Book Review: Summon the Keeper by Tanya Huff

Summon the Keeper isn’t the best book by Tanya Huff. I’m a Tanya Huff fan, and this book has a lot of good reviews, but this won’t be one of them. It is a nice, light romantic road trip novel, but I’m not recommending this book.

This is a light romance novel with a witch, a French ghost, a Newfie housekeeper, and a talking cat. The witch is summoned to an old haunted hotel in Ontario to seal a hole into Hell.

This brings up more plot-ish points like doors into other worlds, evil witches, evil dogs, werewolves, vampires, and retired gods. But, none of them are even vaguely related to the plot.

“It Doesn’t Go Anywhere”

There isn’t a lot to this novel, so I can’t really say anything was terrible. It doesn’t go anywhere. It looks like the solution could have been managed in the first ten pages and then everyone could have gone home. The novel reads a lot like an introduction to a weird world, like a road-trip novel, except the main character doesn’t go anywhere.

The road travels to her. Since there isn’t any real self-discovery on this road trip, it feels like a lot of wasted pages between the beginning and end.

The miss-adventures are just a backdrop to the romance and friendship plots between the characters, but, none of the characters particularly raises above their stereotypes. The ‘sexy French ghost’ is definitely the worst. I can’t find anything positive there. It makes the romance element ridiculous.

The housekeeper seems like a nice guy. Though I wonder how he manages to keep muscular despite never working out. Given that he is an actual ‘nice guy’ and she is an actual ‘witch’ I don’t see why he should be attracted to her. Apparently, there are zero good women in Kingston. She is insufferable.

Wandering Roads To Nowhere

The wandering road trips that come through include vampires, werewolves, and gods. The Vampire is a folk music star. Werewolves are jocks. Hermes steals hotel towels. The silly boringness of the interactions is the highlight.

Nothing particularly surprised me in this novel. It was funny in places, but honestly, I could put it down at any time and felt a bit of resistance in picking it up. The ending was nice enough, if unremarkable. The joy level of the novel never rose above a three-star level. In places, I was just waiting on a scene to end in the hopes that the next one would be better.

The writing was fine, but there isn’t so much as a memorable line anywhere. I give it a three. I don’t recommend it and I won’t be buying the second in the series.

About the author

Hawkings Austin

I'm a new fantasy author, but I've been reading since Ogg finished with the paint and went to play with his wheel-thingy. I'm a professional nuclear engineer, rocket scientist, and survivalist. I am a semi-pro historian as well, with some published work in both science and history. I play with fire, shoot guns, swing swords, and run with scissors.