Gemma's Reviews > Soulmate

Soulmate by Kate Kaynak
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Mar 24, 14

bookshelves: reviewed
Read in March, 2014

So I just finished 'Soulmate', the sixth (and apparently final) installment of the Ganzfield series, and I'm still feeling pretty emotionally raw.

I discovered this series a few years ago, and it quickly captured my heart. As I approached the end of teenagedom and my obsession with YA lessened, I still made sure to buy the latest Ganzfield novels as soon as they were released. I sighed alongside other fans as each release date for 'Soulmate' seemed to be pushed back, but I put it to the back of my mind with the knowledge that when it finally arrived it would be just as good as the previous installments.

There are so many things that I admire about this series, not least Kate Kaynak's determination to keep her readers on their toes. No one was safe from her killer pen, and prior to 'Soulmate' we had witnessed the deaths of many characters, both well-established and minor. It often chafes to read a series where characters repeatedly enter dangerous situations and come out virtually unscathed - the idea that anyone could die made these stories more exciting to read.
However, the finale still knocked me for six.

The plot itself was a little boring, for the first half of the book at least. Maddie, Trevor & the gang travel to Turkey to round up the remaining rogue Russian astrals, accompanied by General Dale and the US Navy. On their return they discover evil bitch Belinda has returned to Ganzfield with a vengeance, and this is where things start to get really ugly.

So much has happened to these characters since 'Minder' - from births and marriages, to deaths and torture, we have run the emotional gauntlet with them.
Maybe it was the knowledge that this was the last time I'd read about these characters, but the number of loose ends and the abruptness of the ending left me pretty shell-shocked.

The real battle arrives suddenly in the last 20% of 'Soulmate', and most of the deaths occur in one brutal scene very close to the end. By the end of the book, we have received little time to process these major losses, and many characters still remain unaccounted for.
The 'realism' of this series, not only where death is concerned but in the plausible scientific premise, meant that a scenario like this was likely. But as the author affirmed that this was the last ever installment, I guess I expected some more closure. After all the crap these guys have been through, I wanted to see how their futures would turn out, or at least how they dealt with the fallout of the devastation. During previous massacre/battles this had been done well, but in the final scenes we don't get a real chance to say goodbye to these characters, and that was what disappointed me the most.

Without being too spoilery (though I will expand on my reactions to the ending below), the lack of an epilogue meant that the fates of all the characters, including Maddie and Trevor, remain somewhat cloudy. While I never expected a cookie cutter ending, I would've found the ending abrupt even if another book was planned. The fact that we will never read about these guys again made the ending confusing and disappointing.



SPOILERS



So many characters' deaths shocked me in 'Soulmate', but I'm probably right in saying that those of Ann & Zack were the most emotional. I just didn't expect it, and Zack's suicide using Maddie shocked me even though I probably should've seen it coming - it was so wasteful and sudden.
There were so many things I would've loved to have seen explained in the end.
Williamson's death was so unexpected, and the lack of detail regarding his death saddened me, as he was such an important figure in the story.
The hints of romance between Drew and Katya, and even Dimitri and Hannah, were never expanded upon. While I know there was little chance of a romantic Harry Potter-esque ending where everyone is paired up, it felt as though these relationships were set up and never realised.
Belinda's sudden desire to rule Ganzfield seemed to come out of the blue - surely once the authorities learned a hostile Charm was in charge of the school they would've nuked the place? And after spending the first half of the book with General Dale and the military's super technology, their lack of participation in the team's raid made little sense. I know that they were being watched and had to seem normal, but surely a phone call could've been made? Even if they couldn't help physically due to the risk of being burned alive, surely they could've done something useful?
I would've loved to see how baby Sienna turned out, and whether Rachel found someone to love again after Sean.
And Maddie and Trevor, the heart of the story. Did they take charge of Ganzfield, and if so, how did they rebuild the place? Did they ever have kids and live happily ever after, or did something horrible happen to tear them apart just like with so many other characters?



END SPOILERS



The lack of resolution was refreshing in a sense - if that situation went down in real life nothing would be tied up neatly - but it's not real life and after investing so much in these stories I think it was only fair to expect some closure in the end.
There was a sense that the author was getting tired of the series, and maybe rushed a little to finish it off, but this left an ending that didn't do the books justice IMO.

Despite all that, I want to say thank you to Kate Kaynak for creating such an imaginative and original world. It was so great to read a series with believable, non-love-triangle, non-irritating instalove; an intelligent scientific premise; and a cast of well developed supporting characters. Although I was left with a feeling of things being left unfinished, I'm sure I will continue to re-read and enjoy Ganzfield for many years to come. For an indie series that wasn't widely promoted, the quality of the writing and story was excellent, and I can only hope that I find something equally addictive someday soon.
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Reading Progress

03/24/2014 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Stacy (new)

Stacy OMG this book is actually going to come out? We have been waiting for YEARS.


Gemma It's been up on Amazon for over a couple weeks now, so you should be able to order the book/ebook right away :)
I know I started to think it would never be released. Kate Kaynak explained that she has a new job as an editor so she couldn't find the time to finish it for a long while, and this is the final book so it probably would've taken longer anyway. Hopefully you'll like it more than I did, I'll still miss the series a lot though :(


Jess Oh thank god, it's not just me! I agree whole heartedly with what you said, and I hate to say it as I love this series, but seriously WTF!


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