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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Review: Return to Eden (The Soulkeepers #3)

Be sure to stop by my post for the Return to Eden Blog Tour to watch a video of G.P. Ching answering one of my questions and to enter to win some fabulous prizes!

TITLE: Return to Eden                 SERIES: The Soulkeepers #3
AUTHOR: G.P. Ching                  PUB DATE: 3/12
SOURCE: from author in exchange for honest review

Dr. Abigail Silva has waited over 10,000 years for redemption and a chance at a real relationship with the angel she loves. But when you're made from evil itself, it's hard to remember if salvation is worth the wait. With Lucifer's plan coming to fruition, she must decide if God's offer of humanity is all it's cracked up to be, or if a deal with the devil is the more promising solution

THREE WORDS: Epic Final Showdown

MY REVIEW: I’m a huge fan of G.P. Ching’s The Soulkeepers Series (check out my review of The Soulkeepers and Weaving Destiny) and I’m glad to report that book three, Return to Eden definitely does not disappoint.

In Return to Eden we find Jacob, Malini, Gideon and Dr. Silva searching for fellow Soulkeepers as Lucifer hunts them down, while Mara is caught in the In Between with Death himself. As the newly found Soulkeepers train in Eden and Lucifer rallies his army, each character finds themselves facing their own personal struggles with doubt, insecurity, fear, duty and love. And in the end everyone must choose a side as an epic battle between good and evil, Heaven and Hell, Lucifer’s army and God’s warriors takes place.

Return to Eden is a thrilling and captivating closing chapter on what’s been a grand and exciting journey. I continue to be greatly impressed with Ching’s ability to weave an intricate and fascinating story that is both original and highly entertaining.

There is quite a bit going on in book three and several character storylines are focused on, but despite an abundance of story and character focus, the book paces nicely and never feels rushed and nothing feels glossed over. The story also takes place in several settings and Ching continues to create very vivid and intriguing worlds- Hell, Eden, the In Between.

Since book one, I’ve been simply fascinated with the ultimate Good vs Evil story that Ching has crafted, but Ching’s world in this series is anything but simple. Smartly and sharply written, the story of war between fallen angels and the Soulkeepers is a compelling and multifaceted one. Rich in actual facts and myths, the story Ching offers readers is as layered as it is entertaining. Although the series as a whole deals with religious themes and stories, I appreciate the fact that it’s never preachy or too in your face. I think religious people can enjoy the series for its religious symbolism, while non-religious readers (like me) can simply enjoy the series for what it is- an absorbing, well written and electrifying example of great storytelling.  

One of the things I love most about this series, and about Return to Eden especially, is how complex Ching’s characters are. Although there is an overall Good vs Evil theme throughout the series, not everything or everyone is simply “good” or “evil”, black or white. Dr. Abigail Silva is an incredibly complex and riveting character that is constantly straddling that thin line between redemption and being lost forever, and I’m so in awe of the way Ching has developed and characterized her.

One of my absolute favorite characters in Return to Eden is Lucifer! As weird as it sounds, I find Lucifer/Satan/The Devil to be one of the most fascinating characters throughout history and I’ve always been completely intrigued by him. I’m always impressed when an author can create an engaging, layered, witty Lucifer who is almsot likable in all his entertaining smugness, and Ching has done just that. So, kudos to Ms. Ching for an awesome Luci!

Romance. Love. Kissing. Return to Eden definitely has these things! Ching doesn’t skimp on the romance and the relationships between Jacob/Malini, Abigail/Gideon, and Mara/Henry(Death) are as enthralling and addicting as ever. My only complaint when it comes to the romance department is that the lovey-dovey dialogue is often a bit cheesy, especially during the Mara/Henry scenes. But this never distracted me from enjoying (and totally swooning over) the romance.

The story leads up to a breathtaking and surprising battle between the main characters and Lucifer and the Watchers. But the story doesn’t end there; there is a very satisfying epilogue and conclusion that I really loved…although, I’m super excited that there will be a book four because there are quite a few characters and stories that I don’t think are quite finished (i.e Dane and Ethan!!!).

MY FINAL THOUGHTS: Return to Eden, with its intriguing story; compelling characters and heart-racing action, is an exciting third book in what has turned out to be an epically awesome series!

My Rating
5/5 Cupcakes

Find the author: Website / Goodreads / Twitter / Facebook
G.P. Ching is the author of The Soulkeepers Series and a variety of short fiction. She specializes in cross-genre paranormal stories, loves old cemeteries, and enjoys a good ghost tour. She lives in central Illinois with her husband, two children, and one very demanding guinea pig. 

1 comment:

TheReadingPenguin said...

Never heard of this one, but it sounds intriguing! I'm curious as to what the author did to make you like Lucifer! Great review!