Like many books I read, The Soulkeeper by G.P. Ching made it into my Amazon shopping cart based on the recommendation of a friend. While she read it, she posted updates about how intriguing it was on Facebook.
“Best book ever” is the gist of the comment that sent me over to Amazon. The fact that the book was free didn’t hinder my decision either.
Jacob’s mother has disappeared and he’s sent to a backward town in the Midwest to live with an uncle he never knew existed. From there, family secrets are slowly revealed.
All Jacob wants to do is find his mother and return to Hawaii. No one in town likes him. Even his aunt and cousin resent him and there’s something strange about his uncle’s fixation on having him there.
The creepy neighbor across the street tries to convince him he’s a player of significance in the spiritual battle around them. He thinks she’s crazy. Until water responds to his needs and helps him fend off a bully.
Jacob doesn’t buy into the spiritual aspect. Soon he finds himself captured in an undeniably foreign realm by non-human Watchers. It’s believe or die.
From the beginning, the author pulled me in to the story. When the first line is “Death lived up to Jacob’s expectations,” you must read on.
If it weren’t for Malini, Jacob’s girlfriend, I wouldn’t have enjoyed the story as much as I did. Even though I understood Jacob’s frustration, he didn’t act in a consistent manner.
When he has his first outburst and smashes his cousin’s doll collection, I was ready to send him to anger management classes. His uncle’s mild response completely blew me away. Right back into reality and out of the story.
I also felt that his Helper didn’t try hard enough to convince him of his importance and prepare him for what she knew what coming. Later, we learn she has more at stake in their pairing than Jacob, but she washed her hands of him after one mistake on his part. Uh – I don’t think so.
Even though I liked the allegorical aspect of the good versus evil in the story, I’m not crazy about demons. The author did an excellent job crafting them, making them sufficiently creepy with a guise of beauty.
In the scene where two powerful demons were defeated, I lost my way. Jacob had another death experience and was pulled back somehow. Afterwards, he had unexplainable powers. Again, my suspended disbelief drop-kicked me out of the story.
I felt there was too much unexplained in this book – even as part of a series. It left me discontent rather than ready for more.
If you like paranormal mysteries, read this book. It has all the ingredients of an excellent story. Even though I had trouble swallowing all of it, I was never disappointed.
The problem is clear from the first and resolved by the end. Tension takes center stage from the first line. Increasing doses of conflict get stirred in at all the right moments.
I gave it five stars on Goodreads because I was vested from page one. It didn’t meet all my expectations and it fell short in making me love Jacob. I still enjoyed reading the book.
It is the first story in a series. I may or may not read the others. My queue is full of other books I found for the very awesome price of free, and this book didn’t compel me to snatch up the rest of the series.