Book review: Deceived (Soul Keeper #1 ) by L.A. Starkey

Deceived by L.A. Starkey
Series: Soul Keeper
Publisher: Patchwork Press (2014)
Pages: 505


I don’t know why, but I’ve been really attracted to YA fantasy books lately. Maybe it is that I just need some easy reads after a day in uni, or that I’m fed up with the end-less character lists that seem to be popular in ‘adult’ fantasy. Anyway, young adult fantasy has to maintain the balance between keeping the story simple, yet believable. Since the success of Harry Potter (though not technically YA in my opinion), the Hunger Games and Twilight, the number of books published in this genre has skyrocketed. This has led to an excess of books with very similar and unoriginal plots. After Akarnae by Lynette Noni, I almost gave up on the YA that was still on my to-read shelf.

But what a surprise L.A. Starkey gave me with Deceived!  She tells the story of Samantha (Sam), who is being raised by foster parents. Because of all the hardships she has experienced in her early life, she is very closed. Her only real friend is Julie, with whom she spent time in the orphanage she used to be in. Life seems to be good for her, until Sam starts to have vivid dreams and black-outs during the day. Who are these Marcus and Nick she keeps dreaming about? What do they want? And what does all this have to do with the Greek mythology essay she has to write for world literature class?
Starkey manages to weave Greek mythology in a contemporary fantasy story in a way that not many authors can. And I can be short, I loved Samantha! Finally a protagonist that is not perfect! She whines and makes mistakes. Her flaws make me forgive Starkey to make every handsome boy fall in love with her. I absolutely adored Sam’s inner conversations. Though she might actually have some split-personality problem, the thoughts she exchanges with herself are hilarious!

The story line is amazing and kept me wanting to continue reading through the nights. Even though we’re being kept in the dark till at least halfway through the book, my attention did not fade at all. This could be due to the different story lines that are not completely chronological. So when something happens or is mentioned in one story line you know that it is coming in the other story line as well. And I don’t mean this as critique. On the contrary, I thought this added to the tension and excitement of the story line.

The writing style is excellent. After a few though reads, I really needed this! Though in the beginning I had to get used to the use of words (at least for me as a non-native speaker), the author clearly demonstrates her intelligence here, which reflects in the quality of Deceived.

I did see some slight inconsistencies, nothing too bad, just some points the author could (and should) work on in her future work. One was that the immortal godlike status of our Greek guys leads to them not having to breathe but they still sleep every night. While it is mentioned somewhere that even immortals have to look after their body, in order to keep feeling good, breathing is quite essential to that I would say. Furthermore, Marcus and Nick are still seen as being kids (also by their family) even though they are like 400 years old. I would imagine 400 year old people to be super wise, even if they are descendants of the great Greek gods (whoa, alliteration madness!).

Just one last funny remark, L.A. Starkey sounds like J.K. Rowling! No kidding, but great book, I’m looking forward to the next ones in the trilogy!

Final rating: ★★★★☆

***I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.***


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