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4.0 

Soulswift

By Megan Bannen
Soulswift by Megan Bannen digital book - Fable

Publisher Description

A dark, epic fantasy about a girl who must rethink everything she believes after she is betrayed and hunted by the religion that raised her—from Megan Bannen, author of The Bird and the Blade. Perfect for fans of The Winner’s Curse and The Girl of Fire and Thorns.

Gelya is a Vessel, a girl who channels the word of the One True God through song. Cloistered with the other Vessels of her faith, she believes—as all Ovinists do—that a saint imprisoned Elath the Great Demon centuries ago, saving humanity from earthly temptation.

When Gelya stumbles into a deadly cover-up by the Ovinists’ military, she reluctantly teams up with Tavik, an enemy soldier, to survive. Tavik believes that Elath is actually a mother goddess who must be set free, but while he succeeds in opening Her prison, he inadvertently turns Gelya into Elath’s unwilling human vessel.

Now the church that raised Gelya considers her a threat. In a race against the clock, she and Tavik must find a way to exorcise Elath’s presence from her body. But will this release stop the countdown to the end of the world, or will it be the cause of the earth’s destruction?

And as Tavik and Gelya grow closer, another question lingers between them: What will become of Gelya?

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30 Reviews

4.0
“Be warned! Not a happy ending! I cried so hard... It had a very interesting perspective on the nature of religion, though, so if you like thought-provoking theoretical discussions/ debates on religion this book might pique your interest (like it did me).”
“I am so pissed off right now. The premise of Soulswift is amazing. The concept is really cool. I love and am drawn to stories with Catholic themes even though I’m not Catholic because I love the symbolism and aesthetic. But this book was a hot mess on so many levels. First off, like I posted in an update, I got freaked out because the writing style reminded me of my own in a bad way. I tend to rush my work and it comes out being super jumpy especially with settings. I’m highly aware of it thanks to a college professor I had who wasted no time in calling me out in front of my entire class and know it’s something I tend to do, so I also tend to notice when others do it. And Soulswift did it. There are literally dozens of city and country names that are info dumped on us with no explanation in the first chapter. We’re also introduced to the entire religious system in the first chapter. And then things happen, Gelya turns out to be the Vessel of a goddess the religion she follows thinks is a demon, and Tavik, who knows the truth about the goddess not being a demon, drags her around the entire world to get her to safety. I have so many complaints so here they are in no particular order: 1- I knew like four chapters in that Gelya was going to die and turn into a Soulswift cause the concept of the nuns dying and turning into them was hammered home so much it was impossible to miss. 2- Tavik dies and gets brought back by Gelya three times before finally dying for real. The first time he did, I was surprised and a little shook, but by the time he died a second time, it was annoying and I didn’t care. Never mind his actual permanent death at the end. 3- The dialogue. Omg. I have secondhand embarrassment. It was so cringy. Nothing takes me out of a story, especially a fantasy story, more than cringy dialogue and modern word choices. This world does not have indoor plumbing. Their worst swear word is “holy Mother/Father.” And the characters, Tavik in particular, are going around saying “we’re so screwed” and “you’re literally an ass.” Gelya and Tavik talk like modern day teenagers when one of them is a nun and the other is an elite soldier and they both live in a fantasy world. I KNOW words are hard. I KNOW dialogue is hard. I’m AWARE it’s difficult to make a story immersive. But I cannot believe an editor didn’t tell the author “hey, does this word choice really match with the vibe?” 4- The traveling and convenience. All they do. Is. Walk. Constantly. The entire book except for the first few chapters is Gelya and Tavik walking. They stop in this town. They stay for a few days. They ask deep questions about each other’s faith. Oh no! The enemy has caught up! Gelya and Tavik run through the streets where they make a daring escape. They walk. They stop at another town. People are conveniently waiting to help them. They hide in someone’s house and ask deep questions about each other’s faith. Oh no!…over and over until the end where they both die for real. 5- Miscommunication as a plot device. Part of the mayhem for the entire book is that Gelya needs to translate for Tavik because he doesn’t speak the language. Problems ensue because her translation is too formal for him to understand. 6- The philosophical blathering. I get what the author was trying to go for. This could have been an amazing, powerful story about how God is faithful even if you don’t feel his presence, which is something I personally struggled with. But the discussion and pondering over this is so heavy handed that you lose the message entirely. Like I said above, all Tavik and Gelya do is ask each other questions about their faith over and over even as Gelya is LITERALLY DYING because the goddess is taking over her body for some reason that was never made clear. Believe it or not, there were some things I actually liked. This is the first book I’ve read in ages where teenage characters actually act and behave like teenagers. I also liked the aesthetic, as I mentioned above. And there was some substance to the story as far as Gelya grappling with her faith. Other than that, Soulswift was a mess. It would have greatly benefited from 1) being turned into.a series so the themes could be explored a bit more/the heavy handedness could be reduced, 2) having the world and characters developed more, and 3) being edited properly. This high key might be the most disappointing thing I’ve read this year so far.”

About Megan Bannen

Megan Bannen is a librarian and the author of The Bird and the Blade. In her spare time, she collects graduate degrees from Kansas colleges and universities. She lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, their two sons, and a few too many pets with literary names. She can be found online at www.meganbannen.com.

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