Today I am reviewing Soulswift by Megan Bannen. No joke, this book is a perfect combination of Serpent & Dove and Wicked Saints in terms of some tropes and the overall vibes. Forced marriage between two enemies? Check. Religious differences impacting the fate of the world? Check. Creepy, disturbing monsters hunting main characters in the woods? Check again!
I received a copy for review from Edelweiss and Balzer + Bray in exchange for an honest review. This has not impacted my thoughts or feelings towards this book.
Soulswift by Megan Bannen
Publication Date: November 17th, 2020
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
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?
A dark, epic fantasy about a girl who must reevaluate 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.
One thing I loved about this book was that it gave me familiar vibes of Serpent & Dove X Wicked Saints. It covers tropes found in both books and while it gives the air of familiarity, it’s still wholly and uniquely it’s own story. The originality in this story was also mind boggling unique. Every chapter had me yearning to read more as we follow Gelya and Tavik on their journey.
I thought, since I had been in a reading slump the previous week, that this book would take me forever to read. It was a longer book with a lot of plot and world building elements and I wasn’t sure I was going to speed through it. I was completely wrong. I read almost 40% in one day and then the next day finished the rest of the book. I was so disappointed I had to put down the story halfway through because I needed to know what was going to happen next.
While the beginning is a little slow as we’re introduced to this new fantastical world, the plot quickly picks up and we’re thrown into total chaos. Tavik and Gelya’s relationship was one of my favorite parts of this story. Tavik, who is not only handsome but funny, kind, and smart – is my newest book boyfriend. While a bit rough at the beginning, we quickly find out that he is such a wonderful person and balances Gelya out perfectly. And Gelya? Well she’s a very devout Ovinist who realizes her whole world might have been a lie. It’s not easy to overcome that, but she somehow manages to keep her faith, accept that the world might be different than she thought it was, and deal with a goddess/demon in her body all at the same time. She goes through a lot!
There is so much that happens to our main characters that I will warn you, you’re not emotionally ready for this book. I wasn’t ready and it broke me. But, I loved the lessons in this story and certain scenes/moments that broke up the “end of the world” vibe and allowed me to smile or laugh. This entire book is a roller coaster ride!
And the ending? Cruel. I was not expecting that kind of ending and I was really upset that I had to deal with the emotional aftermath of it. In fact, the second I finished the book, I was already texting several friends that they need to pick it up and read it, just so we can all be on the same level of emotional distraughtness.
Besides the fact that the ending was not-very-nice, the entire book was so good. The plot was interesting and fun and engaging. The characters were fun to be around but also were continually learning about themselves and the world around them. We get a fake marriage between two enemies, betrayal, and earth shattering realizations. Everything about this book was perfect, even the heart wrenching ending.
Overall, I will not stop recommending this book to people I know and anyone who will listen. And I look forward to reading more of Megan’s books in the future! // 5 stars!
If this book sounds interesting, be sure to check out Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin and Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan. If you’ve read both of those, try Beyond the Ruby Veil by Mara Fitzgerald!
I have a Ko-fi account! If you like my content and want to help me fund my own domain or just wants to send me a gift, I’ve linked it here! Thanks to anyone who checks it out!