So for me to finish a book in a week or so is usual for me. What is unheard of is for me to finish a 300+ page book in 24 hours. That’s how much of a page turner and nail biter The Soultakers is (i’m ashamed to say that my parenting today mainly consisted of cartoons so I could sneak in extra chapters).
The story starts back in Zentao, about 2 weeks after the closing events and revelations from The Treemakers. Joy still retains the secret behind their “paradise” allowing the children their freedoms to play and learn. Their contentment however, is short lived with attacks first on the electrics, which shatters the illusion of their new home and then the water supply is sabotaged forcing them to flee Zentao, the children one way and the elders through a second route. Before the evacuation starts Joy is handed vague information about "The Seekers Keys" with instruction not to share the information with Smudge and to keep the knowledge safe. What then follows has to be one of the most frightening and adrenaline fuelled story line sections I have ever read, hold on tight for this one, it pulls no punches and will get you ugly crying for sure. During the escape Joy unexpectedly comes into possession of part of the Seekers Keys, an item which is to bring unimaginable suffering at the hands of Lord Daumier, who along with his Clergy (known as the Soultakers) will stop at nothing to secure possession of all 3 parts.
It then very much becomes a story of 2 parts and I have to say I am finding it so hard to put into words the feelings this story brought out in me, during the second part the characters spend much of their time in fear and confusion, mind games and lies upon lies left them and me questioning which reality I believed and hoped in. Rays of hope shine through Joys distorted world however, and slowly the fog clears and her mission remains resolute. Personal sacrifices must be made both willingly and unwillingly to protect the children and allow her to fulfil her promise of keeping them safe.
As with the Treemakers, this is a real page turner, I literally couldn’t put it down. I would again say it’s for more mature YA readers as there are strong themes and vivid portrayals of violence. The story is intricately woven, with lots of standout moments and shocking and surprising twists which I have tried to avoid spoiling - there is so much more I would love to say about this book! The fact that one of the latter characters shares my son’s name gives it a sixth star for good taste ;) I cannot commend this series highly enough and I’m glad that book 3, The Seekers Keys, is released tomorrow, I have to know how this story ends!!