Soul Stealer by Kimberley Troutte

Samhain Publishing

Paranormal Romance

ISBN: 978-1-60504-473-6

Reviewed by Chris

   

 

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.

     

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