears in the fabric of reality where evil leaks through. But she's a Canadian witch, s I enjoyed this... mm, not quite urban fantasy. Call it contemporary Canadian fantasy, although 1998 isn't so contemporary any more; a few more years and we can probably call it historical. It had a good sense of place, and a lot of dry Canadian jokes and humor. Claire Hansen (the same name as my street, ha! Minnesota is close to Canada in more ways than one) is a Keeper, a sort of witch whose job it is to patch tears in the fabric of reality where evil leaks through. But she's a Canadian witch, so generally very polite. Not as polite as handsome, displaced Newfie Dean McIssac, however, first met as the handyman of a rather haunted B&B in Kingston, Ontario. Neatnik Dean is one of the few fictional heroes I've met who does windows, not to mention laundry, dishes, and cooking. I don't know how old Huff was when she wrote this, but this is definitely practical heroism as reimagined by an older woman writer, and I'm thoroughly on-board with it. The sequel, The Second Summoning, continues the tale, and is even funnier, not to mention wry and sly. Makes me almost want to move to Canada despite the weather (also described in loving first-hand detail.) Also, good cat values.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    Read this to my 13-year-old son. He gave it six stars out of five.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Wendy Welch

    Bubble gum for the brain, with some GREAT snarky one-liners and some scathing pop culture references thrown in - sorta like when you bite through the sucker and hit the gum, these little gems keep popping up. One of the characters is from Newfoundland, though, and the author has his linguistics wrong. Lots of people have trouble with "he's after getting tall" which is something Irish people or Newfoundlanders would say quite normally. It means he has become tall. The Newf character in the story s Bubble gum for the brain, with some GREAT snarky one-liners and some scathing pop culture references thrown in - sorta like when you bite through the sucker and hit the gum, these little gems keep popping up. One of the characters is from Newfoundland, though, and the author has his linguistics wrong. Lots of people have trouble with "he's after getting tall" which is something Irish people or Newfoundlanders would say quite normally. It means he has become tall. The Newf character in the story said that "I'm after calling him" meant he was was GOING to call. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Being after doing something means it's done. Okay, got that out of my system. I lived in Newfoundland for three years as a doctoral student and we got beat up if we (1) called anybody a N---ie (2) ventured out of doors during any hockey season in which an American and Canadian team were facing off or (3) misused the after plus perfect. So I try to save others. Back to the book . . . the cat is great, caustic and wise as a cat should be. The Newfoundland sweet innocent is hysterical, all these creatures you only read about in mythical encyclopedias (as in enc. of myths . . .) keep appearing, and there's a sexually frustrated sailor ghost with big brown eyes who steals the whole show. Great fun to read, laugh out loud humor.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Leesa

    This is one of my favorite series by Tanya Huff. I laugh all the way through every time. Hell talking to itself, multi-colored mice, talking cat, Retired Olympians (not atheletes) and much more!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lata

    Light, with gentle, sarcastic humour, this was a fun little urban fantasy. Nothing too dire, no one really horrible (except for the nosy next door neighbour), and a slow relationship building between Keeper, Claire Hansen, and Dean, the general handyman/cook/cleaner of the run-down bed-and-breakfast. And the star of the book, Austin, the talking cat, who's focused on the important things: his stomach, being disgusted with his human Claire, and sharing his unerring insight on the goings-on around Light, with gentle, sarcastic humour, this was a fun little urban fantasy. Nothing too dire, no one really horrible (except for the nosy next door neighbour), and a slow relationship building between Keeper, Claire Hansen, and Dean, the general handyman/cook/cleaner of the run-down bed-and-breakfast. And the star of the book, Austin, the talking cat, who's focused on the important things: his stomach, being disgusted with his human Claire, and sharing his unerring insight on the goings-on around him.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Bark | Ladies Of Horror Fiction

    This is a fantasy with two romantic love interests, a hunky handyman and an impossible to resist lusty ghost, that came highly recommended to me and I wasn't at all disappointed. Claire is what they call a "keeper", a person with supernatural powers who keeps order in the universe and the evilness of hell under wraps. Her latest assignment has her ticked off. She's been summoned to a bed and breakfast where hell resides in the basement and she fears she may be stuck there for the rest of her lif This is a fantasy with two romantic love interests, a hunky handyman and an impossible to resist lusty ghost, that came highly recommended to me and I wasn't at all disappointed. Claire is what they call a "keeper", a person with supernatural powers who keeps order in the universe and the evilness of hell under wraps. Her latest assignment has her ticked off. She's been summoned to a bed and breakfast where hell resides in the basement and she fears she may be stuck there for the rest of her life. She spends the book attempting to figure out how to complete her assignment while fighting off the advances of the sexy ghost, fighting off her lusty thoughts of the younger handyman, arguing with her know it all cat (who talks) and dealing with the strange assortment of guests who visit the B&B. This book was pure fun, had lots of sensual tension, some great one-liners (many made by Hell - who argues with itself), and all of the characters were likable. Despite the setting there was nothing gory about it. If you like fantasy comedies or are looking for a change of pace give this one a try.

