Every once and awhile, I find an author that I can pick up his or her books (or open my e-reader as the case may be) and read them until the pages fall apart—literally and figuratively. It’s fortunate that the Soulkeepers Series by G.P. Ching is in digital format, or I would have burned through several copies of the series already. The latest book, “Return to Eden,” left me with a lot to think about.
In the third novel, Dr. Abigail Silva has waited countless years for redemption and a chance at a relationship with Gideon, the angel she loves. But, with Lucifer’s plan coming to fruition, Abigail must decide whether to trust that God will keep his promise to her and Gideon, or whether to deal with the devil to find her happily ever after.
Throughout the series, there has been subtle elements of faith—a taboo in most mainstream writing. In the first two books, those elements were passing and developed as the characters came into their own. However, in “Return to Eden,” the elements of faith are profound, but in no way out of place in a series centered on “soldiers for God.”
The difference is that the story in “Return to Eden” develops based on tough decisions that Abigail must make for the Soulkeepers, for Gideon and for herself. Everyone at some point in their life has struggled with a choice; the difference for Abigail is she has to decide whether to do the right thing (trust in God’s plan) or take an easier road (deal with the devil)—each with its own amount of personal sacrifice.
Even removing the faith-based elements from the discussion, “Return to Eden” really reaches to the heart of humanity. Every choice, every action, every decision has a reward or consequence. They don’t always have to be heaven or hell like what Abigail faces, but at its heart, the story is about doing the right thing even when it scares you, even when the personal cost is high.
Will Ching likely receive criticism for touching such a taboo topic as religion in writing? Probably. However, I feel sad for those who dismiss the book for that reason. She took a risk, and I definitely feel rewarded having “Return to Eden” in my library.
Take a chance. I couldn’t put the book down.