"The Keepers" by Rick Friar took my by surprise. A BIG surprise.
When I first saw these books at Barnes and Noble, I saw 3 thick books stacked next to each other and the way I devour a book, I'm always looking for something long and engaging, but what really grabbed me were the illustrations of new and novel machines I never had seen. It was almost as if I was taken back to the first time I saw some of the X-fighters and the Death Star. They tickled the youthful part of my imagination that said, "This is badass."
I took the first book home and from page one the Ender-Like quality had a hold of me. I cancelled my plans for that Saturday night and read until my eyes were bloodshot at 4:00am, when my girlfriend finally complained enough, so I went to bed.
3 hours later.
7:00am I'm up, book opened to page 314 of this 675 page monster. I had never read a book based on the technology of biomimicry, which is manmade science built and influenced by the living world around us. There were one manned piloted machines based off of hummingbirds and hornets. There were "Sidewinders" which are huge snake-like walls hundreds of feet tall that destroy city blocks, annihilating everything in their path.
And this was just the beginning.
Where many books leave you wondering how machines like these are possible, Friar explains it all in depth leaving you feeling like this IS real and these machines CAN be made. It was like reading the manual to the Star Ship Enterprise. (Which I also own.) The machines are called "Animalians" and run on an alternative fuel source, which is cool and gives it a Dune-like feel, but more importantly, this book sticks with you.
The narrative of the book is based through the main characters eyes and it is fun to see how his character arcs. It's not just the typical "Hero's Journey" and the whimsical relevance of today's culture keeps the pace fresh and alive.
Within 3 weeks I read all 3 books and (I won't give any spoilers) I have to say that each book was completely different from the other, more riveting to the next.
If you're looking for a new world to lose yourself in I highly recommend the Keepers. I feel like I accidentally discovered something really big and it's not going to remain a secret for much longer.
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