Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Soul Survivor by Misty Evans

TITLE: Soul Survivor
AUTHOR: Misty Evans
LENGTH: Novel (roughly 52k)
GENRE: Paranormal romance
COST: $4.49

Keva Moon Water’s dead body is at the center of what looks like a ritualistic murder, the bodies of five dead women surrounding her. FBI agent Rife St. Cloud knows evil when he sees it, but when Keva comes back to life right before his eyes, he’s just glad to have a living witness to this awful crime. The hospital declares Keva a miracle, but she only cares about one thing – finding out why Rife doesn’t remember the brief life they shared together a thousand years ago…

While I’m not a big fan of soul mate stories, I am a fan of reincarnation ones, as well as Native American lore. I jumped all over this when I saw it, but unfortunately, its execution left it severely lacking.

It starts out all right, with Rife St. Cloud, an FBI agent on vacation, called in to look at a crime scene by his cop grandfather. The murder scene looks to be ritualistic, with six dead women, but as he’s looking at the woman at its center, she comes back to life. She is rushed to the hospital, where the doctors and nurses are amazed at her miraculous recovery. For his part, Rife is just glad that he has a witness he can interrogate now. Keva Moon Water is a bit of an enigma, and while he has a lot of questions regarding her past, his primary concern is who would want to kill her. What he doesn’t realize is that Keva is immortal, living the past thousand years as a result of trying to save her lover’s soul. She recognizes Rife as his reincarnation, but Rife has no idea about the truth, still disbelieving even after she tells him her story.

There’s the ongoing thread of Keva’s spurned fiancĂ© wanting to prove to her he’s worthy of her—the core of the murder plotline—but it takes forever to get to a point where that plays a strong part. With the exception of a brief scene or two, the first half is dedicated to Keva trying to show Rife the truth about his soul in clumsy, boring information dumps. It tries to break up the flow by jumping back in time with flashbacks, but those never felt like they gelled with the rest of the story. It’s all tell, tell, tell, and boring telling at that. I got so bogged down with all the backstory that is necessary to get even a fraction emotionally invested in the current events of the story that I didn’t even care about the people it was trying to sell me on. Rife felt generic and predictable, while Keva’s attitude got on my nerves. She tells their story to Rife in hopes that he’ll remember, but there’s no finesse to it. I couldn’t help but think that someone who’d lived a thousand years should’ve been better at that kind of thing by now.

The pace does pick up in the latter half, but that just meant it got me to the end faster, not that I actually enjoyed it. Of all the characters in the book, I actually thought the bad guy was the most interesting, even if he did do some truly horrific things. But that’s not nearly enough to make up for my other misgivings about the story. It could be that this author’s voice isn’t for me, which is a shame since I really liked the ideas behind the basic story. I probably won’t read another one to find out, though.


6/10 – Lots of clumsy information dumping in the first half makes this read a lot slower than it should


4/10 – Kind of generic and boring, to be honest


5/10 – Strong, but I found her brand of bluntness a tad offputting

Entertainment value

4/10 – I was bored to tears by the middle of the story, it took a lot to finish it

World building

7/10 – I liked a lot of the ideas, blending the Native American lore with the paranormal, it was just the execution that was clumsy



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