  7. 4 out of 5

    AA

    I laughed until I cried, then I used quotes for my sig, then I went out and bought everything else I found by Tanya Huff, then I chuckled to myself recalling various bits for the next several months. :)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*

    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 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.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Allison Hurd

    A friend found this because I couldn't remember it! It's one of the worst things I've ever read! I happened to be on a vacation without wifi, so I had to read it or re-read a magazine I brought. It was...work. Lots of campy jokes, waaay too many puns, even for me (like the bad kind. Not the fun word play, the "look how funny I am" kinds.) A really bad stereotype of Frenchman who's a ghost that becomes corporeal enough for a little sexy time which is...weird. Anyways, glad I remembered the name of A friend found this because I couldn't remember it! It's one of the worst things I've ever read! I happened to be on a vacation without wifi, so I had to read it or re-read a magazine I brought. It was...work. Lots of campy jokes, waaay too many puns, even for me (like the bad kind. Not the fun word play, the "look how funny I am" kinds.) A really bad stereotype of Frenchman who's a ghost that becomes corporeal enough for a little sexy time which is...weird. Anyways, glad I remembered the name of it so that I never accidentally read it again!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nanu

    I went into this book knowing only that there was a hole to hell. That's it. And boy, did it surprise me. Hell, was funny. Claire was badass. Austin, I want him as my pet. Dean and Jacques? Lovely and too pure for this world (maybe not so much in Jacques' case). It was a really fun read, surprisingly wholesome too. I am definitely reading more about Claire, Dean and Austin's adventures and more about this author. I am a new fan. I went into this book knowing only that there was a hole to hell. That's it. And boy, did it surprise me. Hell, was funny. Claire was badass. Austin, I want him as my pet. Dean and Jacques? Lovely and too pure for this world (maybe not so much in Jacques' case). It was a really fun read, surprisingly wholesome too. I am definitely reading more about Claire, Dean and Austin's adventures and more about this author. I am a new fan.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Bea

    Lots of proofreading errors in the Kindle edition but I still enjoyed the story.

  12. 5 out of 5

    NewMoonGirl (Hazel)

    2 ½ stars Summon The Keeper I found to be an ok read but frustrating right from the start! Claire's the keeper who has been summoned to the guest house to take care of afew things. Number 1 : the pit of Hell in the basement which talks to itself (random I know, lol) Number 2 : Sara in room 6, who's been put to sleep using magic. She was one of the previous keepers who got caught trying to use the pit of hell for her own gain. The other characters along for the ride is her talking cat Austin, Dean, J 2 ½ stars Summon The Keeper I found to be an ok read but frustrating right from the start! Claire's the keeper who has been summoned to the guest house to take care of afew things. Number 1 : the pit of Hell in the basement which talks to itself (random I know, lol) Number 2 : Sara in room 6, who's been put to sleep using magic. She was one of the previous keepers who got caught trying to use the pit of hell for her own gain. The other characters along for the ride is her talking cat Austin, Dean, Jacques the ghost and a whole bunch of guests ranging from vampires to gods like Zeus & Aphrodite. Lets also not forget the nosy next door neighbor Mrs Abrams, her hell hound dog and Claire's sister Diana who is also a keeper. Everything about this book seemed to be so long winded, making the pace painfully slow. I know a lot of people found this book to be humorous although I didn't laugh once but maybe it just didn't match my sense of humor and if your looking for romance you won't find any here. Claire spends the whole time trying to dismiss Dean (the hunky handyman) as possible relationship material because of his age, calling him a kid. Only right at the end does she decide that she has feelings for him but she thinks she has missed her chance. As soon as all the keeper business is taken care of at the guest house and she receives her new summons shes on her way again to her next job. Dean drives up in his van and tells her to get in as he is going along for the ride. Deans last words being “Okay. We'll play it by ear.” Its one of those books where the author leaves it so open ended in order to make you want to go buy the next just to see if they finally get it together. I read this book for the Pick it for me April Challenge, I was given several books to choose from but thought I would go for something I wouldn't normally pick myself. It certainly was a challenge and I am glad I stuck with it till the end. I would say its worth giving this book a chance as a lot of people have really rated it quite high but this just wasn't for me.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Inara

