Coexist: Keegan's Chronicles Plot Overview:
Keegan is a sixteen-year old girl who lives a fairly typical life of friends, shopping and parties. However Keegan, despite all outward appearances, is definitely not your typical teenager. Keegan is an elf, a race of beings that live among humans and as beings of the light help where they can.
In elfin society mates are chosen at birth but the identity of said chosen is not revealed until both parties reach the age of 18. Keegan’s brother Thaddeus is a ‘seer’ and his visions have warned him of impending disaster, in an attempt to ward this off Thaddeus has told Keegan the name of her intended – Rourk.
Now every time Keegan thinks his name Rourk feels pulled towards her. He watches her from the shadows, silently protecting her and waiting until she turns 18 so that they can finally meet and be together. Fate intervenes before this can happen when Keegan’s life is in danger and Rourk is forced to revel himself to her before their time.
As Thaddeus’s visions continue to come to pass he sees that the war that has been brewing for centuries between the light and the dark has become imminent. Keegan’s family is bound by tradition and prophecy to be at the very centre of the war -her father is the chosen one that will lead them all into battle.As the battle between light and dark rages on – will Keegan and Rourk be able to have the life they both yearn for - together?
What I thought:I downloaded this book free from Amazon; I thought the cover looked really nice so I would give it a try. I have not read many self-published novels but I decided give it a chance and I am glad that I did. It was a really promising story but I do think that it could have been a lot more.
I want to start by saying that even though I have rated this a bit lower than other books I don’t think that it’s a bad book. I’m pretty harsh in my ratings so I will explain what my issues were and you can judge for yourself if it sounds like something that you might like to read. I don’t’ want to put anyone off it as I do think that it has a nice story and as it is the debut for the author I think that experience may improve the things that I did not like about the book.
I will start off with the story as I think it was really good, it gets points for originality and for keeping me interested even though there were a few things I did not like. It was a quick, light and easy young adult read. I think that it is very much aimed at the teenage girl market and is quite heavy handed with the product name dropping.
Next the characters, they all could have done with a bit more fleshing out. The main character is of course Keegan; she is likeable but spoiled and comes across as a bit shallow at times, she also thinks way too much about her intended, Rourk. I would have liked Keegan to be a bit more self-sufficient. The whole family is very wealthy and wants for nothing which seems a bit easy at times, for most people this is not something that you can relate to. I would have liked it if Keegan had grown a bit more during the story.
I also thought that Rourk was lacking in personality, he seemed to be distant and cold. If he did not have this pre-determined love for Keegan he would probably be classed a sociopath. At one point he wildly overreacts to Keegan being in a bit of danger – the repercussions of this are not even hinted at (I don’t want to put in too much and spoil it but the event could have shown a lot more depth to the character instead it just reinforced how cold he is).There are a host of other characters many of which are other supernatural beings; it seems a bit weird because Keegan is oblivious to this fact. She knows there are other things out there in the world and she is supposed to be ‘gifted’ but on her own she only ever identifies one other being – a dark elf. This reinforces that she is somewhat self-absorbed; you think that someone hiding her own secret would be aware that the people around her might be doing the same.
And lastly the pacing of the book could have used some work, there was a lot of build up at the start (lots of teenage scenes that may not have all been necessary) and the action did not happen until the end of the book. The main conflict between the two types of elves seemed to be solved way too easy and fast. I think there should have been more persuasion and reflection, perhaps even a glimpse into the dark side camp first so we knew what was going on there.I am usually the first to praise a fast paced book but for the first time I think I have to say that this one went a little too fast. There could have been a lot more detail to the big battle. It was very much a broad strokes kind of approach; we went, we fought, many died and then it was over. I think that it could have really benefited from more depth, I found myself not really feeling like it was such a big deal as it was not written like one.
I think that I was expecting some editing flaws in a self-published novel but to be honest I did not really notice that much. It was well put together and looked very professional. The major weakness was the pacing of the story it seems like in its haste to resolve the conflict many details, descriptions and really just the meat and bones of the story got left by the wayside. The book was pretty short so it could have easily supported more which would have made it a much more satisfying read. As I said before this does not make it a bad book I just think that it had the potential to be better.
Final Comments and Overall Rating:
Although it might seem like I picked this apart a bit, I would like to finish by reiterating that I did like it. It has some flaws but the story kept my interest and I think that I will probably check out the next one in the series to see what happens.
Although many young adult stories are ones that can cross the generational gap seamlessly, Coexist is probably not one of them, it’s more your light and fluffy type read and as such is really is one for the teenage girls. As that’s probably what it was aimed at there is no problem, just make sure its what you were looking for.
You can find out more information and purchase the books in Keegan's Chronicles at Julia Crane's website (also on Amazon, link at the top of the review). Links below to Julia Crane's website for all three books in the series.