The Soulkeepers, by G. P. Ching

When fifteen-year-old Jacob Lau is pulled from the crumpled remains of his mother’s car, no one can explain why he was driving or why the police can’t find his mother’s body. A beautiful and mysterious neighbor offers to use her unique abilities to help him find his mom. But in exchange she requires Jacob to train as a Soulkeeper, a protector of human souls. He agrees to her demands, desperate for any clue to the mystery of his mother’s disappearance. But soon Jacob finds himself trapped in a web of half-truths, and questions her motives for helping him.  (From Amazon)

I finished reading The Soulkeepers, by G. P. Ching, while on vacation. Honestly, I had downloaded this eBook some time ago based on its cover and because it was free. Having an eBook out, myself, which I often promote with free giveaways, I’m well aware that many people download free eBooks and then never read them. (Sigh…) Anyway, for some reason I finally opened up The Soulkeepers and gave it a go. I was hooked from the first sentence.

Death lived up to Jacob’s expectations.

I was further hooked after only the first three chapters. G. P. Ching knows how to keep her readers turning pages. What probably surprised me the most, however, was that I continued to read The Soulkeepers. I say this because, once you’re well into the book, Ching begins introducing religious elements. And while the story is engaging, to me it felt a bit preachy at times. That said…my youthful inspiration to become a writer was C. S. Lewis and his novels about Narnia. Ching, like C. S. Lewis, offers a tolerant view of religion that I whole-heartedly agree with. Maybe my problem with her message is that I’ve heard it before. For a tween or teen it could be enlightening, even inspiring.

The Chronicles of Narnia

The Chronicles of Narnia

One theme I truly appreciated in The Soulkeepers revolved around this question:

Do you think a person is only as good as the worst thing they’ve ever done?

What a great question and Ching does an awesome job of making the reader think about it by exploring it in her novel. She also clearly understands teens. Their angst and their feelings of powerlessness under adult rule are conveyed realistically and sometimes heartbreakingly so through her two main characters, Jacob and Malini.

I highly recommend this book for the tween and teen readers in your life who like sci-fi and fantasy. It’s even got a bit of romance. Better yet, it’s book one in a series. Check these out too:

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