Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Keepers - by Gary A. Braunbeck - More of an epic fantasy/love story than horror, but I totally enjoyed this read

5 of 5 Stars     Review copy

Gary A. Braunbeck is the author of 19 books and nearly 200 of his short stories have appeared in various publications.  Born in Newark, Ohio; the city that serves as the model for the fictitious Cedar Hill in many of his stories. His fiction has received numerous awards, including the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in Short Fiction in 2003 for "Duty" and in 2005 for "We Now Pause for Station Identification"; his collection Destinations Unknown won a Stoker in 2006. His novella "Kiss of the Mudman" received the International Horror Guild Award for Long Fiction in 2005.

When first published, Keepers, was nominated for a 2005 Bram Stoker Award for "Superior Achievement in a Novel."

“The Keepers are coming…” The last words of a man who died in the middle of a highway through Cedar Hill, Ohio, still echo in Gil Stewart’s ears when he discovers a dying dog in his front yard. At the same moment a package arrives on his doorstep. A package holding hope that a past young love might not be lost after all."

Anytime I get to visit Braunbeck's Cedar Hill, I know I'm in for a treat.  This story is certainly no exception.

I found myself smitten with Beth, then there's a truly delightful octogenarian in Marty Weis. More than once I found myself just smiling at the interaction between Marty and Beth's beau.  One such interaction...

"Pot. Kettle. Black. Fill in the blanks." "Me. Go. Bring women and dogs." "Here. Me. Wait. Air-conditioning.  Bring adverbs when you return."

Keepers is not all fun and games.  By the end of the story I'd had my heart yanked out more than once.  Some folks have found this work to be confusing and there were points where I thought that myself, but by the end of the tale it was like someone threw a light switch and suddenly chased away the darkness.

More of an epic fantasy/love story than horror, Keepers is, without a doubt, my most satisfying read of 2015.

Before I wrap things up, I'd like to acknowledge the cover for this new version of Keepers from Alerim at  Once you've read the book, you'll see how the artwork fully captures the story.

First published in 2005, this new, author's preferred version is available now in a wide variety of formats and is published by Journalstone.

My highest recommendation.

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