    Title in German: Die Chroniken der Hüter: Hotel Elysium A Keeper is a person whose task is to repair holes in the fabric of the universe caused by bad deeds or magic and where evil is able to find its way into our world. Claire Hansen is such a Keeper who was summoned along with her talking cat Austin to Kingston to take care of a hotel where hell resides in the basement and a bad Keeper is put to sleep by other Keepers and not to be aroused in any circumstances. Arriving there she meets her employ Title in German: Die Chroniken der Hüter: Hotel Elysium A Keeper is a person whose task is to repair holes in the fabric of the universe caused by bad deeds or magic and where evil is able to find its way into our world. Claire Hansen is such a Keeper who was summoned along with her talking cat Austin to Kingston to take care of a hotel where hell resides in the basement and a bad Keeper is put to sleep by other Keepers and not to be aroused in any circumstances. Arriving there she meets her employee Dean McIssac a handsome young man who would bring honor to every boy scout group (he cooks, cleans and keeps things tidy) and discovers a lascivious ghost in the attic named Jacques Labaet. Not enough her hotel guests aren´t your average visitors they´re vampires, werwolves and retired ex-olympic gods (I liked this lot) and there´s a nosy neighbour with a crazy dog watching her all the time. I liked the weird sense of humor in this book! The talking cat is hilarious and the pouting hell seems to have a split personality and is constantly talking to itself and its tries via bathroom mirror to lead Claire into temptation are amusing. But what surprised me a little bit was the force of attraction Claire felt for the ghost his "cherie´s" to and his "cherie´s" fro and obvious tries of seduction were slowly but surely getting on my nerves.. but maybe that´s just me and my dislike of men who see themselves as great seducers.. (rolls eyes). This book was fun to read and I will definitely read the next volumes – I´m just to curious what will happen between Dean and Claire...

  14. 4 out of 5

    John

    3* and struggled not to slide to 2.5. I had some high hope for another one of Tanya Huff's books. This one did not deliver for me. I felt like the writing was a bit MA but also dealt with some serious adult themes of 20 year olds. The magical elements were a bit all over the place for me. 3* and struggled not to slide to 2.5. I had some high hope for another one of Tanya Huff's books. This one did not deliver for me. I felt like the writing was a bit MA but also dealt with some serious adult themes of 20 year olds. The magical elements were a bit all over the place for me.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Alex Hammel

    For October's WOGF review, I decided to get my random read out of the way. Nerd that I am, I actually went to the trouble of writing a shell script to select an author randomly, and wound up with Tanya Huff. I was thinking of picking up one of her military science fiction works, but Summon the Keeper seemed like a good pick for Halloween. It, uh, wasn't. The protagonist is hoodwinked into taking care of a B&B with a portal to hell in the basement which, as a vaguely magical Keeper, it is her job For October's WOGF review, I decided to get my random read out of the way. Nerd that I am, I actually went to the trouble of writing a shell script to select an author randomly, and wound up with Tanya Huff. I was thinking of picking up one of her military science fiction works, but Summon the Keeper seemed like a good pick for Halloween. It, uh, wasn't. The protagonist is hoodwinked into taking care of a B&B with a portal to hell in the basement which, as a vaguely magical Keeper, it is her job to close, or monitor or something. She does, to her credit, take some steps towards doing this, but they are mostly off screen, and take up a very small fraction of the book. For the rest of the book, stuff happens. The protagonist has an incredibly painful Betty and Veronica thing going on. Veronica is played by a ghost who is mean to be Quebecois, but acts like a broad caricature of a Frenchman and who evidently died before the invention of the concept of sexual harassment was invented. Betty is a really stupid Newfoundlander who resents stereotypes about stupid Newfoundlanders and has basically dedicated his life too cooking, cleaning, and (apparently, although this is not stated in the text) working eight hours per day. Also, in this universe, Newfoundland is indistinguishable from a Dickens novel. Since there is really no way to fill 300 pages with that, other stuff happens. A vampire shows up, feints at seducing the Newfie, and then leaves without having any effect on the plot. The elevator turns into an inter-dimensional portal for no adequately explained reason. In a wicked-dumb segment the Greek pantheon shows up and does things that aren't funny. There are some werewolves or something. Yes, friends, a great deal of stuff happens in this novel, but stuff happening is not the same thing as a plot. If the stuff that happened was particularly interesting or funny then I might be willing to overlook the absurdly thin plot, but it really, really wasn't. The jokes were flat. The protagonist communicates entirely by snarking, which I suppose is meant to make her funny but actually just makes her a jerk. The love triangle was horribly unconvincing. The talking cat (yes, she has a talking cat) was indistinguishable from Garfield. I was excited to read this book. I wanted to like it. It seemed like it took some cues from Zelazny's A Night in the Lonesome October, which was funny and clever and original. This book is none of those things. This is a bad book. Don't read this book. To be cross-posted on Worlds Without End.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sophie

