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A Soul Divided

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When the princess of the technologically advanced Human Empire is kidnapped by an agent of the Mystic religion, they're forced to turn to the last person they'd ever expected to ask for help: Drake Ashbell, a snarky pirate who has a problem with authority, and a dark secret. When he's pulled into the conflict, Drake finds himself caught up in a fast-paced adventure that will take him to distant worlds, make him face his tragic past, and test the limits of his soul.

282 pages, Paperback

First published November 3, 2014

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About the author

Daniel M. Quilter

5 books15 followers
Daniel M Quilter grew up in Orem, Utah right at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. He spent his time hiking, camping, rock climbing, and anything else outdoors. He currently lives in Utah with his wife, Lauryn. He attended Utah Valley University and spent two years in Portugal as a missionary for the LDS chruch. He published his first book, A Soul Divided, in 2014.

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5 stars
16 (55%)
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10 (34%)
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2 (6%)
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1 (3%)
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Displaying 1 - 23 of 23 reviews
Profile Image for Audrey.
999 reviews152 followers
December 29, 2019
Space pirates.

This indie story was just FUN. It’s fast-paced and clever and light-hearted most of the time.

The hero reminds me of these guys:

Maybe that’s cliched, but we still love them. He gets in and out of tight spots so often, I was impressed at the imagination needed to keep that up. It is almost too fast-paced; a couple more moments of some calm introspection would have made it just right.

It was enjoyable the whole time, and I sure hope the sequel is out somewhere. It just needs a copy editor really really really badly. Otherwise, this could be 5 stars.

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Profile Image for Lyra Shanti.
Author 16 books170 followers
February 29, 2016
I had a blast reading this really fun, creative, and action-packed book. The main character, Drake, is really likable, and he makes you root for him, even though he's already got luck on his side. Even the creepy "anti-luck" seems like he's got much more to him than we know.

The only problem with the book is the somewhat typical damsel in distress type female characters. Sure, they're snarky and sassy, but they can't fight or do much on their own, and they know it. I can only hope there is a stronger female character in the next book of the series. Despite the slight flaws, I really look forward to reading the next book! It was like reading a combo of Firefly and Star Wars. Totally enjoyable, and I highly recommend!
Profile Image for Bruce McLennan.
62 reviews2 followers
February 25, 2018
Last week I downloaded a science fiction novel called “A Soul Divided” from Amazon with the intention of writing a review. I’d done my research and looked at reviews on Goodreads and Amazon and hadn’t seen a rating below 4 stars. I’d also read the Amazon preview chapters and even though it wasn’t wonderful writing there was just enough interest as a concept to go that step further and hit the ‘buy’ button. I’ve read a lot of books that start off mundanely only to exceed all expectations. Unfortunately, “A Soul Divided” wasn’t one of those books.

Daniel M. Quilter’s style is upbeat with lots of witty dialogue to slow the story down. Did I just say slow the story down? The dialogue was a bit of a problem for me in that it dominated the book. In most novels, there is attention to such elements as plot, scene, characters, even how the characters feel about things. Not in this book, it is dialogue driven. Almost as if it was written as a script for a movie (god forbid). Oh, and the dialogue wasn’t that witty either, more of a high school banter that fails to work for the most part.

In reviewing this book, I think that it’s only fair that I review the reviews as well. After all, I purchased the book based on four and five-star reviews. I need to ask the question, are the reviewers in any way related, known to or affiliated with Daniel M Quilter? While I appreciate that everyone has an opinion I find some of the comments peculiar, prompting to ask, did they read the same book that I did? A few examples.

The characters' vibrant personalities add depth to this fast-paced science fiction adventure.

Characterisation was one dimensional, I think a comic book would have developed personalities far more completely. It certainly was fast paced. Too much so for any semblance of reality. Even given the existence of a ‘Tachyon drive’ which could shorten travel between planets to instantaneous transition I think it a bit farfetched that someone a couple of planets, or was it star systems away, talking on some super high tech telephone, could just say, “I’ll be there in ten minutes.”

I LOVED this great sci-fi fantasy story

Now, what is it? I’ve seen this trend evolving with authors who don’t know what to write. It needs to be either sci-fi or fantasy, not both, please. Yes, this author has started out with what appeared to be science fiction, as read in the Amazon preview chapters, then allowed the story to devolve into a free for all with the central characters possessing magical powers far in advance of technology. I know some will run out the old Arthur C. Clarke quote on technology and magic but at no point does the author attempt to rationalise the magic in any sort of logical science-based format.

Vhy' Rai is an extremely interesting magic system. It's three laws are complex and well thought out.

