Pledged (Soul Wars Saga #1)
by Gwynneth White
Everyone has a soul mate. But what do you do when your soul mate would rather give his soul to the demons than be with you?
Seventeen-year-old Erin has a problem. Seth has been hers forever, but now an ancient curse is tearing him away. And the demons who invoked it will stop at nothing – even murder – to claim him as their own.
How can she win against a curse so binding that it has damned countless others to this same fate – an eternity alone?
The answer lies in the past. To find it, Erin and Seth must risk all, travelling back in time to a dangerous world where love is forbidden, and life – and death – hang on a pledge.
Follow Erin and Seth as they travel to ancient Shenaya and confront the curse that has plagued their families for millennia. Caught in a war between the Angelic Guardians and the Gefallen, the disembodied dead, they must fight to keep their souls in tact and their love untainted.
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I received a copy of this book from the publisher for participation in a blog tour in exchange for an honest review.
This story begins with Seth and Erin meeting for the first time. Seth’s brother Kyle and Erin’s sister married. Seth and Erin meet up at an aiport and start traveling to the camp to meet up with their family. Along the way, they encounter a few problems and somehow find this weird diamond in the dirt. With that, they discover there is much more to their simple quest and encounter spirits and demons and a long legend. They also discover they are each other’s soul mates. They are transported back in time with the help of the Seer Stone diamond. They are told they must work together. They witness events and have to end a curse that has been around for thousands of years.
The story is incredibly descriptive and interesting, but it all happens really quickly. They begin witnessing events unfold and discover more about the curse that has been affecting their families for a long time. They have help from the Guardians, who told them both about the whole thing and frequently pop in and out. The Guardians also help the people in the past by giving them advice in their minds. Seth and Erin struggle to figure out how to break the curse while watching the people in front of them utterly fail to do so themselves. They both just met, barely know each other, yet are told they are soul mates and must work together. Seth has some conflicts regarding the whole thing and doesn’t know who or what he can trust. Through all this, powerful demons are influencing Seth and Erin and also the people in the past.
While I turned the pages of this novel fairly quickly and was engrossed in the story, I didn’t like that Seth and Erin are told at the beginning, after just meeting each other, that they are soul mates. Sometimes, insta-love works for me, but this was just weird and awkward to me. It was also glaringly obvious to me that the solution to the entire curse is choose your true love over anything else, which Seth struggles to do and the characters in the past also fail to do. Granted, there are believable complications that are present, making it harder for any of the characters to do it, but it’s so obvious to the reader. It makes it excruciating watching all of these characters continuously screw up. Of course, the conflict of not knowing who to trust and not wanting to engage in conflict and not really knowing what is right is one that I can definitely understand. I just wish that the reader wasn’t so sure that the Guardians are the good guys and that being strong enough to choose your true love is the answer. Instead of feeling like I’m engaged in the adventure, I felt like a bystander, separated from the story while knowing what the right thing is to do. It’s very difficult for books to be able to do this correctly and I wish that it was written so that the reader is more involved and knows less information.
Despite how interesting the concept was, I felt continually frustrated with Seth and Erin for watching the people of past make the same mistakes they make in the present in regards to believing the Guardians, asking for help, ignoring the temptations of the demons, and trusting love. It isn’t until close to the end that I felt the story really roping me in (in terms of feeling less like a bystander). The end was a giant cliffhanger, which irritated me at first, but I realized it was finally the reaction I was going for and I’m glad that it ended leaving me wanting more.
Overall, this is a very unique concept. It was incredibly descriptive. While I don’t necessarily agree with the way it was executed, it wasn’t executed badly. I wished it was different, but it was still good, if that makes sense. Not necessarily the way I wanted it to be, but enjoyable nonetheless. While it earned 3 stars from me because of my pickiness, I have no doubt it will rank higher for many other people. I will definitely check out the second book in the story and continue to be optimistic that it becomes less of something I’m watching and more of something I’m involved and invested in. From the teaser for book two at the end, I think it will definitely be worth my time.