Matt Callaghan is not particularly fulfilled. He’s a bank teller on the verge of 30, living in a worn down mobile home. None of this was what he had in mind for his life. He’s utterly…average. Matt carries a stone in his pocket every day. He found it when he was a youngster when he and his friends were camping by the river and has kept it with him ever since.
Obviously, the stone is special. It calms him and keeps him centered, even though he doesn’t exactly know why. Matt has no idea the stone carries the soul of an ancient being named Andilun, the last of his kind. All others in his tribe were hunted down and killed by an evil enemy. As Andilun’s physical body dies, his soul is pulled into the stone to survive until he can return and get revenge on those who destroyed his tribe and loved ones.
A series of events leads to Andilun’s ability to free himself from the stone. He and Matthew now must confront the evil force that’s out to destroy the stone…and Andilun along with it. Can he and Matthew, with the help of some other powerful beings, stop that force before it takes not only Andilun’s soul, but Matthew’s and all the others as well?
Ok. So…I’m going to start this review by saying I wanted to try something a little outside my comfort zone, and I thought The Jasper Stone sounded interesting. I’m not usually one for a fantasy type story, and when it comes to paranormal, I tend to stick to shifters and the occasional demon. At the beginning, this one had some potential, but it began to lose me soon after.
I have no real issue with the MCs. Matthew was, as I mentioned, unfulfilled, but he isn’t a loser. He’s had a rough life after a tragic event in his past. I completely understand his attachment to the stone. He refers to it as a touchstone. I, myself, have one I wear as a pendant. I never take it off, and I find myself holding and stroking it, especially if I’m under stress or feeling anxious.
I can’t say I connected to Andilun. I mean…ancient being and all. However, I can understand him. Revenge is a powerful thing…powerful enough to last for centuries. Also, because he’s been with Matthew through the stone for years, the feelings he’s developed for him are realistic. It seems I waited forever for Andilun to be able to become full bodied. I’m pleased with how the author made it happen the first time. It’s unique, and I can honestly say I’ve never seen anything like it.
However, once Andilun becomes full bodied, the story begins to come apart for me. First, I’ll tell you Matthew and Andilun have a lot of sex. I’m not one to have issues with sex scenes, but I feel it’s a bit over the top. Next, everything becomes a little busy. There’s a lot going on involving gods, goddesses, gods of gods, and of course the evil. I feel I was lost and re-read some parts to get back into the swing of things. I feel, suddenly, the story stopped being about Matthew and Andilun and more about the gods and the mistakes they made, thus causing issues for humanity. Attempts at a bit of humor fell flat to me as it seems out of place.
Most of The Jasper Soul was told from Matthew’s POV, but there are some chapters that begin with a third person. I assume they’re intended to let us in on what’s going on with Andilun. This is a little confusing, and actually, clunky. The rapid changes are distracting. I think I understand this style choice, but I personally, I’d have preferred dual POVs rather than this.
I don’t want to give too much of the plot away, but there is a scene I truly believe needs to be mentioned simply because it may be a trigger for some. I’ll give you a brief summary. Matthew meets a handsome man and eventually decides he’d like to have sex with him. However,
it turns out that Avery is an agent of the ancient evil trying to get the stone away from Matthew so they can destroy Andilun, continually asking “where is it?”
and the sex becomes what I consider to be non con. Matthew orgasms, and is ready for it to be over, but Avery wraps his hands around Matthew’s throat, squeezing, and pumping into him even when Matthew tries to escape by prying Avery’s hands from his throat. This continues until Avery gets off, and Matthew is able to get away. This disturbs me, and I’m sure I’m not alone.
The ending is very involved, and I don’t consider it to be very tidy. Of course, this is fantasy, so I won’t call it a stretch. It’s an HEA, and I am happy with how it turned out. It just takes a long and complicated path to get to it. Although The Jasper Soul misses its mark with me, I’m cautiously recommending it to fans of fantasy, the paranormal, and mythology.