Souls and reincarnation are subjects of much controversy and varying beliefs. In the Young Adult novel The Sixteen: Book Two of the Soul Jumpers by Ali B., we are taken into the world of those who truly believe in souls and transmutations.
When Iris Brave is introduced to a group of “soul jumpers” she is as skeptical as any young person would be. Having lost her father, she is even more upset to find that this group has knowledge that he is actually still alive, or at least his soul is. It is now bound to another body, and there are those who are willing to kill to keep the secrets of this possibility from coming to light.
The Council, the main group, is willing to do whatever it takes to keep the secret safe. Even family members are not to know. But there are 16 among the group who feel differently. Micah, Iris’s dad, is the first of the group to make contact, in the strong belief that family and friends have a need to know when a soul has continued on in another body. Because he is now the leader of the rebels, the Council has kidnapped him in an effort to reach Iris, the only outsider to know of these changes. Can she help to rescue her dad, and stay out of the clutches of the Council? Can she really believe the stories, and are the 16 all above reproach, or are there traitors in their midst as well?
Ali B. has given us a fun-filled work of fiction, with paranormal scope and mystery. The action and adventure are sure to please, and the characters are warm and inviting. Iris is a sweet character, full of bravado, and just a bit of nerve. She comes to love many of the 16, yet finds that there are a few who raise her hackles, as something about them rings false.
As you dig in and get involved in the story you begin trying to decipher the red herrings throughout: who is the traitor, is there one, and is soul jumping even possible? The age and abilities of each character are questionable, as the souls could be of any age, and may not resemble the body they are housed in. It is an amazing array of skill sets and personalities that make this a fun read.
You will find yourself enamored of the characters, whether you love them or hate them – you feel, and that is part of what reading is all about.
If you are looking for that one special read for your young adult, you will find this a good one if either you or your youngster enjoys fantasy and suspense. As part of a series it still reads well as a single, and yet if your or your child is like many who love to read you will find yourselves looking for the rest of the series.