    I've been a fan of Tanya Huff's book since my high school days, but I started with her Fantasy series first, ( Fifth Quarter et al, Wizard of the Grove, Of Darkness, Light, and Fire ). You see some of her snarky humour in those stories, but nothing in them prepared me for the smiles and laughs I got out of Summon the Keeper. Huff always has amazingly real characters and she can have them fighting racist talking lizard people without missing a beat. Every character has their comedic moments and n I've been a fan of Tanya Huff's book since my high school days, but I started with her Fantasy series first, ( Fifth Quarter et al, Wizard of the Grove, Of Darkness, Light, and Fire ). You see some of her snarky humour in those stories, but nothing in them prepared me for the smiles and laughs I got out of Summon the Keeper. Huff always has amazingly real characters and she can have them fighting racist talking lizard people without missing a beat. Every character has their comedic moments and none are done in the same way. Being from Canada I might have gotten some extra mileage out of a few of her jokes =]. The story is in no hurry to get anywhere and that's more than fine because Huff sets out to entertain you every single page. The fantasy world has time to explain itself and many creatures make their way to "Elysian Fields Inn" which is especially fun for those of us who know their mythology. I feel I should mention that the blurb might promise more romance than really appears...I'm not sure if I'm spoiling anything by saying that there's more romantic tension than an actual love story. These days, I find we tend to expect a particular level of romance in our urban fantasy, but this is an older book (published in 1998), so it's fun to see what was going on in the urban fantasy genre when it was kind of in its "teenage" years, before it had the glut of established tropes that it has now. If you want some light, endearing and incredibly entertaining reading then I highly suggest reading the entire trilogy, though Summon the Keeper is the best of the three (this review is actually the result of my third re-read).

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tina

    This book was a fun, delightful read. It was chock full of great characters. Claire, the Keeper, finds herself the caretaker of the Bed and Breakfast from Hell. She inherits a sexy ghost, a guest in room six who has been asleep for 40 years, a hunky caretaker who happens to be the most trustworthy person in the world ("Total strangers probably handed him their packages while they bent to tie shoelaces"), and a gateway to Hell in the basement. With the help of her smarter-than-you-or-me cat, Aust This book was a fun, delightful read. It was chock full of great characters. Claire, the Keeper, finds herself the caretaker of the Bed and Breakfast from Hell. She inherits a sexy ghost, a guest in room six who has been asleep for 40 years, a hunky caretaker who happens to be the most trustworthy person in the world ("Total strangers probably handed him their packages while they bent to tie shoelaces"), and a gateway to Hell in the basement. With the help of her smarter-than-you-or-me cat, Austin, Claire deals with all of this plus the temptations of Hell and a slew of interesting out-of-this world guests. The overnight visit of the geriatric, ex-Olympic Gods and Goddesses is by itself worth a second read ("Aphrodite travels with more clothing than Ginger took on that 3 hour cruise"). I sincerely hope this is the beginning of a series. How many other books out there can I read where Hell laments that no one knows the classics anymore when his reference to Citizen Kane goes unrecognized? I recommend.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    I really like that this is set in Canada and features Canadian characters. Dean is the best thing about the book, because he's a Newfie and because he's just all-around adorable. I don't agree with all of Claire's decisions, but she's an interesting character. I like the concept of Keepers and Cousins. I like Huff's "kitchen sink" approach to magic and mythology; there's a little bit of everything blended together for fun, including a couple of references to Star Wars and Star Trek that had me g I really like that this is set in Canada and features Canadian characters. Dean is the best thing about the book, because he's a Newfie and because he's just all-around adorable. I don't agree with all of Claire's decisions, but she's an interesting character. I like the concept of Keepers and Cousins. I like Huff's "kitchen sink" approach to magic and mythology; there's a little bit of everything blended together for fun, including a couple of references to Star Wars and Star Trek that had me giggling.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Suaad (I just want a cat)

