'Writing for me is not about speeling, grammar or punctuation – that’s why we have editors.... No, writing for me is the ability to capture a story and put it in words.' - Fantasy Muse

Monday, 15 July 2013

Soul Meaning

The next book in my blog is Soul Meaning (Seventeen) by A.D. Starrling.

Front Cover




Synopsis


‘My name is Lucas Soul.
Today, I died again.
This is my fifteenth death in the last four hundred and fifty years.’

The Crovirs and the Bastians. Two races of immortals who have lived side by side with humans for millennia and been engaged in a bloody war since the very dawn of their existence. With the capacity to survive up to sixteen deaths, it was not until the late fourteenth century that they reached an uneasy truce, following a deadly plague that wiped out more than half of their numbers and made the majority of survivors infertile. 
Soul is an outcast of both immortal societies. Born of a Bastian mother and a Crovir father, a half breed whose very existence is abhorred by the two races, he spends the first three hundred and fifty years of his life being chased and killed by the Hunters.

One fall night in Boston, the Hunt starts again, resulting in Soul’s fifteenth death and triggering a chain of events that sends him on the run with Reid Hasley, a former US Marine and his human business partner of ten years. When a lead takes them to Washington DC and a biotechnology company with affiliations to the Crovirs, they cross the Atlantic to Europe, on the trail of a French scientist whose research seems intrinsically linked to the reason why the Hunters are after Soul again.

From Paris to Prague, their search for answers will lead them deep into the immortal societies and bring them face to face with someone from Soul’s past. Shocking secrets are uncovered and fresh allies come to the fore as they attempt to put a stop to a new and terrifying threat to both immortals and humans. 

Time is running out for Soul. Can he get to the truth before his seventeenth death, protect the ones he loves and prevent another immortal war?

My Opinion


From reading the first couple of sentences in the blurb I was immediately hooked. The author was very clever in how she wrote the synopsis and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if most people who’ve just read the blurb come away with clicking the ‘Buy-Now’ button.

The start of the book was fantastic, with plenty of action to keep me flying through the pages, and Lucas Soul is a character that I wanted to read more about after the first paragraph. The book is about these special type of humans that have sixteen lives - like a cat with 9 - and once they hit their seventeenth death they die permanently. So, in theory as long as they don't hit that magic number they can live as long as they want. Now, these immortals can be divided into two groups, the Crovirs and the Bastians (think Romeo and Juliet) and of course any mixing between the two is completely shunned. 

The whole concept of immortals and sixteen lives was fascinating and new. Doing a quick scan through my memories, I don’t think I’ve ever come across a book with a similar storyline.

The start of the book was high octane stuff and I was hoping it stayed that way throughout but like a sparkler it eventually fizzled out. After a promising start the story became muddy and unclear. I wasn't sure what was happening in terms of the storyline and the new characters that were being introduced. 

I was also becoming increasingly frustrated with the cat and mouse chase that seemed to go on forever. I don’t want to spoil the book but I will say this - the main guy Lucas travels halfway around the world looking for two people, and every time he get's near them they would escape. This pattern is repeated quite a few times. About 20% of the book (I may be exaggerating) is devoted to one big cat and mouse chase. Maybe the author intended for the reader to be in suspense but all I felt was frustration and annoyance. Perhaps it’s just me and one of my pet peeves. 

There is an element of romance in the book, and if you look past one major or minor issue depending on your outlook it was done well (I’m not going to say what it is in case you do decide to read the book).

The book did pick up towards the end. So much so that I’m tempted to give the sequel a go - which is great when you compare that to earlier when I was about to delete the book off my kindle. 

Some other thoughts on the book:

*Car chases got a bit repetitive. The first was fun to read but after the third one it got a bit tedious.

*The sidekick to Lucas was Reid, a former marine and cop. Personally I felt the character was a bit blunt and wooden....unless that is what the author wanted (I seem to be saying that quite a few times now, maybe I've read the book all wrong).

*The author has a wonderful talent when it comes to describing characters and setting the scenes. 

Conclusion


A book of three parts: The beginning = brilliant, middle = frustrating, end = done well. As I said before, I’m tempted to give the next book a shot but not until I get that stage where I’m desperate for a book.

From looking at the other reviews on Amazon, I can see a lot of favourable opinions on the book. I’m certain that while I wasn’t totally enthralled by the book, most will be (so I guess you should probably ignore everything I just wrote *Sigh* onto the next book).

Out of 10 stars:


6 stars - At the start of the book it was an 8, then it plummeted to a 5 but then it rose like a phoenix - ok maybe not like a phoenix - to a solid 6.

***

Buy it here


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