Title: The Soulkeepers (book One)
Author: G.P. Ching
Publisher: Carpe Luna Publishing
Reviewer: Larry / John
Release Date: March 21, 2011
Genre(s): Mysteries & Thrillers / Myths & Legends
Page Count: 312 pages
Heat Level: N/A
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Blurb: Sometimes the end is just the beginning.
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. 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.
Review: This story of a thirteen year old boy, shrouded in mystery, had me hooked from the first page. The story is told from young Jacob’s point of view.
He’s in the hospital after a car accident that he doesn’t remember. Hears voices that he cannot fully decipher. Has horrible nightmares of the accident as if he were an observer, not the victim. And finds his mother, who not only raised him since his father’s death, but is also his best friend – is missing.
When the lives of most young teens are filled with school, mates, and fun, Jacob finds himself the lone survivor of a mysterious car accident, with way too many unanswered questions. Added to the mystery is John Laudner, who claims to be Jacob’s uncle. He further claims to be Charles’ (Jacob’s deceased father) brother. Different last names, and never mentioned in Jacob’s life – John is now saying Jacob will leave his only home in Hawaii and move, with him, to Paris, Illinois.
People in Paris, Illinois don’t like newcomers and do everything in their power to make them know it. From his first day in Paris, Jacob feels like an outsider. His Aunt Carolyn shuns him and Katrina, his cousin, outright refuses to acknowledge his existence.
He has a waking dream his first day in Paris, in which a mysterious ghost like figure floats to his bedroom window. Her words “Jacob, there is much to learn. Don’t worry, I will teach you. I am coming for you” add to his fears.
Exiled to the outsider’s table at school lunch, Jacob meets Malini. The two develop a kindred friendship which becomes a warm and caring relationship. Their friendship is the only thing keeping both Jacob and Malini sane in a town where both are shunned and dismissed as unwanted rubbish.
After his frustrations burst and his temper rages, Jacob meets his neighbor. She promises to help find his mother, but at what cost? Who is this mysterious woman? Why would she help him? What powers does she seem to have over everyone in the town of Paris, Illinois?
Thus begins Jacob’s journey into the unknown. It was his journey and the mysteries of his life that kept me turning pages.
Add to Jacob’s journey are other revelations of the people in Paris. Why are they so private? What are they hiding? What is their purpose keeping strangers out of their small reclusive town? Why is Jacob, himself, shunned by so many people – people he never met? Why does his Aunt Carolyn and cousin Katrina refuse to accept him as their family, when his father was John’s brother? What happened between them?
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