As the old saying goes, ďYou can pick your friends and you
can pick your nose, but you canít pick your friendís nose.Ē
WaitÖthatís not it. Try: ďYou can pick your friends but you
canít pick your family.Ē In Soul Stealer by Kimberley
Troutte, Saraís inherited a rare heart condition which has
claimed the lives of just about all her family members other
than herself. Determined not to worry about her inevitable
lack of longevity, she focuses on her lifeís goal, providing
a safe haven for the homeless. Just when sheís beaten City
Hall and claimed the old JC Penney building as a future
shelter, Death comes knocking in the form of a dark, sexy
man named Cain.
Um, yes, Cain as in Cain and Abel, Adam and Eveís
first born son. In case you donít know how the Biblical
story went after everyone was booted out of Eden, Cain
became a farmer, a man who grew crops and nourished growing
things. His much more carefree brother, Abel, preferred
livestock. Angered that God seemed to favor Abel over Cain,
he killed his brother. In Ms. Trouetteís rendition, itís an
accidental murder. In any case, Cain is now condemned to
lead Deathís minions.
Two weeks. Thatís all Sara figures she needs to get
the shelter ready. She begs Cain for more time and
ultimately barters sexual favors in exchange for the
two-week extension. Cain is intrigued and agrees to this
offer, thus setting off a chain reaction of demons and
creatures seeking Saraís unclaimed soul. St. Joseph, Eve,
St. Peter, Abel, and yes, even God, make cameo appearances
in this tale. Unfortunately for Cain, he hadnít counted on
falling madly in love with Sara.
For the General of Death, taking Saraís life at the end of
two weeks will prove to be problematic.
Other than having the absolute longest acknowledgment page
Iíve ever seen in a fiction book, Soul Stealer
does little to distinguish itself from other paranormal
stories out there. Donít get me wrong -- itís a good tale, a
quick read, something that wets your appetite, makes you
giggle in spots, and sigh in others. From a Christian
perspective, it probably walks the fine line between
creative license and blasphemousness, but itís certainly not
as over-the-top as Monty Pythonís The Life of Brian.
Would I recommend it to friends? Definitely. Would I read it
again? Eh, probably not. Sara comes across as a little too
Mary Sue-ish, unable to do anything wrong, totally and
blindly dedicated to her cause. Cain comes across as ϋber
brooding (though Iíd probably brood, too, if I murdered my
sibling). The plague of frogs caught my attention, but as
soon as St. Joseph was called down from heaven to help build
the homeless shelterís bunk beds, I started cringing.
Soul Stealer is well-written, well-paced, and put
together with care; itís just my grade school daily Mass
background that makes it a guilty pleasure to read rather
than a 100% enjoyable experience. Donít take my opinion as
Gospel. Read it for yourself.