Deceived (Soul Keeper #1)
by L.A. Starkey5 out of 5
They say a soul is the immaterial essence, the animating principle, the actuating cause of an individual life.
But what if you had to share yours with the one person you hated the most?
The soul mate principle states that for every one soul there is another that will recognize its match, hence creating the perfect union.
But what if you had two soul mates, which would you choose?
What if your choices had eternal ramification?
Deceived, the debut novel in the Soul Keeper Series, is a modern day love story about the implications of having more than one soul mate, and having to choose between the two of them. The decisions of the gods has left the next generation, their heirs, torn between fate and reality, and the balance of the future hangs in anticipation of what's to come.
Sam is a relatively normal teenager at highschool, she is well-practised at keeping people at a distance and getting on with life. But the fates have something bigger planned.
Ok, I'm not quite sure what just happened...
I've been looking forward to getting time to read this book for a while, the synopsis was interesting, and the book is on my #IndieBooksBeSeen reading list.
Ok, how to explain. Deceived is made up of every YA cliche.
Love triangle - check.
Ordinary girl - check.
Every guy fawning over our heroine - check.
Mean girls - check.
Ordinary girl finds out she's special - check.
BUT I loved it.
Starkey has written something that revels in the above list, almost tongue-in-cheek at points. The characters all have depth, and I found myself laughing at some of the interactions (and Sam's awesome internal monologue). Then a moment later you're tearing up over one issue or another.
I couldn't believe it when the 500 pages flew by. I still can't quite get my head around how Starkey made this very sizeable book and part one of her Soul Keeper Series so absorbing and entertaining; especially when you consider that the main characters don't even meet until the end. This only follows their separate paths as the threads of their lives are brought together.
Sam is our heroine. She hates being called Samantha, because it reminds her too much of the foster system she was brought up in. Luckily, she has been adopted by a nice family, and she lives close enough to her best friend Julie. Julie is the only person that Sam allows in. Everyone else has to be kept at arm's length, because it's safer not to get attached.
Sam is not one of your helpless, self-effacing heroines. She is beautiful, and she doesn't spend the whole time pretending she's not (which is so very annoying in all those stories where all the guys fall for a girl who is pretty but doesn't know/accept it), she doesn't rub it in either, Sam basically ignores it and gets on with her day.
She is also a basketball player - a good one. Sam has no delusions about her ability, she trains hard and she wants to win.
There is also an internal monologue that I mentioned earlier. I wasn't sure about it to start with, I wasn't sure whether it was entirely necessary and, let's be honest, I'm still scarred from the 50 Shades of Grey "inner goddess" crap. But it was actually really entertaining once you got used to it. I suppose I could call it a dialogue, as it was like an whole extra character inside Sam's head.
The other characters in her normal high school life were all good. Best friend Julie plays a very important role, and plays it well.
I really liked Julie's brother, Brent, and I hope he gets his say in the rest of the series.
Marcus and Nick are immortal brothers descended from the Greek gods. They have been sent to earth to await a prophecy. They have no idea what the prophecy will involve, only that it has been the will of the gods.
They do know that in dreams, they are both drawn to Sam, as they have been over the centuries in the many reincarnations of her soul.
I didn't really connect with Marcus and Nick, but this book is really Sam's story, with them making up the background. I did feel sorry for their plight, that the two brothers' relationship was fractured years ago, and only made worse by the fact that they are both in love with Sam. They felt interchangeable, as they spent most their time chatting glumly with their uncles.
So an easy 5-star read, and I am looking forward to the next in the series!