Book Review: The Soulkeepers by G. P. Ching

The Soulkeepers by G. P. Ching is a young adult novel which begins the urban fantasy Soulkeeper series. Jacob Lau only has his mother, and when he wakes up in a hospital, certain he is dead, he discovers that he might not even have her anymore. His father died years ago, and now his mother is missing, and very well could be dead. Jacob has more questions than answers as an uncle he did not know he had takes him to live with his family in a small town that does not seem to want him there. Small time life, and small minds, wear on Jacob as he makes one good friend and discovers he has some hidden talents. The mysterious woman across the street might have some answers, and might hold the key to discovering the truth about his mother's whereabouts, but even the answers he gains raise more questions. Could Dr. Abigail Silva be telling the truth with her tales of Soulkeepers and Watchers and will the events and knowledge change Jacob and the world forever.

The Soulkeepers is a fascinating take on growing up, and on the legends of fallen angels and faith. I always enjoy new takes on old ideas when the characters and storyline are well written, and offer something that really does make the reader stop and think. Jacob is a smart boy, even when swayed by normal teen urges, anger, and fears. The teens in his new high school, and the cousin he needs to share the house with, are absolutely believable. I swear I knew some of these kids when I was in school. The more mystical aspects of the story are equally well done, and them merge well, creating a seamless blend. Trust, faith, and being true to yourself are huge themes here, but never does the author preach to a specific religion or faith, which I found to fit well within the story and would make readers of all faiths comfortable reading the story.

I recommend The Soulkeepers to young adult and adult readers that like new takes on old ideas, urban fantasy, coming of age stories, or any combination of these genres. It was fresh and new, even as other authors try to write about angels, demons, and the various aspects of beings found in religion based stories. I was particularly impressed with a story that could have easily became preachy and lost readers of several beliefs, but instead spoke to anyone that believes in something, or nothing at all.
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