Author ~ Jake C. Wallace
Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press
Published ~ 22 June 2016
Genre ~ M/M Romance, Urban Fantasy
Nineteen-year-old college student Levi Reed has spent his life with hollow emotions and a darkness so deep that he’s convinced he’s losing his mind. He’d give anything to feel something, anything, real.
When a mysterious stranger appears, Levi is convinced the man is trying to kill him. When he’s near, Levi experiences head-crushing pain and something surprising—real emotions for the first time. Jeb Monroe is arrogant, self-assured, closed-off, and handsome, but he isn’t the harbinger of doom Levi assumed. Jeb’s mission: help Levi find his missing soul.
Levi is pulled into the secret world of Seers and Keepers, those born with the innate ability to manipulate souls and tasked with balancing the negative energy they can produce. Levi learns he possesses a rare gift, and he’s in danger. As Jeb and Levi grow closer, they discover a group of zealots who want to harness Levi’s power to cleanse the world of damaged souls. Everyone Levi cares for is threatened unless he agrees to become their tool of death. But agreeing could spell the destruction of humankind. With no one to trust and nothing as it appears, it’s up to Levi to save them all.
Soul Seekers begins with a primary cast of three. There is Levi Reed, a young college student who has problems experiencing emotions; even more so since he’s medicated to the gills. There is the protective older brother – Logan, who is simply adorable. Finally, we have Gia, Levi’s best friend – 4’11” of uncensored Italian. Lower in the pecking order are Noah, the older college guy (and hottie) who used to tease Levi, and, the dark stranger whose presence seems to allow Levi to feel – albeit rather painfully. The cast dynamics, though, change as the story develops, with additions and importance changing.
The story starts with Levi having a panic attack, which Logan helps him with. Fed up with feeling numb all the time, Levi stops his medication. Rather than going into a detailed description, check out the story blurb – it explains much.
Due to being emotionally stunted, Levi is unsure of himself, and second guesses many things. As a result, he tends to isolate himself from those around him.
For a portion of the first half of the book there is quite a bit of life bound trailblazing detail. In some books I’ve read, it’s superfluous to the bigger picture. Not so in this novel. Not one piece of information is wasted or unnecessary. It is also well written, descriptive, with a nice range of language, and not too many repeated phrases. Although, grasping shoulders seems to happen a lot in one section. Anyhow, it all serves the purpose of understanding the anguish Levi is going through and the life he’s had – which becomes part of a bigger plot, later.
Around the 25% marker, the nuts and bolts of the plot start to emerge. From then on, with each chapter, the tension and stakes get higher. As with families, many a strange thing can happen, and Levi’s family is no different. There be secrets kept by mama and papa, which opens doors to a world that may leave you thinking long after the story has finished.
From the start, Soul Seekers is interesting and entertaining enough, but it truly takes off when secrets are revealed. THEN, I couldn’t rip myself away from the pages and kept reading until the wee hours of the morning. I was taken into a world of souls, seekers, keepers, good and evil. The story was cleverly worked so that it kept me guessing who was good and bad. Sure, some things are pretty clear but the author kept me hanging. The imagery was superb too.
Yes there were a few phrases that made me cringe, and if you’ve read many of my reviews, you’ll know what they are, but I guess everyone has those. I can, however, forgive their use as the action of the story was ramped up to something utterly captivating.
As the story progresses, new characters are added, and others dug out of the woodwork. As I said earlier, nothing goes to waste. It was interesting to see who developed into what. Lives are put on the line, who will survive, will love conquer? At times, emotional tension in all its forms leaped off the page, affecting both heart and mind. The heat level is scorching, too. Levi is a boy who develops into a man. And damn – Jeb – had to fan myself more than once where he was concerned.
There is a battle that I liken to the one between Voldemort vs. Harry Potter. It’s a battle for power, good vs. evil – light show and all. I was taken to the brink, pulled back then taken there again. Who will win? You’ll have to read and find out – but it’s bloody good.