Do people and places really have souls? Could we all have lived before and been reincarnated? What if it is true and our soul mates were out there re...more Do people and places really have souls? Could we all have lived before and been reincarnated? What if it is true and our soul mates were out there really searching for us? Not only does Leigh Bridger make this theory sound interesting, but possible as well in her urban fantasy Soul Catcher.
Livie (short for Olivia) Van Belane is plagued by dreams of demons and uses her only cure, learned in childhood, to get rid of them. She draws the demon then burns the drawling. Sounds easy enough, right? Well, one demon was too smart to be so easily burned away and escaped Livie’s drawling to enter the world.
Turns out this demon, nicknamed Pig Face, has been hunting Livie’s soul and killing her mortal body for the last two hundred years. Thankfully for Livie’s sake, she is not alone in her battle against the demon. Her soul mate, a soul hunter named Ian wants to help (if only she will let him) and she has several other souls who have been her friends & family throughout the centuries. The location pogs (souls) also provide Livie help on her quest to figure out why this particular demon wants her dead again.
Soul Catcher is creative and full of reincarnation theory that allows Leigh Bridger to place the hand full of characters in different time periods, which she does through visions and dreams the main character has. There is a Harry Potter-like feeling to some of the creature descriptions but the profanity that is appropriately used ensures that readers will not think the man characters are running around in Potterville. The concept of a soul hunter (Ian) and a soul catcher (Livie) is interesting even though I feel that soul banisher might have been a more appropriate title. The struggle that Livie must go through personally to come to grips with the unseen (by most) world she now finds herself in and to learn how to reclaim her soul catcher abilities keeps the story moving forward. The book is fast paced and full of action that will keep you reading. If modern-time fantasy is your thing, then you will definitely want to pick up Soul Catcher. (less)
Add a pinch of Native American Indian magic, a dash of Wiccan Earth magic, a splash of paganism, a heaping of classic fantasy style magic and a side o...moreAdd a pinch of Native American Indian magic, a dash of Wiccan Earth magic, a splash of paganism, a heaping of classic fantasy style magic and a side of warlocks. Place it all in the US late 1870’s and you have the perfect recipe for M.K. Hobson’s new book, The Native Star.
Hobson places her story the historical US states, California and New York, giving accurate descriptions, details, and references for the late 1800’s. She adds her fantastic tale of magic, in its various forms, both historical and fictional, intertwined with the early American struggles of the times. References to the Civil War, President Grant, and traveling the railroad are familiar and don’t come off like a history lesson but instead immerse the reader in the struggles of the times and make the magic seem all the more real and possible.
Meet Emily Edwards, a witch who practices Earth magic by making salves, elixirs, hexes and charms in the California town of Lost Pines. Emily lives with her recently blinded, adoptive father (and his 20 or so cats!) up on Moody Ridge and learned all she knows from him. Emily and her father are struggling financially as the mail catalog company Baugh’s Paten Magicks takes more and more of their local magical business. In desperation, Emily performs bad magic by casting a love spell on the local well-to-do lumberman Dag Hansen. She hopes that he will marry her and alleviate the financial burden of her father’s care. At the dance following Dag’s barn raising, Emily’s spell is in full effect. As part of the entertainment, a once Sufi holy man named Besim performs a Cassandra (a type of predication) and in his trance accuses Emily of performing bad magic and warns of the Corpse Switch failing that will unleash the zombie miners from the Old China mine into Lost Pine. Since Emily knows Besim is right by casting her love spell, she also knows that he must be right about the Switch.
Also in Lost Pine is Dreadnought Stanton, a Warlock tenured there by the Marabilis Institute of Credomancy with the mission to enlighten the backwoods magic users. Hearing the Cassandra and recognizing the effects of Emily’s spell on Dag, Mr. Stanton follows Emily as she investigates the Corpse Switch up at the old mine. As the events unfold, the zombie mine workers are running amuck and in escaping the mine, Emily falls with the result of a clear blue crystal becoming embedded into her hand. The story unfolds as the crystal’s magic absorbing properties are revealed and Emily must travel with Mr. Stanton to the Institute to have it removed so she can resume casting spells and undo the love spell she cast on Dag. As the pair set off on this mission, more information is gleaned about the crystal and they encounter several factions who wish to acquire it or control Emily to get it.
Hobson portrays Emily and Dreadnought at odds about magic theory and constantly butting heads. Emily is down to earth and Dreadnought comes off as stuck up, snooty and above those around him. One would think this would make him the bad guy in the story but Hobson provides readers with plenty of enemy factions that make not only the characters learn to like and respect each other, but also the readers to root for success in their mission to have the stone removed from her hand. She provides several twists in the story so what may seem a predictable outcome, is not.
Readers who enjoy historical fiction or fantasy magic books will feel right at home with this book. Hobson has done her homework, both in the area of US history and in the various spiritual and magical beliefs of modern and historical times. Her creativity shines as she combines this homework with the fantasy magic of her imagination. The Native Star is a stand alone novel but ends with the impression that we could see more of Emily and Dreadnought in the future. Readers, who are looking for a break from the standard fantasy of Dwaves, Elves, and Gnomes, should check out The Native Star and they will be pleasantly surprised at this creative addition to the fantasy genera. (less)
**spoiler alert** What can I say except this was an amazing story! If you don't wish you were a vamp after reading this, then you will never read anyt...more**spoiler alert** What can I say except this was an amazing story! If you don't wish you were a vamp after reading this, then you will never read anything that will make you feel that way. And what you learn about BDSM might make you want to give that a try too! There wasn't a single character in the book that doesn't grip you and make you feel for them. This is how characters should be written!
I couldn't put this down and finished it in about 16 hrs. Thanks Alek for another awesome story that will be going on my re-read list :)(less)
The characters are well developed and once you adjust to David Abraham's writing style, the book begins to flow. Each chapter is about and from a diff...moreThe characters are well developed and once you adjust to David Abraham's writing style, the book begins to flow. Each chapter is about and from a different character's viewpoint and some of the character's do overlap in each others chapters. However, there are some characters who have yet to overlap and essentially know nothing about one another... yet. The book has the feel of laying the ground work for the novels to come. This is not a bad thing but it really left me feeling like the story was choppy. I am sure if I read the series all at once, it would be a more pleasureful way to experience the books. As it stands after book one, by the time the next books is released/read, I may have to re-read The Dragon's Path just to refresh my memory of who is who and what their connections are to each other, if they even have one.
Like many epic fantasy first novels, this one gives you the foundation for what is to come and I am sure the books that follow will make this read seem better then I currently feel it was. The plot of the book did not grip me as much as the characters did but maybe the subsequent novels will as I am left wanted to know "what happens next" to the characters.(less)