Perhaps the magic would have been interesting if the author had decided to explain it a bit more but like everything about this story it is just thrown in there as a series of discoveries used to solve a problem rather than adding to the overall enjoyment of the book. At this point, I realised that I'd been conned by a book that pretends to be a 4.5 star offering.

Some of the reviewers, to give them some credit, did offer criticisms. Unfortunately, they also gave the book 4 stars. This comment:

I'd give it a 3.5 star if allowed because there was no resolution. It ended open, in the middle of action, which I never appreciate. Also there was a tendency to express character through dialog and then repeat what was just expressed in the following paragraph with an inner monologue. It was maddening. I almost stopped reading multiple times.

I’m on a similar wavelength to this reviewer but I fully intended to give the book a very generous 3 stars the whole way through. But that ending did it for me, and one star had to come off.

Or this comment from someone who has obviously never read great writing:

Great story line, I am only giving this four stars because I would have loved to have had more back story and more detailed descriptions of the planets and the people, there we also some editing errors.

I find myself wondering how all the reviewers (28) would rate a truly great science fiction novel, one with a truly original plot, great characterisation, wonderful descriptions and no typos and errors. Unfortunately, or perhaps, fortunately, Amazon and Goodreads don’t allow scores of 10 out of 5 because that is what would have to happen if these reviewers actually attempted to read some of the classics.

Needless to say, I won’t be purchasing the next in this series.
Profile Image for K.J. Simmill.
Author 6 books133 followers
March 22, 2016
I am going to start off by saying I absolutely loved this book, and for me that is not a phrase I utter lightly, in fact over the course of all my reviews I have maybe uttered this phrase two or three times.

The plot focuses mainly on the plights of Drake as he is drawn into a situation only he is capable of handling. Of course, it doesn’t help matters that Drake is on the opposing side of the war, the Mystics versus the Human Empire. But desperate times call for desperate measures, and in order to save his legacy the king of the Human Empire must recruit his aid. Fortunately for the King, Drake’s own brother serves within his ranks. As the war rages on, and truths hidden from even some of the royals are unveiled, the situation becomes more desperate, the stakes higher, as Drake tries to deliver his end of the deal.

The characters in this book are fantastic, my favourite being Drake with his quick tongue and witty retorts. The focus spans across several characters who each have their own very unique identity and back story. You’ll find no cookie cutter characters here, you will however find complex relationships, agendas, betrayal, and vices. Not to mention a hidden secret or two. You can't help but like the characters, and they honestly left me grinning.

The plot is an immersive one, and I was reluctant to put it down. In the interest of full disclosure I was initially sent a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a review, however before I even got halfway through I had brought myself a copy. Such brilliant writing deserves no less.
I highly recommend this book to lovers of science fiction, fantasy, adventure, or anyone who simply enjoys a good plot with strong characters and an excellent narrative.

I am eagerly awaiting book two, how could I not with an ending like that?
Profile Image for J.C..
Author 41 books426 followers
February 18, 2021
Imagine Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean, put him in a sci-fi setting, and you have Drake, the main character from a Soul Divided. Hilariously snarky with a disdain for authority, he delivers some of the best lines I’ve ever read in speculative fiction, in a book full of witty banter among colorful characters with wonderful chemistry. I found myself laughing out loud at times as I followed Drake’s adventure to avoid his past and live in the moment.

If I judged a book solely on these factors, A Soul Divided would be an out of the park grand slam 5 stars. However, I found the world building interesting, but not mind-blowing. The underlying premise is an intergalactic war between future humans and a anthropomorphic race known as the Mystics. Drake belongs to a human-looking race who are exceptionally lucky, but were all but wiped out by the human empire’s secret weapon. That secret weapon has now turned on the humans, and it is up to Drake to defeat it.

Where A Soul Divided could use work is in the use of dialog tags and said-isms. I was mostly listening on audiobook, and the constant use of said-isms really slowed it down for me. Switching many of those said-isms to tags would have really made this fast-paced story shine.
Profile Image for Christy Nicholas.
Author 29 books293 followers
December 13, 2016
So many writers struggle (and fail) to bring true humor to their characters. It’s a struggle Mr. Quilter has overcome in his character, Drake. His interactions with Angela and Princess Olivia are realistic and interesting, set across the space operatic background of this world. The story itself is original, well-constructed, and worthy of some time to experience it. I like flawed heroes – they are much more believable than the Dudley Dooright sort. And snark and smart-a$$ery rules any day!

