Soulwalkers by Cassidy Thomas
Book One in the Riven Chronicles
New Orleans is the city Kia calls home: a city of revelry, jazz, wonder, and magic. She grew up listening to stories of magic and mysticism, but they were just stories…or so she thought. After experiencing two visions of the future, Kia learns of the existence of Soulwalkers, and that she is one of them. With the help of her mentor Ian, she begins to learn what she is capable of, and the consequences of her newfound power. But even Ian cannot prepare her for what she will discover.
I really wanted to like this book, you guys! The cover is gorgeous and the synopsis promised everything I love from an urban fantasy/paranormal book. But, upon reading the story I was completely let down, which is a shame because there was so much potential. The whole idea that someone could walk another person’s soul and see their past, present, and future, with the touch of their hand is so intriguing. Add in the fact that Kia physically experiences what happens on those walks, and that there is a time limit on her life, really adds to the story and kept things exciting enough for me to continue reading when all I really wanted to do was the dreaded DNF due to the writing style, lack of setting, and unlikeable characters.
Guys, this story is supposed to be set in one of the most magical, fun, and craziest cities in the world, but you would never know it without the mention of the infamous Café Du Monde. Seriously, this book could have taken place anywhere in the world; just change out Café Du Monde for another famous landmark. This book lacks in ambiance which is just mind blowing to me, because New Orleans is bursting with it!
The writing in this book was so simple, and at times, jarring. The story is told mainly from Kia’s perspective with a few snippets from her mentor, Ian. I can understand the need to hear from him, but a header or something would have been nice to signal that we were switching gears for a bit. What I could not get behind was the added perspectives from three side characters about three quarters of the way through the book. At one point, I was reading along thinking it was Kia’s thoughts — but nope — it was her sister’s! Threw me through a loop! Another issue I had was the lack of information. There was a pretty significant part in the story where Kia learns all about her new ability and is put completely at ease by the lead Soulwalker himself — but we are not privy to that information. Instead, we’re cut away, stuck inside the mind of Ian, while he peruses a buffet of snacks.
The characters felt flat, and many, unlikeable. Kia and her sister, Kaitlyn, are completely interchangeable. We learn little-to-nothing about them that gives any kind of personality traits, besides being your basic white female — and in Kia’s case, a bit of a disrespectful brat. She continually refers to her mother by her name instead of “mom”. I hope that this is something that is addressed later in the series, but for now it just left a bad taste in my mouth. You know what else did? The supposed heartthrob and mentor, Ian. There was literally nothing to like about this guy. He has a shady past that ends up affecting Kia. He’s possessive and confusing. His hot and cold behavior leaves Kia constantly questioning what she did to make him upset. Not cool! Also, you can’t have a successful book without the potential clean-cut boy love interest resulting in a love triangle, or a young, petite female computer genius, right? Well, both can be found in this book, and just like the rest of them, they fell flat.
In conclusion, I believe this story had potential — but the writing style, lack of setting, missing information, and unlikeable characters left me disappointed.
Thank you to Little Big Books Publishing and Cassidy Thomas for sending me an advanced copy of Soulwalkers. The book releases December 3rd and is available now for preorder on Amazon.
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