The Safekeeper

Young Adult - Paranormal
268 Pages
Reviewed on 10/15/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Esther Archer Lakhani lives in California near the wondrous redwoods of the Pacific Coast. A writer, musician, and avid nature enthusiast, Esther spends her time either working on her next book, teaching music at the local community college, or hiking in the forest with her husband and two nearly-grown sons. The Safekeeper is her debut novel.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

The Safekeeper is a work of fiction in the paranormal, suspense, and adventure sub-genres, and was penned by author Esther Archer Lakhani. Written for young adult audiences and adults alike, this chilling and intriguing work is suitable for readers of all sensitivity levels. We find ourselves at a unique Retreat Center which caters to a very specific crowd, and where a talking crow is the least strange thing to happen. Fifteen-year-old Macy helps out at the center for her parents, but even she begins to suspect that things are going awry when the latest clutch of guests gets out of control. The secrets that she keeps are threatened, as is her very life.

Author Esther Archer Lakhani has crafted a fascinating story unlike anything I’ve ever read before, and one which will certainly grip its intended YA audience and not let them go until the mysteries of the plot are solved. One of the strongest points of the work is the character development, which gives us an unusual heroine to root for as she heads a bizarre investigation that gets more exciting on every page. Dialogue and narrative style give us close insight into Macy’s feelings, running the gamut from suspicion to intrigue to outright terror, and even a little romance. The paranormal elements were also realistically woven into the plot to keep the sense of realism and suspense going. Overall, I would definitely recommend The Safekeeper to readers who enjoy a tight-knit plot, compelling characters, and well-used paranormal themes. An excellent all-round read.

Trisha Dawn

Esther Archer Lakhani’s The Safekeeper is an extraordinary story about the struggles of a girl named Macy. It was just another normal day for her; she had to go home right after class for another retreat that her family had to host. To others, it was just a normal and relaxing retreat, but in reality, Macy’s family is far from normal. From a talking crow to not-so-human guests there is nothing normal about Macy’s life! A new boy in town, who seems like there is something more to him other than his cute face, is just another one of the countless things that make Macy’s life interesting. On the first day of the retreat, everything seems to be going smoothly; however, things were about to get complicated because of brewing dangerous plots. Macy suddenly finds herself confused and unsure with the new events unfolding before her. Can Macy handle the responsibilities given to her and her family?

The Safekeeper by Esther Archer Lakhani is a unique story with surprising twists. The characters and the plot are all distinctive, well written, and the book appealed to me from my first read of the summary. I enjoyed the interactions between all of the characters, good or bad. I especially looked forward to the exchanges between Nick and Macy. Their partnership had a hint of romance and this made me flip the pages faster. I was interested to know where it would lead, especially with the complicated situation they both were in. My excitement rose with every new character that was introduced throughout the story. Every new introduction emphasized Macy’s sweet and pure heart. She is truly something else: a responsible, brave, and caring girl. She accepts everyone and does her best to give them a place in their family’s center. This is certainly an entertaining read, an outstanding job!

Shrabastee Chakraborty

The Greenmont Grith Retreat Center, run by Macy Steward’s family, serves as the center for inter-world exchanges. Here, the “offworlders” can borrow human bodies to enjoy frequent vacations on Earth. Before a scheduled exchange program, a talking crow warns Macy of impending danger. Duty-bound to protect the guests, the Steward family gets entangled in a sinister plot when a group of alien assassins attacks the offworlders. Meanwhile, Macy’s house reveals a few secrets of its own that add an even bigger responsibility to her already strenuous life. Can she lead an ordinary life while coping with the duties of a safekeeper? Will Nick, her newly made friend, help her solve the alien mysteries? To know more, read The Safekeeper by Esther Archer Lakhani.

Using familiar themes of alien invasion, body-snatching, and intergalactic warfare, Esther Archer Lakhani has concocted a fascinating storyline. With a swift pace, smooth flow, and a plot full of unexpected twists, The Safekeeper is a captivating read. Lakhani does a great job of world-building and reveals the secrets of that world in successive bouts to keep readers engaged. I loved Macy’s character; she is sassy, humorous, brave, and responsible. She gracefully rises to the challenge of being a safekeeper for her retreat and takes the hurdles in her stride. I would recommend this book to readers who love a strong female protagonist. Also, this is a perfect choice for those who enjoy YA stories with supernatural twists. There are indications of a sequel, and I am looking forward to reading it.