The paragraph formatting (no indentations) sometimes made it difficult for me to read, but that was a very minor point. There was a lot more conversation than exposition, which is a good thing. It exposes the characters without dumping a lot of external evaluations from the author.
Profile Image for Kent.
111 reviews
October 20, 2015
I read it on my Kindle app on my phone, and really enjoyed it a great deal! I definitely want to read the rest of the series as they come out (if they aren't available yet.), and if they are written by my good friend's son, as the name makes it appear, I'd even consider going against my stance against paying for anything on Kindle, just to support the good work!
Profile Image for S.K. Gregory.
Author 118 books198 followers
December 18, 2015
A battle between the Mystics and the Human Empire sees Drake fight for his life and deal with some terrible events from the past. An epic sci-fi yarn, with a great storyline. The characters were well developed and I could picture the places quite clearly. I would recommend this book to sci-fi fans. Really enjoyed it.
Profile Image for Aly.
1,824 reviews54 followers
January 8, 2016
If you are a Sci-fi junkie, you should check this book out. I love the world the author created and the characters seemed to jump off the pages. I think this is a good book. * I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*
September 4, 2018
One of the best science fiction books I have read! The action scenes are well written, bringing the readers along as they watch the charming characters trash talk each other in a highly humorous way.
Profile Image for Steve Conoboy.
Author 7 books25 followers
February 22, 2018
Sci-fantasy. That's what we've got here. I'm far from the biggest sci-fi fan, (I enjoy it on the screen but don't follow much of what goes on in books) but I do think that magic in space is a pretty novel idea, and can't imagine that there's been too many variations on this idea. Immediately, then, there's a freshness to the work, difficult to achieve in any flooded field.

Things get off to a pretty quick start. Olivia, Princess of the Human Empire, looking forward to an evening of staring the stars, finds herself watching as five soldiers are taken down by a single man, and we're only a couple of pages in. The action is taut and tightly written throughout the book, and it's the speed of events that really helps the book. The ideas are a tad cliche, but when done with gusto the whole story makes for a rollicking adventure that will keep those pages turning.

The characters aren't the usual cardboard cut-outs either. Olivia in the above scene finds the confrontation an 'interesting' diversion from the norm. The brothers Vahn and Drake offer up interesting contrasts. Vahn, sent on a quest to find his criminal half-sibling, is diligent, Drake is a Han Solo-esque rogue with a knack for a snappy line (he's the kind of guy who'll jump through a window if you don't let him use the door). Not long after we meet Drake we're into a chase scene. In fact, it's to the book's credit that we never sit still for long periods of exposition. In that sense, A Soul Divided is very reminiscent of original trilogy Star Wars or Indiana Jones.

My only niggle is that the cover doesn't do a particularly good job of representing the story, so I recommend any prospective readers look past it (and we all know the proverb about judging and book covers...). There's a review I've seen that complains about the paragraphing, but that's not a problem I had, unless it applies to the print version? Anyway, kindle edition is laid out correctly and easy to read. A couple of editing issues here and there, nothing overly bothersome though.

A Soul Divided, then is recommended if you're after a real blast of adventure set around a solid magic system that sticks to its rules.
Profile Image for Jason Crutchfield.
Author 7 books7 followers
November 13, 2017
Drake Ashbell is a swashbuckling space-pirate and the only person who can rescue the Human Empire's princess and stop the one responsible for kidnapping her! The author does a fantastic job of making Drake cunning and ruthless yet still honorable and likable. In general, the story's characters were one of its strongest points. From Drake's half-brother, Vahn, to Angela, the rescued slave, each character has a distinct voice and personality that really shows through in the writing. I found myself caring deeply for the characters, and I loved reading their interactions with one another. The Vhy'Rai is a very interesting magic system that integrated well with the story's tech.

There are some minor editing issues, but they're not so glaring or frequent that they take you out of the story. If you like science fantasy, action, and stories rife with danger and daring-do, then I recommend giving A Soul Divided a read! It's quite enjoyable!
Profile Image for Angelina Kalahari.
Author 8 books16 followers
December 6, 2017
I LOVED this great sci-fi fantasy story. Not only is it very well-written, but the twists and turns and laughs add to a cracking tale.

It's not easy to write such engaging characters, but this author has succeeded in bringing each character to life in a way that makes you feel you're there with them, experiencing what they're going through, and if you were to meet them in your everyday life you'd be hanging out and chatting like old friends.

