Thursday, January 19, 2012

Jakki's Review of Robin Helm's SoulFire

In the second volume of The Guardian Trilogy, Fitzwilliam Darcy, powerful Chief of all guardian angels, adjusts to life with a dual nature. An angel/human, Darcy seeks to win the love of his beautiful partner in SoulFire Ministries, Elizabeth Bennet, as they travel together across the country. While keeping his true identity hidden, Darcy joins archangels Michael and Gabriel in defending and protecting Elizabeth from the schemes and trickery of Gregory, the Dark Prince, and Lucifer, his father. The question remains, will Elizabeth find the strength within herself to forgive Darcy for his secrecy after she discovers that he was her guardian angel, or will Gregory be ultimately successful in separating this match made in heaven? (From the Publisher)



Balance is an important component in any novel. In SoulFire, Robin Helm creates a perfect combination of wit, romance, and scripture, fused together to gain and maintain the reader's attention. Throughout the book, the balance between humor and angst moves the plot along nicely. Helm weaves them together so cleverly; there is a natural ebb and flow to the storyline. The banter between Gabriel, Michael, and Darcy is witty, while providing the comic relief needed to offset the angst-filled parts. Also helping to offset the tension created by Gregory and his minions are the affectionate scenes between Darcy and Elizabeth. After Elizabeth tells Darcy she loves him, he quotes the Song of Solomon, creating a tender scene. However, Gregory, Lucifer, and their demons will stop at nothing to break up the couple and the SoulFire tour. After being tested time and again, will Darcy and Elizabeth's love be strong enough to overcome deceit and betrayal?

The clever way Helm alludes to events and popular quotes from Austen's text only serves to draw the reader in. As Darcy is not one to easily converse with those with whom he is not intimate, he remarks how it was easier for him, as Daniel's guardian angel, to close the mouths of lions than it is to strike up a conversation with Elizabeth. On the other side, there is the charming Gregory who tells Elizabeth that Darcy cannot be trusted as he has known him for years. These parallels continue throughout the novel, and it was fun trying to pick these out and see Helm's spin on them.

Another area where Helm shows expertise is by incorporating scripture into the text. If the reader is open, she can hear God speak through the pages. It is truly amazing how many names God has and how each one is specific to one of His attributes. Though there are scriptures in the text, the reader does not have to be a Christian in order to enjoy this Pride and Prejudice variation.

While I enjoyed the novel, there were times when Helm's exposition seemed superfluous. While Elizabeth is performing a piano concert in Toronto, Helm expounds for several paragraphs about the concert. It seemed unnecessary as I could not see its purpose to the story.

I have said before in my reviews that I love it when an author evokes an array of emotions from me. That holds true with SoulFire. From the joy felt by the lighthearted banter to the agony felt from characters being hurt both physically and emotionally, the reader's emotions are fully engaged.

At he end of the novel, Helm leaves the characters and readers with many questions. I am anxiously awaiting Helm's third and final book in the Guardian Trilogy, Legacy.

SoulFire is available from Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

18 comments:

  1. Darcy as a chief guardian angel...now that's one I haven't heard before! ;)

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  2. It's the first I've heard of it, too, Anna, though he has been an angel before. Once the idea occurred to me, all sorts of plot lines opened up.

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  3. Jakki, do you mind if I use this as an editorial review on Amazon?

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  4. Anna, I am really enjoying this Trilogy. While, there was lots of background info in the first book (setting up the storyline) it was still good. SoulFire, however, is even better! I am really excited for the third book! It reminds me of Pamela Aiden's trilogy, you enjoy it, and need to start the next book as soon as you finish the previous one! :)
    Robin, you are more than welcome to use it!

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  5. Thanks so much, Jakki!

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  6. Great review, Jakki! And what a complement, to have Robin Helm use your review for an editorial review on Amazon!! Wow! Congratulations! I'm going to start reading Guardian soon and I'm looking forward to it!

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    1. Candy, thanks! That is a huge complement! I hope you enjoy Guardian.

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  7. Thanks so much, Candy. I hope you enjoy it!

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  8. Great review Jakki. You hit upon many of the things I would've also said: the humor, the engaged emotions, and the fulfilment from the spiritual aspects; how well the scriptures fit into the story (and into everyday life) without being too in-your-face. I am so looking forward to Legacy.

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    1. Thank you, Monica. I have appreciated your support throughout the past eyar. I'm writing chapter 7 of Legacy now!

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    2. Thanks, Monica! I have enjoyed talking about this trilogy with you! I am still grinning and giddy when I think about what happens in chapter 7 of Legacy! :D
      I think the fact that the scriptures are not too in-your-face, like you say, is a great technique on Robin's part. Very well done.

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  9. Hello, Ladies. Thanks for stopping by. Jakki, thank you for writing the review, and Robin, congratulations, it seems as if you have written an excellent story.

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    1. Thank you, Mary, for allowing the review on your blog. And thank you again, Jakki!

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    2. And thank you ladies for allowing me this wonderful opportunity! :)

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  10. I had not heard of this series so I appreciate your favorable review. I love all things Austen and I love that there is the challenge of Angels and Demons to make it interesting. There are so many creative ways to tell the P&P story.

    Thanks for the review!

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    1. Thank you, Sophia Rose. I really enjoy writing the paranormal aspect of the story. After I finish Legacy, I plan to write a Regency/Modern story with a paranormal twist. The story will take place in both time periods simultaneously, and it is tentatively entitled Mr. Darcy's Wish.

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    2. Sophia Rose, that is one of my favorite things about P&P re-imaginings- there are so many different avenues and storylines an author can take, I don't think we will ever run out of possibilities. If so, there are always Austen's other novels! ;)
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Robin, your Regency/Modern sounds delightful! Can't wait for you to get that written! :)

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    3. I'm really excited about it, Jakki! I want to finish Legacy so that I can get started on it properly. I am not a person who can write two stories at the same time.

      Thank you for putting up your review on Amazon. That kicked SoulFire up to 18 on the 100 top rated list in that genre. Guardian is at 7.

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