    I enjoyed it but not enough to finish it properly, I 'skimmed' the last %40 of the audiobook because I lost interest I enjoyed it but not enough to finish it properly, I 'skimmed' the last %40 of the audiobook because I lost interest

  20. 5 out of 5

    Allison Sesame

    That was quite fun. I do love me some 90s Tanya Huff. And a talking cat full of snark.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Suz

    3+ Cute. Of course anything with talking cats has to be cute, right?

  22. 5 out of 5

    Julia

    I've read a lot of Tanya Huff's books: the Valor series,(military sf) all of the four Quaters books, (high fantasy) all of the Blood books, all of the Smoke books (so far, I hope,)(both of these series are contemporary fantasy with vampire as a central character) and I recently read and loved The Enchantment Emporium, of which this is in the same universe. Claire is a Keeper who is summoned to a Kingston, ON ramshackle rooming house that is staffed by the handsome, capable, Newfie, young, and vir I've read a lot of Tanya Huff's books: the Valor series,(military sf) all of the four Quaters books, (high fantasy) all of the Blood books, all of the Smoke books (so far, I hope,)(both of these series are contemporary fantasy with vampire as a central character) and I recently read and loved The Enchantment Emporium, of which this is in the same universe. Claire is a Keeper who is summoned to a Kingston, ON ramshackle rooming house that is staffed by the handsome, capable, Newfie, young, and virginal Dean. In Room 6 there’s an Evil Keeper who has been in a sleeping spell for sixty years, and there’s a gateway to hell in the basement. Claire travels with her talking cat companion, Austin. As guests, they host a folk musician/ vampire, identical triplet werewolves (of which only two show up) in town for a competition, retired Olympians who are not sports people, a Quebecois, ghost Jacques who “lives” there, and all sorts of beasties, not all of them children, on Halloween. A fun, but not world changing novel, but these rarely are. Fun is good. I'm looking forward to the other two books in the series, well, anything by Tanya Huff.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Daelith

    This is one of those books I picked up at a used book store a few years ago and let sit on the shelf. I've read other books by Tanya Huff and enjoyed them so I'm not sure why I was hesitant to start this one. Glad I finally decided to give a try. Though it had a tendency to drift a bit (in an entertaining way), I really enjoyed this book. For paranormal lovers it has a little of everything - magic, vampires, ghosts, werewolves, mischievous imps and retired Greek gods. Austin the talking cat is h This is one of those books I picked up at a used book store a few years ago and let sit on the shelf. I've read other books by Tanya Huff and enjoyed them so I'm not sure why I was hesitant to start this one. Glad I finally decided to give a try. Though it had a tendency to drift a bit (in an entertaining way), I really enjoyed this book. For paranormal lovers it has a little of everything - magic, vampires, ghosts, werewolves, mischievous imps and retired Greek gods. Austin the talking cat is hysterical. Huff has just the right mixture of action, developing romance and humor. Then again, Ms. Huff has been writing this genre before it ever became so popular. I'm glad I already have the other two of the trilogy on hand, so I can start them in the near future. Looking forward to Claire, Dean and Austin's next summoning adventure. If you enjoy Jim Butcher's Dresden Files, you will probably like this book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lilia Ford

    A rare book that I DNF'd at 85%. I like the paranormal innkeep set-up in general, and appreciated the talking cat and the fixer-upper stuff in this book; Also, I'm a big fan of Huff's sci-fi "Valor" series, so I had high hopes, but the heroine of this was seriously unlikable, which makes my inner feminist a little disgusted with myself, since "likability" is an annoying and oppressive demand to make of a heroine--but I found her verging on narcissistic, seemingly with the author's warrant, and t A rare book that I DNF'd at 85%. I like the paranormal innkeep set-up in general, and appreciated the talking cat and the fixer-upper stuff in this book; Also, I'm a big fan of Huff's sci-fi "Valor" series, so I had high hopes, but the heroine of this was seriously unlikable, which makes my inner feminist a little disgusted with myself, since "likability" is an annoying and oppressive demand to make of a heroine--but I found her verging on narcissistic, seemingly with the author's warrant, and then she's the center of a love triangle with two men pining after her, who don't seem to care how she treats them, which yuck. By the time she got together with one of them, I realized I didn't care how it would end and gave up.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Katyana

