Novels are a leisure swim, novellas are good cannon balls. As with cannonballs, you have a fifty-fifty chance of doing a great sink or be doomed to into a belly flop. “Soul Stealer” was a somewhat mixture of a dive that corkscrewed into a potential flop then ended in some thoughtful bobbing. That is a really confusing and long-winded way of saying that I had mixed feelings about this novella.
“Soul Stealer” is part three of the Anomaly Trilogy. Of which I haven’t read the other two. So even though this novella could be read as a stand alone, there is a bit of shuffling in the dark trying to figure out what is going on. The review and background I gleaned is based on just reading “Soul Stealer”
In the trilogy, there are people born with a mutated gene that grants them extraordinary powers( mm hmmm….sounds familiar right?). There are three powers that Hackett focuses on is pretty self-explanatory from the nifty titles she gave each power: time thief , mind raider, and soul stealer. All of which are very awesome powers. I for one would love to have become a time thief. I will be time lordess!
“Soul Stealer” begins on an island where anomalies are rescued and rehabilitated.
On a tangent, I feel that all these islands in stories that villains, superheroes, or dinosaurs can all be consolidated into a new continent. I wonder if a superhero island was ever next to a super villain island. Do they row boats to each other and have epic fights? With slow motion explosions and capes flapping in the wind?
On this island (Haven), we have Cate, a recently rescued soul stealer who is being treated by the scientists on the facility. Amidst the scientists, Dr. Gage Walker has kept a special eye on Cate. Why? Maybe because of her background? She’s beautiful? Not too sure. Only that he likes her and watched her case.
Cates’ power is the ability to drain the soul of a person until they die by mere touch (Rogue..cough). She had been a kindergarten teacher prior to being kidnapped by Leven, a man who used torture and pain to manifest her power to kill people. Chock full of mental trauma and a steely unwillingness to touch people, Cate struggles to find her sanity. Luckily for her, Gage is more than willing to help her through the process. As their love begins to grow on uncertain grounds, Cate’s safety is broken by repeated attempts from Leven to abduct her. Leven’s reasons to abduct her become clear as he is not only a threat to Cate but to the whole world.
The Third Book in a Trilogy
Good premise. Absolutely dived into reading this when I obtained the copy. Until I started to fumble through the first chapter. Partly it was my fault, I was so eager to read it that I completely forgot that it was a trilogy. So I kept questioning what the hell was a Soul Stealer. What was Haven? Who were the previous couples? What was this huge rescue? Why is Gage so into her? It really felt like walking into the punch line of a great joke and pretending to laugh.
Once I got myself sorted out, I had to contend with how fast everything developed. Time is already sped up in romances ( or else most stories would be whole books of batting eyes and grazing fingers) but reading this novella felt like I was getting a power point presentation. They meet. She has issues. He likes her. She thinks he’s hot when he concentrates. Bad thing happen. Sex happens. Really bad thing happens. Conclusion. It was all happening so fast, that I didn’t get a real good feel for not only the romance between Gage and Cate but also who the heck they were. My images of them kept flip-flopping from what was being described. First I imagined Cate as damaged and stand off-ish. Then she was fine. Then she was headstrong. Then she was back to shy? So instead of trying to keep track, I just kept an image of X-23. Claws and all.
Now, the sex scene…wow. That sex scene was HOT. Hackett wrote a really great scene. There was a great sense of where they were in relation to the rest of the island. I won’t write much about it since I don’t want to ruin it. Only that it gives great mental fodder for voyeurism fantasies. I was actually pretty surprised there weren’t many steamy scenes in the lab.That would have been too predictable I guess. Darn.
Hoping For More Than a Trilogy
I finished the novella really quickly. Even with my mental hiccups, I enjoyed the story so much that I was disappointed that I finished it. All in all,I wished it was longer. I loved the idea of the anomalies. (The nod towards the X-men was pretty cute). I wanted to know more about the characters. I want to feel their struggles in overcoming their pasts to come together. I want that satisfying sigh knowing that love can beat all odds.
I didn’t get the sense that it was a trilogy either. It didn’t really feel concluded, more like a contented pause before all hell breaks loose. From the way it ended, I was left with so many questions. Are the anomalies safe? Are there other anomalies? Will other villains come to wreak havoc?
I glanced at the synopsis for the previous two. I’m definitely will be reading up on those. I’m thinking that by the time I go through those two, I will have a deeper connection to a world with anomalies. So here’s to hoping for more than trilogy. Fingers crossed.
Genre: Genetic Mutation Romance
Primary Book Format: e-book
Blush Quotient: Pink flash