Her job is to keep their secrets safe.
A secluded Retreat Center full of preternatural clientele. A talking crow who thinks she knows everything. A new boy in town asking a lot of nosy questions. Sound like a lot to handle? Not for fifteen-year-old Macy Steward, who lives at the Center and helps her parents run the highly unusual retreats.
For Macy, this is simply normal routine. And it’s all going exactly as expected, that is until the guests become dangerously unpredictable, the talking crow goes suspiciously missing, and the new boy turns out to be so much more than he first appeared.
“Here comes trouble.” That’s the last thing the crow says before disappearing.
Even though she doesn’t scare easily, Macy has to admit the crow was right. Because soon enough, she finds herself trying to keep a lot more things safe than just secrets...
NICKY FLOWERS / OCTOBER 14, 2020
Macy Steward helps her parents run a Safekeeper Center out of their mountaintop home. It’s a weighty job considering that she’s also a high-school kid trying to make it through adolescence unscathed. An unusual family with many surprising skills, the Stewards provide the highly exceptional service of facilitating opportunities for offworlders to relocate into temporary bodies and experience all the delights Earth has to offer. The job is very secretive and generally Macy does a great job keeping her schoolmates in the dark and protecting her family’s secrets. That is, until the handsome new guy with the fancy bike takes a keen interest in Macy. The current weekend three day retreat starts to go off the rails and Macy will have to think fast to keep things from spiraling out of control.
The Safekeeper is a well-balanced and creative fantasy novel crafted by promising first time author Esther Archer Lakhani. With Guides and Guardians, a highly intelligent but sarcastic crow, and a wild assortment of out-of-this world creatures, this novel is a wonderful adventure for young adult readers. There are strong themes of family and responsibility paired up with the whimsical fantastical elements tying this delightful tale together. Macy is an intelligent and self-possessed young woman, making for a venerable protagonist who demonstrates measurable growth and maturity as the story moves along. With a comfortable pace and more than a few interesting characters, The Safekeeper is a story about an ordinary girl living an extraordinary life.
Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
The Safekeeper is a work of fiction in the paranormal, suspense, and adventure sub-genres, and was penned by author Esther Archer Lakhani. Written for young adult audiences and adults alike, this chilling and intriguing work is suitable for readers of all sensitivity levels. We find ourselves at a unique Retreat Center which caters to a very specific crowd, and where a talking crow is the least strange thing to happen. Fifteen-year-old Macy helps out at the center for her parents, but even she begins to suspect that things are going awry when the latest clutch of guests gets out of control. The secrets that she keeps are threatened, as is her very life.
Author Esther Archer Lakhani has crafted a fascinating story unlike anything I’ve ever read before, and one which will certainly grip its intended YA audience and not let them go until the mysteries of the plot are solved. One of the strongest points of the work is the character development, which gives us an unusual heroine to root for as she heads a bizarre investigation that gets more exciting on every page. Dialogue and narrative style give us close insight into Macy’s feelings, running the gamut from suspicion to intrigue to outright terror, and even a little romance. The paranormal elements were also realistically woven into the plot to keep the sense of realism and suspense going. Overall, I would definitely recommend The Safekeeper to readers who enjoy a tight-knit plot, compelling characters, and well-used paranormal themes. An excellent all-round read.
book review by Carol Anderson, D.Min., ACSW
"'The evidence was immediately disposed of.'
’How?’ I wasn’t sure I wanted to know.
’I ate it.’
Nope. Shouldn’t have asked."
The novel follows fifteen-year-old Macy Steward, a seemingly normal high schooler who helps her parents with a retreat center. However, while Macy and her family are supposedly "simple" humans, they may be much more. They work with five "exchangers" who come to this center from other places in the universe to experience the pleasures of Earth life through the retreat center's offerings—yoga, nature walks, good food, the beach, art, and music—all while living within human bodies they've invaded. Gigi, the center and grounds, is a sentient being as well. There is also a talking crow who protects them. But then they're invaded by various beasts, including body snatchers, tall orange furry beasts with tusks, stinging vicious bees, and a "purple-eyed flying crocodile," resulting in "alien goo." The Veil has opened into the "True Nature of Things," and a variety of strange things will be encountered.
Although the book is written for young adults, many adults will also love the sci-fi, mystical, magical, mysterious, creepy, funny, and ever-changing weirdness of the worlds that collide between the various types of beings. And while all this oddness is happening, what is Macy finding out about herself? It is truly an exciting examination regarding a strong female protagonist as Macy grows as a "human being." Engaging from the first chapter, this is a book that readers won't be able to put down. It will make them laugh aloud at times and aid in their wonderment about the universe that surrounds them. The descriptions are beautifully detailed and cause the audience to feel as if they are experiencing the drama, horrors, and craziness in person. Overall, this tale is excellently done in its plot, written word, and style.
RECOMMENDED by the US Review