Tiffany Ferrell

Macy lives up in the mountains of Las Aves, where she and her parents run retreats at their home. Their business is called The Greenmont Grith Retreat Center. The retreats that happen there, though, are anything but normal. This particular retreat is unlike any that has occurred in the years that Macy’s parents began hosting beings from other worlds. Starting with missing her school bus home, she meets the new boy named Nick, who seems nice but knows stuff about her parents' work that he shouldn’t. What actually happens up in the mountains is top secret. When Macy catches Nick wandering around on her parents' property, she begins to grow suspicious of him. Not only does he say things that no one else besides her parents and fellow retreat leader Claud know, but he also seems to be up to something. Is Nick a spy, or is he just a boy going after a girl he likes? Are they in danger of being revealed? Also, the two odd people on the retreat during everything going on are unsettling as well. Something doesn’t seem right and Macy is determined to get to the bottom of it, finding out some surprises along the way.

I really enjoyed reading The Safekeeper by Esther Archer Lakhani. I found it really entertaining and attention gripping. Esther Archer Lakhani has done a brilliant job of bringing this unique story to life. I thought the plot was original and unlike anything I’ve read before. This is my first time reading about aliens switching bodies with humans in order to enjoy a retreat on earth and what it feels like to be a human for those three days. It’s a very interesting and fun idea that is not your typical sci-fi thriller. The plot was straightforward and to the point which grabs readers' attention and keeps them on their toes. The characters were very likable and relatable. I found Macy in particular a very well-thought-out muse that you can’t help but sympathize with. She doesn’t seem to have much of a life. I felt that she was torn between school and doing normal teenage things like going to football games and dances, and her family and the many otherworldly beings that they cater to at the retreat. Nick was also a unique character that shook things up. While reading, your opinion of him changes as you try to figure out if he was a spy sent from somewhere or just a new boy who happened to like Macy. I definitely would recommend The Safekeeper to friends, and cannot wait to read more of Esther Archer Lakhani‘s other works.

Susan Sewell

A teenage girl finds there is more to her family's home and business than she had been aware, and the impact of its secrets changes the course of her life in the fascinating young adult novel, The Safekeeper by Esther Archer Lakhani. Macy's parents operate a Retreat Center for preternatural beings from their home, and due to the nature of their enterprise, keep the purpose of the Center secret from the public. When Nick, a new student at school, follows Macy home and spies on them during a ceremony, abrupt and unexpected change commences. Because of the secrecy of the Retreat, Macy has to determine whether Nick is human or an unauthorized presence from the off-world. In the interim, she and Nick bond during an attack by an off-world assassin at the Retreat and subsequently become allies. The result of the skirmish gives Macy a stronger connection to the sentience of her ancestral home and the powerful energies it triggers. The responsibility of protecting the patrons of the Retreat Center from an off-world threat has fallen upon Macy's shoulders. Can her newfound abilities ensure their safety? Or will the sanctity of the Retreat come to an end?

The Safekeeper by Esther Archer Lakhani is an exciting young adult adventure featuring beings from another realm challenging a teenage girl. The Safekeeper is composed of an intricate plot, a complex setting, and fascinating characters knitted together to form an intriguing storyline. Not only does it contain elements of a dystopian society hovering just below the surface of the plotline, but it also has a touch of fantasy. The authoritarian concept of the Orbit Center Council and how they govern on and off the world, combined with magical beings and powers, creates a fascinating combination that captures the imagination. It is a thrilling story that will captivate readers between the ages of twelve to eighteen and everyone else who loves novels with powerful adolescent protagonists who flout authority while fighting to save their world.

Michele Ashman Bell

Fasten your seat belts… Author Esther Archer Lakhani has written a fun-filled, fast paced, fan-freaking-tastic story that is destined to become a YA favorite. The Safekeeper introduces Macy, who is anything but a typical teen. She has one foot in the “normal” world and one foot in a secret, alien, body-snatching, intergalactic world, and the combination makes Macy’s life a bit complicated. Lakhani has done a superb job of building a world(s) within, and without, planet earth. This book is well-crafted and each and every character plays a vital role in making the story rich and layered with thrills and excitment. Completely entertaining, it kept me on the edge of my seat and up late. I couldn’t put this story down. The author’s writing style is creative and clever, and she fills each page with vivid descriptions and with fascinating characters (including aliens) and places (here, there and everywhere) and keeps an engaging pace as the plot twists and turns on this wild and thrilling sci-fi adventure. I highly recommend this book for YA readers, young and old.

Kristi Torkildson

The Safekeeper is a fantastic adventure! I love entering new worlds, and Esther Lakhani has created a mysterious and intruiging concept. I read this book in about three days - I simply could not put it down.

The main character, a strong and vivacious teenager, is so lovable and relatable - she pulled me back to my teenage years of dealing with boys and parents and responsibilities. I hope there is a sequel!