The Jewel Keepers Book One: Albion is set in two time periods, 2008 and in the first century A.D. In 2008 Katie is dealing with her judgemental and tough to live with mother, her move to Manchester and her mentally ill Nana. She also thinks she can talk to animals, making it hard to find friends and to get along with her mother, who fears Katie might be headed down the path of insanity like Nana. When they visit Nana and she reveals to Katie that she comes from a long line of spiritually gifted individuals and is a Keeper of a long-lost jewel, Katie is shocked. The Jewel has the power to open the gateway from her world to that of the supernatural. She is supposed to find it and protect it (which is easier said than done). In the first century A.D. Mortunda, a Celtic princess finds she can communicate with the gods. However, her father has chosen her to be his successor and refuses to accept that his daughter may have another calling. Joining a society called the Seronydd, an order of others who are supernaturally gifted, would mean surrendering her right to the throne and devastating her father. Also, the Romans are about to sail over the English Channel and conquer her tribe, the Brigante. Mortunda is torn between her duty and her destiny, also linked to the mysterious Jewel in Katie's world.
While the plot summary of this book sounded promising, the book was, overall, a letdown. My biggest problem was that the writing was very flat, simplistic and not engaging. There were also plenty of noticeable grammar mistakes that were very distracting. I didn't look forward to picking this up again nor did I fight to keep my eyes open so I could find out what happened. Katie is quite one-dimensional, as is her mother and most of the 2008 storyline. In the 2008 portion, much of the formal language used is not believable, as most teenage girls don't speak like Katie does. This makes her hard to relate to and I also found her just plain uninteresting. The Celtic portion of the story was somewhat more enjoyable to read, though still not great, and Mortunda is, while not always entirely believable, an appealing person to read about with complexities and a unique and exciting connection to the supernatural. Also, the spiritual leaders are unusual with a few skeletons in the closet, just waiting to be unearthed, and this adds uniqueness to the overall plot. A strong point of the book, in the midst of very weak points, is the historical connection between present day and ancient times. The description of the tribal way of life is realistic sounding and the overlap of the geographical location is a very cool tie-in. Unfortunately, these are the best things that can be said for The Jewel Keepers, as it was ultimately written with mediocrity and a plot with potential that wasn't recognized. I will probably not recommend this to others and I will not read the sequel.
The writing was very insubstantial and the story itself was mostly unexciting. It was at times difficult to read because I didn't care about the characters and didn't feel involved in the events of the story.
Reviewer City, State and Country: San Diego, California United States