    This book was a lot of fun! I really enjoyed the world the author created, both because I liked the characters, and because it was surprisingly funny! I honestly laughed out loud through most of this book. But don't think that was at the expense of plot, because the story was solid. As the story approached the end, the pace became almost frantic, and I was up waaaaay too late last night finishing it, because I couldn't put it down. I hope we still get commentary from Hell in the next book of the This book was a lot of fun! I really enjoyed the world the author created, both because I liked the characters, and because it was surprisingly funny! I honestly laughed out loud through most of this book. But don't think that was at the expense of plot, because the story was solid. As the story approached the end, the pace became almost frantic, and I was up waaaaay too late last night finishing it, because I couldn't put it down. I hope we still get commentary from Hell in the next book of the series...

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    2020 update: Still a very fun book, the humor was what I needed in these weird times. While the tech is a bit dated, it's not a big enough focus of the story that it was jarring. I greatly enjoyed revisiting this book and its characters, and I was amused to see how much I remembered (or didn't) as I read. 2020 update: Still a very fun book, the humor was what I needed in these weird times. While the tech is a bit dated, it's not a big enough focus of the story that it was jarring. I greatly enjoyed revisiting this book and its characters, and I was amused to see how much I remembered (or didn't) as I read.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Text Addict

    Sometimes, one is just in the mood for an urban fantasy that doesn't even come close to taking itself too seriously. For those moods, there is Tanya Huff's Keeper Chronicles. Not appropriate for those who are allergic to cheese. Sometimes, one is just in the mood for an urban fantasy that doesn't even come close to taking itself too seriously. For those moods, there is Tanya Huff's Keeper Chronicles. Not appropriate for those who are allergic to cheese.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jasmine

    Newfoundlander in the book— awesome. The speech patterns of my home (and specifically their incomprehensibility) being an ongoing punchline— less awesome. Makes me look sidelong at the writing around the québécois dude as well. But I am always here for talking cats and magical portals.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Dichotomy Girl

    So this isn't horrible, I'm just kind of bored. I feel like it has a lot of potential (and I'm possibly comparing it to The Innkeeper series), but I just don't feel like forcing myself to listen to another 6+ hours of this. DNF @55% Read it or Delete it Challenge: Delete It So this isn't horrible, I'm just kind of bored. I feel like it has a lot of potential (and I'm possibly comparing it to The Innkeeper series), but I just don't feel like forcing myself to listen to another 6+ hours of this. DNF @55% Read it or Delete it Challenge: Delete It

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mike Finn

    Gentle humour, light romance, ghosts, vampires, werewolves, Gods, a Hellpit that tempts IN BLOCK LETTERS inside your head, a talking cat, a nice Newfoundland boy and a Keeper struggling with the right way to use her power to save the world and run a guest house. I love Tanya Huff's humour. It's energetic, confident, gentle, witty and almost always travels the path less travelled by. In this light little book, she manages to summon up a whole new occult world, filled with new takes on all the th Gentle humour, light romance, ghosts, vampires, werewolves, Gods, a Hellpit that tempts IN BLOCK LETTERS inside your head, a talking cat, a nice Newfoundland boy and a Keeper struggling with the right way to use her power to save the world and run a guest house. I love Tanya Huff's humour. It's energetic, confident, gentle, witty and almost always travels the path less travelled by. In this light little book, she manages to summon up a whole new occult world, filled with new takes on all the things that haunt our dreams, position them over a not-quite-sealed hell mouth and populate it with a powerful, likable women who is focused on saving the world (again) but is distracted by the nice and or charming men she finds herself cohabiting with. I loved that our heroine, champion of humanity against the forces of darkness and wielder of arcane power, calls her mum to get advice on what to do next and is afraid of nothing except perhaps what her incredibly powerful little sister might do if left unsupervised. Then there's the cat who is... everything I always expected cats would be if they deigned to talk to us and if they accepted responsibility for a young Keeper with the power to fight Hell and win but with a limited ability to understand other people as anything other than Bystanders. There's humour that uses the energy the stereotypes for both Newfies and Canucks while managing to debunk them and take away their power to demean. There's also a fair amount of slapstick, pratfallish fun. If you're in the mood for a smile and some entertaining urban fantasy trope twisting, this book won't let you down.

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