Review: The Soulkeepers by G.P. Ching

The Soulkeepers by G.P. Ching brought tears to my eyes. Though it’s not a tragedy, this YA novel pulls the reader along with teenage Jacob Lau as he struggles to come to terms with his life after the loss of his mother. In the small Mid-western town of Paris, Jacob lives with the Laudners – a family he never knew existed until after the car accident that robbed him of his mother. His father had died long before, so his only remaining kin took him into their home. But not all is as it seems. Why had Jacob’s parents never mentioned Uncle John? Why did his father change his last name? What really happened during the car accident?

Determined to find his mother, faced with bigotry and persecution from the townsfolk and even within his own family, Jacob finds a single friend in Malini – another outsider. Soon, however, mysterious forces call to Jacob, and he must answer the biggest mystery of all. What power lies within himself, and can he trust an enigmatic stranger to teach him to harness it?

This book works on so many levels. There’s romance, mystery, adventure, and a fair amount of violence. There’s also a spiritual battle, not only between creatures of another realm but a battle within Jacob himself. How can he reconcile his atheism with what he learns about himself and his place in the world?

I really enjoyed this book. Although categorized as Young Adult fiction, The Soulkeepers would appeal to almost all age groups, with the exception of the very young. There are high stakes and violence, but nothing gratuitous, though I personally think the book’s battle scene is the best I’ve ever read. The main plot points are resolved, yet there is clearly room for another book. The story brought up deeper themes than I wouldn’t have expected and that I’ll be thinking about for a long time to come.

I read the book on my Simple Touch NOOK ereader device. There were no noticable errors, the text and formatting were well done, and the Table of Contents worked perfectly. The cover of the book was interesting and fit the text.

The Soulkeepers by G.P. Ching can be purchased in ebook form through Smashwords or directly from a Nook device. The book is also available as a paperback through the Barnes and Noble online bookstore.

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Catherine Russell also writes book reviews for The Functional Nerds website.

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