Keeper Chance and the Conundrum of Chaos

Keeper Chance and the Conundrum of Chaos
Age Range
Release Date
October 08, 2024
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If you’ve ever lost a sock in the dryer, it might have been the work of the Evil Villains International League, EVIL. And if your feet smell so bad, they keep you from making friends, good news! You might be invited to join.

After growing up in the care of his nagging grandmother and coasting through school with a mediocre GPA, Keeper Chance gets invited to try out for a spot in his local chapter of EVIL. Keeper’s not sure his unremarkable life makes him villain material, but things get more remarkable, and fast, when Keeper and another new recruit, Toby, face the chapter’s first test—and disasters begin to snowball.

As cookies and members of EVIL go missing, a mysterious girl named Y who doesn’t miss anything joins Keeper and Toby’s efforts. Despite the urgency of his mission, Keeper still can’t shake the question of why he was chosen for the league when he’s nothing special.

As Keeper races against the clock to save his new friends, nothing is easy, and nothing is ever as it seems. Can he uncover his true nature in time to ensure the survival of villainy—or does his true destiny follow a different path?

Editor review

1 review
The grey line between good and evil
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
What worked:
The most interesting part of the book is watching Keeper join a criminal organization called E.V.I.L. even though he’s not really an evil person. It turns out Chaos has been monitoring his development since birth due to Keeper’s family heritage. Keeper lives with his grandmother and she cannot be described as a sweet, old lady. She verbally abuses him so Keeper feels some justification for hiding a stinky fish carcass under the mat inside her car. He’s an inventive boy with a kind heart and it’s surprising when he’s drawn to the thieves in Chapter 626 of E.V.I.L. Well, he likes everyone there except Tsunami.
Each villain has a special talent although they may not be what readers expect. Keeper’s fellow recruit named Toby has super sensitive smelling and hearing but one of the villain’s talents is talking people into selling their products at lower prices. Keeper is unaware of his own specialty but Chaos thinks it’s worth the effort to keep an eye on him. Could luck or finding things be Keeper’s special talent or might it be something he can actually control? Could it be the Force like in Star Wars? A young girl named Y is also watching Keeper and she’s the dissatisfied daughter of a sensei. Her father happens to be the nemesis of E.V.I.L. so Y’s actions and interest in Keeper add intrigue to the plot.
Readers may find themselves questioning the identity of the protagonists and antagonists. The members of E.V.I.L. will not be what readers expect when they hear Chaos talk about their rules and missions. The first rule is that members will not harm people or animals. The villains become very upset and angry when Cookie Maven stops making their favorite treats. On the other hand, the sensei uses questionable tactics as he tries to convince Keeper to join his dojo. Y doesn’t think it’s in Keeper’s best interests to do that and she thinks he’ll be better off with E.V.I.L. This will make readers wonder, who are the good guys and who are the bad?
What didn’t work as well:
The story could easily work with younger characters so it’s unclear why high school students are used in a middle-grade novel. The kids are around sixteen years old which unnecessarily makes them different from younger readers. It’s not like they behave more maturely and there’s no violence or sexuality that might be inappropriate. It’s not wrong to have sixteen-year-old main characters but it doesn’t work as well as it might.
The final verdict:
This humorous adventure will amuse young readers as they follow Keeper’s journey to find his place in the world. The colorful characters and unusual plot create hilarious situations that will challenge what readers are used to. I recommend you give this book a shot!
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