ARC Review: Soultaker by Robert J. Duperre
*** I was given a free eBook copy of this book, through NetGalley, in exchange for my honest feedback ***
Soultaker, by Robert J. Duperre, at its very core is a good story, though some of the other elements of the book may make that hard to see.
Earth is a wasteland, and a holy order of knights is all that stands between what remains of civilization and the brigands and demons trying to bring it all down. When the oldest of these knights, Abe, isn’t trying to keep his brothers in line, he’s tirelessly attempting to decode the riddles that have guided the Knights Eternal for the past two centuries.
The visions Abe’s been having aren’t helping matters.
The latest riddle sends the Knights Eternal after a prophet and his band of Outriders. Or is it sending them to seek the Prophet’s aid? It’s a question Abe needs answered. With his sanity fleeing, more demons than ever rising from the Pit, and rumors circulating of an army of risen dead, failure for the knights might end the world this time once and for all.
What I didn’t like:
The story moves slow in the beginning. Really slow. It’s not only the speed of the story either, it kind of wanders a little. I’m lead from place to place never knowing if anything that I’m reading is ever going to have a place anytime down the road.
Some of the characters were hard to get used to. I’m looking at you, Meesh. He’s one of the knights, and therefore a main character, but he’s really annoying. He lays down a constant barrage of crude jokes, which I’m normally game for, but his just weren’t funny. And he called everyone ‘brah’ all the time. Yes, it was spelled that way. Every time. To be fair, I think he’s supposed to be annoying, but it gets so intense at certain points that it pulled me out of the story.
The writing felt a little clumsy. There were times when it was difficult to tell who was talking, or who was making one action or another. I also noticed some repetition where the prose to describe a past event, and then a character would describe the very same event, using very similar words.
I have no idea why it was called Soultaker. A small quibble, I know. Still, I feel like someone should be able to ask me, “Hey, why’s it called Soultaker?” and I’d say something like, “There’s this guy that takes souls. They call him the Soultaker.” But, no. Nothing obvious, anyway. I could make some guesses through vague interpretations, but when it comes to the title, seems like it should be spoon fed.
What I liked:
The story really together by the end. Despite the speed it moved in the beginning, by the end I found myself turning the pages a lot faster, and I was very satisfied with the conclusion.
The world. Post-apocalyptic is such a wide open concept. Since it’s never happened (that we know of) there’s no right or wrong. Soultaker uses an interesting mix of archaic, modern day, future-tech, and magic to create the world and characters of Soultaker. Everything is a mixture of the fantastic and the familiar.
The end of Soultaker was clear in saying that there would be a lot more to the story. And though I had a few issues with it, I feel invested in the world and the characters and I’d certainly read future sequels.