Summon the Keeper
by Tanya Huff
Reviewed by Ruby
Claire Hansen is a Keeper. She travels around the world (or at least North America) going where she is Summoned, to fix metaphysical problems. This time the Summon has brought her and her talking cat Austin to the Elysian Fields Guest House, a run down Bed and Breakfast in Kingston, Ontario, owned by Agustus Smythe. She assumes there's a hole that needs to be repaired, no big deal, only Smythe packs his bags and leaves, leaving Claire the new owner of the B&B.
With the help of the gorgeous yet oblivious handyman/cook/cleaner Dean, Claire discovers how complicated the situation actually is. There isn't just a small tear in the universe; there's an actual hole to Hell in the furnace room and an evil Keeper in a magical induced coma up in Room 6. To make matters worse there is a sort of symbiotic relationship where Hell's power is keeping the Keeper asleep and the Keeper's power in keeping a shield around Hell. If Claire were to tamper with it she might wake the Keeper, or let Hell loose or possibly both. Her only option is it wait and watch.
This is the first book in a series and I hope this was the author's way of introducing the characters. Not a lot happened in the book, or more specifically the book was filled with a bunch of nothing. There was a vampire, a ghost, werewolves, retired Olympians (as in Mount Olympus not the Olympics), imps, an elevator that lead to different worlds and a lot of renovations. After all that she doesn't even keep the B&B. It was a little bit on the dull side because most of the book involved Claire talking herself out of sleeping with Dean and talking herself out of giving Jacques (the ghost) flesh and sleeping with him and Hell just talking to itself. Everything happened in the last chapter. It was like the entire book was a build up.
Yet on the flip side, the characters were well written, the book was amusing and the universe that it was set in is an interesting one. Still, I can't help feeling a little disappointed. Let's hope now that everything is established the series picks up.