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Quick Review: Soulkeeper
The premise of a world where magic suddenly returns, along with creatures that were remembered only as myths and legends, going all the way to demigods, is interesting enough. Somewhat as a fable, the book also makes some good points about humanity’s place in the world, albeit mostly in passing, and it depicts villains with understandable motives, some of whom may even turn out to not be actual villains. And it also mostly avoids what I call human filth, those behaviors typically only being mentioned as reminders that they exist and need to be fought against, and the main characters do so, this probably also being the explanation for how easily the situation is accepted by Devin, as well as a few other notable characters in similar positions. In addition, there are thrilling fights and some moments that have an emotional impact, the graveyard scene that comes before what probably should have been the finale standing out, along with the next few chapters.
The last chapter and the epilogue are rather weak, however, and the rest of the book, before that part that stands out, seems to lack the depth and the impact such a story and such momentous events should have. The pace is too leisurely, too much is glossed over, too many ideas seem to have just been briefly entertained and then discarded, and the immaturity of some of the secondary characters seems to sometimes bleed into the writing, at least Tommy’s moments often leaving the impression of comic relief inappropriately forced into the story. Also, on top of a typical dose of hero’s luck, the main characters are literally spared from death several times over, those who could and should have killed them simply deciding not to even if it makes little sense. On the other hand, while it does help explain their motives, directly presenting the point of view of deities just seems wrong. And, while I guess it’s a minor problem otherwise, I can’t help but point out that there’s one corpse too many in the first fight.