The descriptions of the settings further add to this original and unexpected story, enhancing its charm. I can't wait to read the next novel in this series. Highly recommended!
Profile Image for Taylor Kole.
Author 6 books103 followers
February 21, 2018
Awesome Characters headline a fun world

The opening hooked me. There were original and interesting chatacters throughout. I'd give it a 3.5 star if allowed because it end open, which I never appreciate. Also there was a tendency to express character through dialog and then repeat what was just express in the following paragraph with an inner monologue. It was maddening. I almost stopped reading multiple times.
The fun Drake, loyal Al, and great antagonists kept me in the game. The action was cool and the originality of his magic impressed me enough to bump to 4 stars
Profile Image for David Hickenbotham.
138 reviews1 follower
October 2, 2017
Picked this book up at a writing conference with the premise that it was Star Wars meets Firefly. I can't argue with that assertion. It really was. The storytelling and dialog was uneven at times, but the pacing and characters made up for it. I flew through the book. And Quilter had me laughing out loud throughout the book. What more can you ask from a book, especially from an author's first book. I'm more than willing to read the next book as soon as I can get my hands on it.
Profile Image for H.A. LYNN.
120 reviews69 followers
February 13, 2017
Overall, I loved the action packed scenes, well-written characters, and Drake's wit. I highly recommend this one to sci-fi fantasy lovers. It has a little bit of everything which makes up a good adventure tale. Both the kindle book version and audio get a 5 star review from me!

You can see more of this review on my website, which is linked on my profile.
Profile Image for Nikki.
277 reviews5 followers
March 29, 2020
This book is written like one of those mindless male-orientated action movies with the male 'hero' who always has a witty line to throw out as the dead bodies pile up. If you like that kind of thing, you'll probably get some enjoyment from the story.
However, if you are annoyed by an entire cast of females being able to be replaced by a "sexy vase", I'd recommend a pass on this book.
Profile Image for Margena Adams Holmes.
Author 14 books13 followers
April 21, 2018
I really enjoyed this book. Drake is snarky, but caring. I had a hard time putting the book down to sleep at night! The story is a little different than most sci fi books, which I liked. I would definitely recommend this book to others!
Profile Image for Alex Breck.
Author 11 books8 followers
February 17, 2017
I haven't read a science fiction book too often in the last few years and so it was with a little trepidation that I started reading this as part of a huge batch of books I bought at Christmas to help fellow authors.
I needn't have worried.
This was a well-written and often acutely observed piece of writing with lots of surprises and twists. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and it totally beguiled me after only a few pages.
Thoroughly recommend this book and look forward to the next two Fire Trilogy books.
Profile Image for Elizabeth Noyes.
Author 9 books22 followers
November 15, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
A Soul Divided
Action, adventure, mystery, suspense, and a dash of romance all wrapped up in a dazzling sci-fi world.

The author did an artful job of painting this imaginary world which allowed the reader to become immersed in the sci-fi aspect without struggling to “see” it. The action sequences drew me in and held me, sometimes breathless, with lots of “I didn’t see that one coming” moments. The plot was unique, the hero unlikely, vulnerable, and flawed, but entirely likeable; and the bad guy - the seemingly soulless “Anti Luck” - kept my heart racing. Both of these characters were well developed over the entire book. The heroine could use a little more oomph, though; something to set her apart from the stereotypical and helpless damsel in distress.

This book was made available to me for free for review purposes. I thoroughly enjoyed A Soul Divided. It is a well written, character-driven, creative fantasy, and I am anxious for the release of the second book in this series.
Profile Image for Jack Anderson.
Author 5 books1 follower
April 19, 2016
The characters' vibrant personalities add depth to this fast-paced science fiction adventure. Drake is on a quest to rescue Princess Olivia and Angela from their kidnappers. The flirtatious and witty dialogue between Drake and Angela is humorous and entertaining. The characters are so well-developed that we feel as though we get to know them personally as the story unfolds.

Interplay between psychology and science fiction resonates in the scene when Angela journeys through Drake's memories and experiences his past through her own eyes. As Drake's memories play out on the equivalent of a movie screen, the people who know him begin to empathize with him. Though he has come across as arrogant, sarcastic and nonchalant, the machine's ability to bring his childhood experiences into full view help those around him to finally see the
person he really is. It is a poignant reminder that there is often more to a person than meets the eye.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
365 reviews11 followers
December 21, 2016
The author did an artful job of painting this imaginary world which allowed the reader to become immersed in the sci-fi aspect without struggling to “see” it. The action sequences drew me in and held me, sometimes breathless, with lots of “I didn’t see that one coming” moments. The plot was unique, the hero unlikely, vulnerable, and flawed, but entirely likeable; and the bad guy - the seemingly soulless “Anti Luck” - kept my heart racing. Both of these characters were well developed over the entire book. The heroine could use a little more oomph, though; something to set her apart from the stereotypical and helpless damsel in distress.
Profile Image for K.S. Agustin.
Author 1 book
March 28, 2016
One great science fiction with memorable characters. Settings are vividly described and dialogues are engaging and funny for the most part. Drake Ashbell, arrogant and sarcastic, seems an unlikely hero, but behind the smirk and smart comments is a sad and painful past. I enjoyed this book a lot and I recommend it to all science fiction enthusiasts.
Displaying 1 - 23 of 23 reviews

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